Why Donald Trump Continues To Surprise Us

We all continue to be surprised.

Trump has signed several executive orders in his first week. He has given the go-ahead for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines – but requiring the use of American built pipes as conditions for them to go ahead. He will initiate the building of the wall on the Mexican border. He has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership has declared his intention to renegotiate NAFTA. He has made a first strike against Obamacare. He is planning to restrict access to the US from some selected countries.

All these initiatives fit in with his campaign rhetoric and his campaign promises.

His speeches – from his inauguration speech to his speech at the CIA – have followed the same lines, the same style and the same bombast as his campaign speeches.

Yet, we continue to be surprised. Newspaper headlines have reacted with stunned disbelief at these early actions. The Financial Times declares “As Donald Trump makes his way through his first week in the White House, there are few signs of reversal from his campaign rhetoric.” Why does this surprise us? And some keep hoping “Another senior European diplomat suggested that…the arrival of powerful cabinet members such as Rex Tillerson at the state department and James Mattis as defence secretary would bring about a ‘pivot to the mainstream’“, according to The Guardian.

It seems that we have all become used to the two faces of our elected representatives. The face they present to the public on the campaign trail. And the often very different face that they present once elected. In office, rhetoric is toned down, promises made are abandoned because of practicality and the whole tone and style changes.

Trump is very clearly the same person as President as the one on the campaign trail. One way or the other, he continues to surprise us.

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Radix is the radical centre think tank. We welcome all contributions which promote system change, challenge established notions and re-imagine our societies. The views expressed here are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily shared by Radix.

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