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United States Public Policy

Current policy

Republican Donald Trump took office in 2017 and essentially runs typical right-wing politics, with tax cuts and liberalization. However, with a burdus and unpredictable appearance, he differs radically from former presidents and his suitability is questioned by many. But when he was put on trial for abuse of power, he was acquitted by the Senate at the beginning of the 2020 election.

As the corona virus began to spread throughout the world, Trump initially dismissed all warnings that it would pose a threat to the United States. When it became established in the country, he continued to reduce the threat. He also put forward conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus, advocating disputed cures and inciting governors and mayors who introduced strict quarantine rules. By the end of May, the virus had claimed over 100,000 lives and just over 40 million had become unemployed. The deep social and economic gaps in American society have been clearly exposed as economically vulnerable groups - where minorities are overrepresented - have been hit much harder by both covid-19 disease and economic morass. A new line of conflict has also been sharpened: between the central government and the states and even individual big cities.

  • Countryaah: Country facts and history of United States, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.

In the strained situation prevailing came another case of police violence against an African American: a black man, lying on the ground in handcuffs, then a white police officer pressed his knee to his neck. A video recording where the man, George Floyd, is repeatedly heard praying for his life and saying "I can't breathe" led to a wave of protest that spread to all states in the Union within a few days. Rioting, looting, curfews, clashes, arrests and police violence against protesters and journalists were reported mainly from big cities. The National Guard has been deployed in several states and fires have been set up outside the White House. The crisis situation is the most serious in the country in decades.

National law

Public Policies of United StatesTrump managed his first three years as president without having to deal with any serious disasters. With the pandemic as the triggering factor, spring 2020 created a crisis situation when many demanded a strong leadership. But Trump, who seems to constantly seek confrontation, has proven unable to play the role of country father and unifying force. Instead, he has devoted his faithfulness to accusing, attacking and defaming.

Trump became the third president of US history to face state law. According to the more than 100-page document with the indictments, Trump should have been set aside to "prevent serious and long-term damage to our democratic values ​​and the security of the nation." According to the Democrats, the evidence was overwhelming, but it was basically given in advance that Trump would be released. When the vote was held on February 5, 2020, the senators voted with a single exception according to the party line (see Calendar).

The judicial process provides a clear picture of the deep polarization that characterizes American politics. The decision on national law was made by the House of Representatives in December, when all Republican members voted no while almost all Democrats voted yes. The investigation that led to the national court began in September, when a whistleblower revealed that Trump was pushing a foreign power for his own political gain. The President tried to persuade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch a corruption investigation against Joe Biden, the former vice president who is a Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential election (see Calendar). During the investigation, it also emerged that Trump demanded an investigation into alleged involvement of Ukraine in the 2016 presidential election. The interference, which would have happened to the Democrats' advantage, is considered a conspiracy theory. In contrast, the US intelligence services have determined that Russia influenced the election (for the Republicans' benefit) (see below).

During the investigation, a number of high-ranking diplomats, government officials and security advisers testified in detail about tours during the summer of 2019 when Zelenskyj was pressured to make Trump his will. The White House refused to cooperate with the investigation and Trump called the process an attempt at a coup d'état and an unmotivated witch hunt.

Conservative politics

The support for Trump in the Republican Party is largely due to the fact that he is pursuing the marked right-wing politics that the party stands for. Extensive liberalization has been carried out, for example in environmental protection, labor law, asylum issues, healthcare and education. Trump has also been able to nominate a wide range of conservative judges to federal courts, including two to the Supreme Court. The judges sit for a lifetime and can to a large extent affect the development of society in the future (see Political system).

However, Trump has not really been able to fulfill his perhaps most central election promise: to build a wall along the border to the south. He did not push the issue particularly hard during the beginning of his term in office, when Republicans controlled both chambers, but approved the budget that Congress passed. Only in the fall of 2018 did he make large grants for a wall as a condition for signing the budget - which led to a lock-up and a record-breaking shutdown of the state apparatus starting just before Christmas. After the New Year, the Democrats took the helm in the House of Representatives, following the midterm elections in November, and the prospects thus further deteriorated for Trump to get through the requirement. The conflict led to 800,000 federal employees leaving without pay for over a month.

Emergency mode gives money to the wall

In the end, Trump was forced to give in on the budget. Then the president chose to call a "national emergency" instead, in order to take money from other activities. Several states sued the president for the emergency, but in July, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to spend $ 2.5 billion on the wall, money taken from the Department of Defense. The message was a huge success for Trump.

According to Trump, the wall is necessary to stop paperless migrants, which he claims pose a serious security threat to the United States. He has backed it up with warnings about rapists and human trafficking - a message that critics believe is xenophobic and is based on manipulated information. In other contexts, Trump is accused of playing on racist strings: he has reproduced anti-Muslim propaganda and failed to condemn extremist nationalists in connection with an anti-Semitic white power demonstration in the summer of 2017. He has also enforced an entry ban for residents of several Muslim countries. It was a proposal that was delayed in the courts and had to be rewritten several times, but in June 2018 it was approved by the Supreme Court.

