Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Trump says Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead – but will he backpedal?

President-elect Donald Trump has recently caught flak from supporters for distancing himself from his most contentious campaign promises, but he has stayed committed to pulling the plug on the TPP. In the two weeks since Donald Trump’s surprise election victory, the billionaire developer has adopted a noticeably softer demeanor from that of his insurgent campaign personality.

While vetting a team of mostly right-wing Republicans for his incoming transition team, he has cautiously walked back from several contentious campaign talking points while attempting to shed the most controversial elements of his base.

Trump has publicly disavowed prominent white-nationalist organizations and is making concessions on his most divisive goals. Areas of his odious border wall with Mexico may be dialed back to simple fencing, while some aspects of Obamacare might not be totally repealed. He has decided against appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hilliary Clinton and has signaled a slightly more malleable position on climate protection.

Read the full story on RT

Nile Bowie is a Singapore-based political commentator and columnist for the Malaysian Reserve newspaper. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Election 2016: A Political System In Crisis


The outcome of strangest and most consequential election cycle in recent American history will soon be upon us. Regardless of who becomes the next president, this election will forever be synonymous with the rogue candidacy of Donald Trump and the demographic shifts that have emboldened the right.

Though it may be a close election, it is widely presumed that public antipathy towards Trump – the first major party candidate who is near-universally opposed by both major parties – will tilt the odds in Hillary Clinton’s favour. Nonetheless, Trump’s support base of primarily white, blue-collar Americans will be a major factor for the political establishment to contend with in the years ahead.

These voters are frustrated by their economic marginalisation wrought by neoliberal trade deals and economic policies, and are contemptuous of traditional political elite, their internationalism and liberal identity politics. For these voters, fear of immigration is entwined with the precarity of being working class, their troubling prejudices notwithstanding.

Read the full story on New Eastern Outlook

Nile Bowie is a Singapore-based political commentator and columnist for the Malaysian Reserve newspaper. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.