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Fr Bill Miscamble csc, University of Notre Dame Indiana

  • 13 July 2018

US President Donald Trump: People either love him for his political incorrectness or loathe him for his tactless style – either way, he the hype across media outlets around the globe.

With a packed audience, our guest speaker Fr Bill Miscamble csc who is Professor of US History at Notre Dame University (Indiana), attempted to unravel some of the truths and misconceptions about President Trump’s administration. Covering topics like the aftermath of a hotly contested presidential election, the flurry of Tweets, resignations and appointments, and recent political developments with Israel and North Korea, Fr Miscamble left our guests wanting more.

Fr Miscamble’s particular interest in American foreign policy post-World War II is reflected in the works he’s penned, two of which have earned him a Truman Book Award. The Australian-born native readily admits that Trump is not an easy man to like and rightly criticises Trump for previous past behaviours. However, he encouraged the audience to consider the Presidency in light of its policies, and accomplishments.

Trump has succeeded in tapping into working class Americans’ genuine concerns, especially those who feel shunned by an elitist establishment. His ‘America First’ slogan is firmly focused on making this proud nation great again, even at the expense of asking allies to carry more of the load – as he did with NATO for its insufficient spending on defence.

The administration has seen the resurgence of a growing economy, improved jobs figures, and the introduction of tax reforms designed to boost local business and increase investment. In short, this president is delivering on many fronts.

While Catholic and other religious groups are divided in their opinion of the man because of his obvious character flaws and questionable tactics, Trump in his choice of nominees for the Supreme Court also ticks boxes for arresting the trend of this institution being used to further an overly progressive social agenda.

Fr Miscamble concluded his presentation by cautioning his audience of more turbulent times ahead for this important ally. A strong United States is in the world’s best interests and there will continue to be expectations about the role it needs to play on the world stage. However, this position can only be sustained by its ability to address major internal economic, social and cultural issues.

What happens in US politics will inevitably impact on world politics, but it’s not this man’s province alone to solve all the world’s problems either. The global community we live in is shrinking in many ways and we must all play a part in improving our own lives and that of others.