Trump’s legal victory won’t solve his problems caused by divided society

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/29 18:48:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

On Monday, US President Donald Trump won his first legal victory since taking office. After several months of intense debate, the US Supreme Court left part of Trump's travel ban, which restricts travel from six Muslim-majority countries, in place, thus barring people who lack a "bona fide relationship" - family, educational or business ties - from entering.

Trump proposed the travel ban within a week of his inauguration. By proposing the travel ban, he wanted to show off his executive ruling style and exercise his presidential authority. However, he did not anticipate the ban would cause turmoil in US airports and waves of protests. Some federal courts announced the ban was invalid.

Trump suffered obstacles one after another. His plans for healthcare reform, tax cuts and a border wall with Mexico have gone nowhere. The legitimacy of his presidency has even been challenged by the "Russiagate" scandal.

Trump needs victories, even minor ones. Thus, it is worth celebrating the Supreme Court's support of his travel ban. The victory can exert positive effects if it can help promote Trump's decision-making and ruling power, and thus help the US administration gradually get rid of its frequent political deadlock due to partisan conflicts.

Maybe The New York Times has realized this point. It said, "In saying they would take the case, the [Supreme Court] justices partly endorsed the administration's view that the president has vast authority to control who crosses the border."

Among Trump's decrees, strengthening immigration control is undoubtedly the easiest one to drum up support for, because it pertains to US security. It is unrealistic to ban terrorism by relying only on a travel ban. Nevertheless, strengthening inspection and border control meets the desire of most American people, although some will not say it.

The recent terrorist attacks in Europe made American people recall the 9/11 attacks. To prevent similar terrorist attacks, especially organized terrorist attacks, is still the largest political concern of the US, and has the greatest public consensus. No matter who is president, he or she will take necessary measures against terrorism and will not care too much about how the Islamic world views the US.

The partial approval of the ban shows that although US politics is lively and the topics discussed are important, the US president's decision-making power is increasingly shrinking.

The effective use of the president's administrative power is one of the essential elements that makes the US strong. But the US also restricts its presidents' decision-making power. As partisan politics become more severe, Washington's political decision-making process has been stalled by a war between different factions. This small legal victory cannot solve the overall differences.

The polarization of US politics is due to not only existing problems in the system, but also social ills which exacerbate the problems. US partisanship is only a reflection of the country's divided social values and public opinion.

The court gave Trump a little recognition of his power, but it is not enough to bridge divided public opinion. The ruling will make Trump's opponents block him in other ways. Trump's difficult position will continue, which is determined by the political system and America's social contradictions.

The article is an editorial of the Chinese edition of the Global Times Wednesday. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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