Asylum seekers are prosecuted

At the same time, the Trump administration's hard-line migration policy expressed itself in a new practice, a "zero-tolerance line", which means that all the paperless who come to the border with Mexico - including asylum seekers - should be prosecuted. As a result, children, even toddlers, were taken care of when their parents were arrested. Images from detention centers with children in cages soon aroused frame screams and the handling was called both cruel and immoral. The White House defied criticism but eventually Trump backed down. In a new presidential order, it was decided that children and parents should be detained together. However, even long afterwards, there were reports of children who could not be reunited with their parents. The infected issue became a new first page material a year later, in June 2019, talking about a humanitarian crisis since several children died and others were kept locked up in miserable conditions. See alsoPopulation and language.

Another important election promise concerns the health insurance reform "Obamacare" (see Modern history). It is a complex system that it is not easy to just scrap - especially as Trump promised to replace it with something that is both better and cheaper. However, a step towards dismantling was taken with a large tax package that was adopted in December 2017 (see Calendar) and which includes a decision that it is no longer mandatory for individuals to have health insurance (see Social Conditions).

Extreme rhetoric

As soon as Trump took office, speculation came to shame that the more extreme aspects of his message and rhetoric would be blurred. With a language that is uncommon for democratically elected leaders, he questions the loyalty of both courts and intelligence services. Trump has repeatedly claimed that he knows more than US leading security experts on, for example, North Korea, Iran and the Islamic State. He calls leading news media "the enemies of the people" who publish fake news, while at the same time regularly expressing obvious lies - preferably via the microblogging Twitter. The president usually tweets several times a day and easily gets into threats if he is attacked.

However, support for Trump remains strong among a large crowd of devotees who seem to appreciate his tough looks. Within the Republican Party, few openly oppose the President or question his policies. A contributing reason for this is that Trump critics within the party have repeatedly been subjected to hot campaigns, including in social media. The favorable economic situation with low unemployment and good growth also contributed to strengthening the government's position - but the picture has completely changed in the dramatic spring 2020.

Muellerutredningen

One issue that hung long as a dark cloud over the administration was allegations of Russia's involvement in the 2016 election campaign. Even before the January 2017 power shift, all 17 federal intelligence agencies reported that Russia interfered in the US presidential election to Trump's advantage, through computer intrusion, disinformation and hate speech. in social media.

Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to step down after just a few weeks on the job, due to Russia contacts he had also darkened. Then, in May 2017, Trump suddenly fired the head of the Federal Police (FBI), James Comey, who later testified that Trump was trying to pressure him to shut down Russian investigations. The Justice Department then appointed a former FBI chief, Robert Mueller, as special prosecutor to investigate links between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials.

Mueller's investigation went on for almost two years before he submitted his report in March 2019, which concerned both Russian involvement in the election and partly Trump's possible obstruction of justice when he tried to stop the investigation. After a political tug of war on how large parts of the report were to be published, it eventually emerged that Trump was trying to take control of the investigation and get Mueller fired. It is also clear that a large number of people in Trump's vicinity have been in contact with Russian representatives who, among other things, offered materials to throw Hillary Clinton. Critics saw it as very grave, but Trump's supporters found that the president and his staff were exempt from all charges.

Several defendants

The Mueller investigation, however, led to a number of indictments directed at people in the immediate vicinity of Trump, for crimes other than just conspiracy with foreign power in the election. A total of seven people - five of whom were former Trump employees - have pleaded guilty to crimes in exchange for criminal relief. The crimes concern such things as money laundering, conspiracy against the state and false testimony. A few people have been prosecuted and some have also been convicted. Mueller also prosecuted 26 Russian citizens and three Russian companies, but they will not gain American justice.

Proceedings are also underway against Trump in several courts on issues related to his extensive business empire. Furthermore, several congressional committees have launched investigations of President Trump and the White House, regarding such things as the president's tax returns (which he refused to disclose) and any conflicts of interest for members of the Trump family (who still have major business interests).

Follow the ongoing development of the Calendar.

READING TIPS - read more about the United States in the UI's web magazine Foreign
magazine: Controversy over voting methods for the fall elections (2020-05-06) Presidential election in the era of the corona virus (2020-04-03) How the US foreign policy becomes if the Democrats win (2020-02 -28) Parallel realities in polarized USA (2020-01-10) Much in the pot for the striking US trade union (2019-10-08) Democratic congressional group with new radical votes (2019-01-02)



FACTS - POLITICS

Official name

United States of America / United States of America

GOVERNMENT

republic, federal state

Head of State and Government

President Donald Trump (2017–)

Most important parties with mandates in the last election

Democrats (D) 235/47, Republicans (R) 200/53 (figures refer to House of Representatives / Senate) (2018) 1

Main parties with mandates in the second most recent elections

Republicans (R) 241/52, Democrats (D) 194/48 (figures refer to House of Representatives / Senate) (2016) 2

turnout

about 56 percent in the 2016 presidential and congressional elections; approximately 49 percent in the 2018 congressional elections 3

Upcoming elections

presidential and congressional elections 2020

  1. The figure for the Senate also includes previous elections; In 2018, R won 11 Senate seats and D 24 (2 of which are held by independent senators who vote with D). In the House of Representatives, the balance has been 235–199 since July 2019 when a Republican left the party and became independent.
    2. The figure for the Senate also includes previous elections; In 2016, R won 22 senate seats and D 12; 2 independent senators vote with D.
    3. The figure for 2016 is the proportion of residents who have voting age, the figure for those with actual voting rights is 60 percentSources

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