In Donald Trump’s America, undocumented immigrants will be deported en masse, Arab Americans will be racially profiled and the United States will “bomb the s— out of ISIS.”
In Trump’s America, foreign Muslims will be banned from the US, Syrian refugees sent back to their war-torn country and free trade agreements torn to shreds. And, of course, the US will build a “great wall” on the US-Mexico border, which Mexico will have to pay for.
In Trump’s America, the US attorney general will push to indict the president’s general election rival.
That’s if everything goes as the Republican nominee has promised during his insurgent presidential campaign.
The newly-minted President-elect is now faced with the task of turning his hardline policy proposals into concrete legislative proposals and ultimately law. But with many of his more extreme proposals opposed even by some Republicans in Congress, Trump will face an uphill climb to implement the very proposals that drew his most ardent supporters to his insurgent campaign.
His challenges with uniting the American public behind his proposals were on clear display Wednesday as protests broke out from Boston to Los Angeles.
Should he succeed, though, in implementing the policies that carried him to victory in the Republican primaries and ultimately the general election, Trump would usher in a radical reimagining of the United States from its laws to its values.
Trump’s very election broke a set of barriers, becoming the first billionaire president and the first to have never before served in public office or the military. And while his business experience was a key part of his appeal to a broad swath of Americans, they will also raise unprecedented questions of conflict of interest and could pose challenges to his ability to sell legislative proposals that could affect his personal bottom line.
Beyond his businessman credo, it seems voters were most drawn to Trump’s promises to shake up Washington and implement radical change in every sector of government.
Trump has repeatedly promised to “immediately repeal and replace” Obamacare, to start. That is something congressional Republicans have been eager to accomplish, but unable to without a Republican president. But even with Trump in office, repealing and crafting a replacement for the law will be an arduous task in Congress, where Senate Democrats will fight the slim Republican majority’s efforts.
It’s still unclear exactly what Trump’s replacement will look like. He has vowed it will be “terrific” and said it will involve knocking down state insurance lines and incentivizing the establishment of health savings accounts.
Even as Trump has unrelentingly promised at his rallies to build a wall on the US southern border with Mexico, his plan does not yet appear to have the backing of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who repeatedly dodged a question on whether he supports the wall.
“I want to achieve border security the way that’s most effective,” he told CNN’s Manu Raju Wednesday when asked about it.
The border wall proposal is just one of a slew of controversial immigration policies proffered by the real estate mogul, who launched his campaign by labeling undocumented Mexican immigrants criminals and “rapists.”
He has also vowed to deport all undocumented immigrants. In the latest iteration of that policy, he focused on the deportation of criminal undocumented immigrants, but he has not forsaken his pledge to deport all estimated 11 million who currently reside here illegally.
On trade, the Republican nominee has vowed to renegotiate or completely withdraw the US from NAFTA, the free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico that Trump has dubbed the “worst trade deal in history.” He could single-handedly do that without Congress, just as he could stymie the Trans-Pacific Partnership he has railed against.
He has also pledged to go after Chinese currency manipulation and impose additional tariffs of as much as 35% on certain foreign countries and on US companies that move their factories abroad – which could see consumer goods rise by that same percentage.
Trump’s presidency could radically alter the increasingly interconnected global economy, which has shot in the direction of more free trade, not less, in recent years. His presidency could usher in a more protectionist era.
Trump will also seek to rethink how the US combats terrorists, tossing aside the attempts by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama to bring Muslim-Americans and other Muslim countries into the fold, rather than risk alienating them.
Trump has said he would seek to work with Muslim countries eager to join in the fight against ISIS, but he has also stoked Islamophobic sentiment in the US and proclaimed, “Islam hates us.”
His rhetoric on the campaign trail and policy proposals on that matter could prove a roadblock to those efforts of increased cooperation with Muslim majority countries. During his presidential bid, Trump called for the creation of a national database to register all Muslims living in the US, called for targeted surveillance of US mosques.
And last December, he famously called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” a proposal he has never explicitly retracted. Trump has since focused on his “extreme vetting” proposal, which would include a ban on individuals from terror-prone countries, though he has not outlined which countries will be included in that list.
It is still unclear exactly how he will take on ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Trump has at times said he is open to sending in tens of thousands of US troops and consistently vowed to “bomb the s***t out of ISIS.”
At other times, he’s said he would like to keep the US out of the civil war in Syria, and instead favored ceding regional influence to Russia.
He has promised to work toward a closer relationship with Russia, which has ensconced itself as a top US adversary in recent years, and has promised to renegotiate the Iran deal, which he has trashed.
Trump’s economic proposals have focused on tearing down government regulations he views as overly burdensome on US businesses – which would include undoing environmental protections erected under the Obama administration – and reforming the US tax code.
But a cloud of uncertainty hangs over how the whopping across-the-board tax cuts he has promised will affect the US deficit. While he has promised to keep the proposals revenue-neutral, tax policy experts have said Trump’s proposals could add billions, if not trillions, of dollars to the US debt.
Ultimately, many in Washington and across the country are now wondering how much of Trump’s campaign promises will the soon-to-be president stick to once he walks into the Oval Office and the Situation Room.
Beyond the campaign promises and incendiary rhetoric during his 17 months campaigning for his job as president, Trump also repeatedly touted his willingness to compromise and reach “deals.”
Pressed on his immigration proposals in March on Fox News, Trump offered a simple reply: “Everything is negotiable.”