A Helluva Ride: The Trump Revolution Begins (Four Corners)

DURATION: 1 x 45'

A Helluva Ride: The Trump Revolution Begins (Four Corners)



Donald J Trump’s first few weeks in office have been as turbulent as he promised; banning visitors from seven Muslim countries, reiterating plans for a border wall, falling out with the media and asserting intentions to align more closely with Russia. ABC Four Corners embarks on an incisive exploration of how Donald Trump will govern the United States, asking if this is only the beginning of an American revolution. As Trump advisor Michael Caputo says, “we’re all in for a helluva ride. My best advice for everyone is to strap in”.

President Trump has delivered on his covenant with the people; he has taken on the establishment and his supporters are ecstatic. Scott, founder of 'Gays for Trump', believes his president has freed the country: "This is America’s Brexit. This was our independence from an oppressive, gluttonous, obtrusive government”. In the impoverished Rust Belt, those promised new jobs have "never been more enthusiastic and more hopeful". But those in opposition are desperately worried. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz explains, "If he's relying on coal then that is sending out false hope to people who really need to move away from the obsolete jobs that they have lost. We need to help them move into another form of energy that generates the kind of movement we need in our economy."

Meanwhile, lawyers Norman Eisen and Noah Bookbinder have brought a lawsuit against Trump, for refusing to divest from his business interests. “On the one hand he’s got a duty to do the best he can for the American taxpayer and on the other hand he has a duty to make as much money as he can for his businesses…and those two are not compatible”, says Bookbinder. If Trump continues to refuse to divest it will be unprecedented. “At that point you have a president who is essentially asserting that he doesn’t have to follow the law. And I truly don’t know how that resolves itself.”

Trump’s refusal to back down is a trait well known to his biographer Gwenda Blair. “His father raised his kids to be killers… and Donald took that to heart”. On the international stage Trump has already ruffled feathers, most notably with Enrique Pena Nieta and Malcolm Turnbull. Michael J Green, a former National Security Advisor, admits that “in our recent history, and perhaps throughout our entire history, we’ve never had a president come into office with such an unpredictable style of communication and with such alarm among our closest allies and friends”. Former US Assistant Secretary of State, David J Kramer, goes so far as to say that if Trump aligns with Putin or Assad, that America’s allies should “take a step back”.

Back at home, Trump's opponents will not go down without a fight. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin says, "We're onto the divorce before the marriage; forget about the honeymoon!", in response to Trump's hostile handling of a media determined to challenge his narrative. And the Democratic Party are also digging in and preparing for battle. “If the new administration and the Republican majority in Congress thinks that it is going to be easy for them to pull the rug out from under the Americans that have made progress, they’re sadly mistaken”, iterates Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Whatever the future holds, one thing we can be certain of is that nothing will be the same again, and as history is made, “this is the new abnormal”.


Australian Broadcasting Corporation