Everyone is trying to elicit President Donald Trump’s intentions on the basis of his first decisions. But this is not easy.
What is clear is that Trump will be a different kind of president than any we have seen before.
However, the fact that his campaign promises are in line with his executive actions is quite promising, whether one agrees with them or not.
For example, he had announced that he would pull the country out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation trade agreement, which he did (an action which might cost the country dearly). He had promised to repeal Obamacare and took the first official action, although Congress will need to enact legislation in order to dismantle it entirely.
What obscures the situation, and may crush his presidency in the long term, is the ongoing fierce war with the media, including the most prestigious outlets.
For example, on the one hand he describes the media as being “among the world’s most dishonest people.”
On the other hand, a recent New York Times headline read “Meeting With Top Lawmakers, Trump Repeats an Election Lie” (that the vote of millions of unauthorized immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote).
CNN takes it even further.
But even the Wall Street Journal is on the same line, although with much more caution and on political issues – as it should.
In any event, based on my years of experience, please allow me to share a thought with the Greek media, not because I somehow expect them to listen to me, but due to a sense of obligation:
They should not regard Trump’s presidency as negative from the outset, and they should not just follow the pack by superficially criticizing anything and everything he does.
They should consider that, at the end of the day, all of us, Trump included, are judged by our deeds and not – just – our words.
And, he should mainly be judged by the decisions he will take in regards to Greece.
So if the media turns the Greek people massively against him now, without circumspection, if the country earns the reputation of being anti-Trump, then besides the fact that it will neutralize his close Greek-American advisors, it will also turn him against the Greek people. And that might cost them dearly.
The Greeks made a similar mistake during the Reagan administration and the country paid for it –remember the travel advisory ? – as did former Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, who pleaded but was never invited to the White House by the American President, despite the many interventions by Alex Spanos.