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Daily World Dispatch - waiting for the rubber to hit the road

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The dizzying and disquieting array of possibilities presented by a Donald Trump administration have the media in a spin. But the speculation business holds its own dangers, particularly in this interregnum between the US election and inauguration.President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania walk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill on ... President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania walk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Photo: AP

Many people believe - or harbour a wish - that the moment will come when a Trump presidency succumbs to the laws of political gravity, checked by Congress or the judicial branch or the realities of a complex global chessboard. Everyone is waiting for that moment when the campaign rubber hits the political road and the whole thing starts to skid - a moment that, in the Republican primaries and on November 8, never came.
People worry about what a Trump-Putin rapprochement would mean for Europe and the Middle East. But they also worry that Trump will scrap the nuclear deal with Iran - a deal he lambasted repeatedly on the campaign trail - without ever wondering how that could be done without eliciting strong objections from the Kremlin, which arms Tehran and championed the deal.
In the presidential debates, Trump expressed the view that the Syrian city of Aleppo had already fallen. So it is hard to imagine him caring too much about any acceleration of that process in these last days of Barack Obama's watch. But who knows how his first discussion with Turkish, Saudi and Qatari leaders might unfold, and how that in turn might affect his calculations?
Likewise, the ejection of two vocal young Hong Kong lawmakers from the city's assembly might not rise to the level of presidential priority. But as Trump models his approach to China, will the contrast between democracy in the US and the lack of it under the Communist Party become important as a tool?
Once upon a time, a man like Julian Assange - who played a key part in leaking classified material from the US government - could have expected little succour from the transition to a Republican in the White House. But this is not an ordinary Republican administration, nor are these ordinary days. And so he is just one more person waiting for the rubber to hit the road.
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