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What will the world be with Trump?

The only hope is that the president-elect will be different from the candidate and that the challenges of governing will soften and moderate his stance.

As the New Year opens up before us, full of promises and good wishes, each citizen wonders what will 2017 look like. Human beings have this acceptable habit of planning their lives at the beginning of a new year, listing in their imagination or on a piece of paper their expectations and commitments for the months ahead.

To believers, Christians in particular, the just-ended celebration of the birth of the awaited Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth and the Son of God, is a reason to believe in a more hopeful time, even if the circumstances surrounding our lives may not be so promising. Yet, faith spurs us to commit ourselves to live by the principles of justice, honesty and solidarity, as the values that sustain a more sound and dignified society.

As we widen our horizons beyond the limits of our “small worlds” and energized by a faith-filled vision, it is legitimate to put the following question: What will the world look like in 2017 with Donald Trump as President of the United States? The unexpected election of the billionaire was, without doubt, the most striking and astonishing political event of 2016 and the biggest setback in the history of American politics. One of the immediate consequences of his victory was an upsurge in hate crimes with threatening racist messages targeting black people.

The new inhabitant of the White House, with no political and government experience, is creating a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety as to what will be, for instance, the U.S. foreign policies and its diplomatic and commercial relationships with the international community. Going by Trump’s presidential campaign rhetoric and appointments for the top jobs of his administration, the outlook does not seem auspicious. The announcement that he will withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, on his first day as president, will certainly have a negative impact on some Asian countries.

The only hope is that the president-elect will be different from the candidate and that the challenges of governing will soften and moderate his stance. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the United States, in a post-election statement, while congratulating the president elect, assured their solidarity to the migrants and refugees. The Bishops vowed to work with the new administration to continue welcoming refugees as part of the Church’s mission to help the most vulnerable.


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