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Donald Trump: Will the Republican be able to paint the US blue?

By Kamna Arora | Last Updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 09:45

Donald Trump – the real-estate mogul who became a reality TV star and, after that, the Republican Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election – did not exactly seem to fit the profile of a candidate for the world's most powerful job.

Who knew the impetuous, self-indulgent, and politically untested golden-haired man would outdo all his competitors to become the nominee of the party which was once represented by reputed and astute leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

Not just this, high-spirited Trump's zeal has made the race to the White House quite difficult for far more experienced leader Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As his speeches or interviews indicate, Trump’s personality is rare for a presidential candidate. His sensational declarations and late-night tweets seem too amateur for someone aspiring to become America’s commander-in-chief.

A number of questions have arisen about the 70-year-old Manhattan real estate mogul - about his inflammatory language, his knowledge of domestic as well as international issues, his understanding of complex issues, his views on military and national security, his impulsiveness and his decision-making capabilities.

Donald Trump – The Manhattan real estate mogul

Before he threw his hat in the ring in 2015, Trump was a familiar face in American households, courtesy his luxury high-rise hotels, casinos and manicured golf courses, from Manhattan to Mumbai, and his stint (2004-15) as the star host of the reality TV show "The Apprentice”. Trump also co-owned the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants until 2015.

Born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, Donald Trump lives in a palatial, three-story penthouse on the top of Trump Tower in New York, and travels in his private Boeing 757.

When Trump first announced that he was running for the post of US president, he was rejected as a joke. But his promise to "Make America Great Again” made him eventually win Republican Party's nomination.

During his campaign, Trump has insulted Muslims, women, and Hispanics, and black voters.

The ideas only Donald Trump can give

"The Donald" can say anything, literally anything, to grab the attention - from nicknaming his competitor Clinton as "Crooked Hillary" to claiming that the Presidential Election was being rigged against him.

And the man offers simple solutions for the issues such as illegal immigration, terrorism, and unemployment.

Trump says in a bid to stop illegal immigration, he would build a wall along the US-Mexico border. This wall, he says, will be built by Mexico's money!

Also, the Republican vows to send back the 11 million undocumented immigrants believed to be in the US.

The billionaire businessman further claims that he would renegotiate global trade deals in a bid to bring jobs back to America.

His plan to stop terrorism revolves around prohibiting immigrants from countries with "a proven history of terrorism”. This cannot be forgotten that he had first committed the blunder by saying he would ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

Donald Trump a `confused` man

No one really knows what Donald Trump believes in and would do if he wins the US presidency.

Before favoring boosting the defence budget, he was for cutting it.

"I’m going to make our military so big, so powerful, so strong, that nobody — absolutely nobody — is going to mess with us,” Trump said in a 23-second video stating his position on “the military” on his campaign website. However, despite his calls to rebuild the military, Trump had initially suggested he wouldn't actually raise the defence budget. Weeks later, he vowed a hike in military spending.

Trump earlier said he is opposed to the Vietnam War, Second Gulf War, and Libya intervention while at the same time he said he’d create a “big beautiful safe zone” for refugees in Syria.

In September 2015, Trump had opined that the US should wait for the conflict in Syria to end. “Why aren't we letting ISIS go and fight Assad and then we pick up the remnants?” he had said. After the Paris attacks in 2015, he had vowed to intensify military attacks on the ISIS.

In March 2016, Trump indicated that if elected as president, he would be willing to deploy on the ground tens of thousands of US troops to knock out the terror organization. Days later, Trump hinted at stopping the US from buying of Saudi Arabian oil unless the latter provided troops to fight Islamic State.

Trump's political ideology is bumpy too. He is Democrat-turned- Republican-turned Reform Party leader-turned-Democrat-turned-Republican.

He was a Democrat until 1987, then a Republican until 1999, then a member of the Reform Party up until 2001, then a Democrat till 2009 before becoming a Republican again.

Donald Trump – The controversies surrounding him

While Hillary is grappling with renewed investigation into an e-mail controversy, Trump has had his share of controversies. He proudly acknowledges he evaded paying income taxes by exploiting loopholes for years. "That makes me smart," he said. However, in a bid to hide his own blunder, he blamed Hillary Clinton. “Why didn’t she ever try to change those laws so I couldn’t use them?” Trump asked during a campaign rally.

In October, a dozen women accused him of forcibly kissing or inappropriately touching them. Also, a secret video from 2005 was released, showing Trump saying demeaning things about women: “They let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy.” In order to water down the controversy, Trump attacked Hillary Clinton over allegations about her husband Bill Clinton’s sexual conduct. The Republican nominee had even held a pre-debate event with three women who have accused former US president Bill Clinton of rape or sexual harassment.

In a desperate attempt to win the race for the White House, Trump claims to have "phenomenal" plans for his first 100 days as president.

Donald Trump's foreign policies – A glance

China: In September 2015, Donald Trump lashed out at China for dumping its exports and accused it of devaluing yuan. “If they don't come to the table, they're going to have a tax when they put their products into this country. And they're going to behave,” he had said.

Later, he said he would reform US-China trade ties. He also plans to increase the US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, so that Washington is in a better position to negotiate with Beijing.

Cuba: Donald Trump says he supports diplomacy with Cuba. In 1999, he was in favour of the embargo.

NATO: The Republican candidate raised question mark over the utility of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, after the terror attacks in Brussels in March 2016. He described NATO as "obsolete". "It’s become very bureaucratic, extremely expensive and maybe is not flexible enough to go after terror. Terror is very much different than what NATO was set up for."

Japan and South Korea: If he becomes the US president, Trump would pull out US military forces from Japan and South Korea if they did not "significantly" increase their financial contributions.

Iran: Trump has criticised the multinational nuclear agreement with Iran and has vowed to negotiate it again if elected as president.

ISIS: In September 2015, Trump said the United States should wait out the conflict in Syria, and allow militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State to wage war on the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. “Why aren't we letting ISIS go and fight Assad and then we pick up the remnants?” he said.

North Korea: In 2000, Trump had written that he would pre-emptively strike North Korea if it continued to pursue nuclear weapons technology. If elected as president, Trump during his campaign said that he would be willing to speak to Kim-Jong-un.

Russia: Trump has said he would enjoy meeting Vladimir Putin. Because of his business background, Trump has said he would likely have a “great relationship with Putin.”

He has also described Russian airstrikes in Syria as a “positive thing”.

If Donald Trump is elected as US president, his stint could be highly explosive.

Dan P McAdams, the professor of psychology and the director of the Foley Center for the Study of Lives at Northwestern University, Trump “could be a daring and ruthlessly aggressive decision maker who desperately desires to create the strongest, tallest, shiniest, and most awesome result—and who never thinks twice about the collateral damage he will leave behind. Tough. Bellicose. Threatening. Explosive.”

First Published: Friday, November 4, 2016 - 19:51

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