First published: Prospectmagazine.co.uk, 1/03/2017
The details were predictably hazy, but a policy picture is gradually emerging
Yesterday evening, President Donald Trump gave his first address to both Houses of Congress. It marked a significant change in tone from the “American carnage” motif of his inaugural address. It was altogether softer, more considered—even optimistic and presidential, according to the write-ups of political pundits. The reasons for this remain the subject of speculation, but his low approval ratings, a turbulent first few weeks in the White House, and the need to win over lukewarm friends in Congress must all have played a part.
The rhetoric on immigration, one of the administration’s core policy areas, was more mixed than screeching. The president expressed support for NATO, and didn’t even mention Russia or China. Not even mainstream media cropped up. Yet behind the softer colours of this address, there was still a strong sense of economic nationalism and assertion of US sovereignty that are the trademarks of his more ideological speech-writers and advisers in the White House….Read more: