A year of Trump - has everything changed?

Saviour of the US and grand reformer for some, hell-raiser and unpredictable provocateur for others: Donald Trump's presidency has divided opinion in his own country and abroad. January 20 marks the end of his first year in office. Time for the press to take stock.

Open/close all quotes
El Mundo (ES) /

Economic boom giving Trump a boost

In El Mundo's opinion the US is doing quite well under Trump:

“His delusions of grandeur got him into power. His first year was as lamentable as anticipated (Obamacare dismantled, borders closed, illegal immigrants deported, 2,000 tweets full of fake news posted). But the hard reality is that the Dow Jones is at a record high, Apple will bring back 250 billion dollars from overseas and has announced 20,000 new jobs and the dollar is in top shape. What's more, Trump himself is in good shape physically. In view of all the above, his mental health is irrelevant. If Trump can pull one or two more conspiracy theories out of his sleeve, he'll have no problems being re-elected.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Not much has changed despite election bluster

Trump may have made a big racket about bringing change but he hasn't made many changes - particularly where foreign policy is concerned, NRC Handelsblad comments:

“For now the old and new policies exist side by side. But that's not what Trump promised. In his election campaign he evoked a trade war with China, a spectacular rapprochement with Moscow, withdrawing from numerous international treaties and reintroducing torture practices. If you compare what he has done with all his bluster, he hasn't made much progress so far. ... Major powers lose their position in the world for the most part either because they want too much abroad, or because they don't have a proper grip on things at home. Trump has come up with a third way of losing power: voluntary abdication. He no longer wants to be the pillar supporting the international system.”

Le Monde (FR) /

Trump destroying liberal democracy

Donald Trump will go down in history as the man who buried liberal democracy, Le Monde believes:

“The 45th president of the United States governs through lies. ... He has defiled the cause of liberal democracy and given free reign to those who attack it in the international arena. In this sense Trump is important historically. He occupies the White House at a time when the liberal-democratic style of governing has been losing ground steadily in recent years. And his example could even accentuate this trend. ... The liberal model must be revived: one of its key characteristics is its ability to adapt. Trump, for his part, prefers to help destroy it.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Blind greed and shoddy media

Donald Trump isn't chiefly responsible for the US's decline, author Nick De Clippel stresses in De Standaard:

“The problem is not Trump but that there were enough voters who lifted this rodeo clown into the saddle. If Trump falls from the horse, they're still there. ... The question is how could the US be allowed to go to rack and ruin like this, to gamble away all the moral authority it had, to fall behind on all levels (except the stock markets). ... Basically it was written in the stars that sooner or later a country with shopping mall schools, with Fox News as an analysis programme, with monsters like The Gong Show and The Jerry Springer Show as 'human interest' programmes would sooner or later have someone like Trump as president. A society driven by blind greed for profit and the resulting decay in education and media is responsible for this.”