Jan 20, 2021 09:07 UTC

On the very last day of President Donald Trump's administration a polarised United States remains on edge over the prospect of election-related violence.

Domestically many are not just breathing a sigh of relief but screaming with happiness, and yet polls say 35% of the country believes he’s being ousted illegitimately. That illustrates just how polarising Trump has been here, and while many wonder if he’ll run for president in 2024 many others hope he is leaving public office permanently.

Trump seemed to combine Barack Obama’s skill in manipulating the media, George W. Bush’s readiness to provoke international hatred, Bill Clinton’s ability to disregard the truth and Ronald Reagan’s jingoism. He was routinely and credibly accused of conduct which degraded public service, of re-legitimising American White supremacy, of intentionally provoking societal rifts and much, much more.

Internationally Trump took America’s post-9/11 “you’re either with us or against us” worldview to a new extreme. He illegally tore up international agreements, banned travel from seven mostly-Muslim countries and antagonised longtime US allies. 

Trump, who switched his party affiliation five times, has successfully reshaped the Republican Party. He was the first 21st century mainstream politician to be openly anti-free trade, to voice opposition to America’s “endless wars”, to admit the national decline of the US since the Great Recession, to bring attention to the role of a “Deep State” in the US and to openly question the integrity of the nation’s corporate-dominated media.

The Trump era was truly unlike any other. His legacy will be debated, but his detractors are innumerable, intense and international.

ME

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