18 December 2016

Business as usual at the White House

After the generalized commotion surrounding the US elections died down, the feeling of surprise lingered in the press, combined with predictions of imminent disaster. Against this alarmist tendency, I'm putting forward three obvious points:
  1. Although Trump's victory was unexpected (i.e. went against poll predictions), it follows a long-term pattern of Republican and Democratic presidents alternating every eight years. This has been the case since Eisenhower, with the exception of Reagan's first mandate.
  2. Speaking of Reagan, there are some striking similarities with Trump: both are (were) charismatic showmen, but not very intellectual and with a penchant for made-up stories. Time will tell how deep this resemblance goes.
  3. In contrast with his populist campaign speeches, Trump's post-election declarations and his cabinet choices signal that he will probably follow very closely the Republican platform: pro-big business, anti-abortion, pro-Israel, anti-environment control, for increased military spending, tax cuts for the rich, free trade and reductions in welfare programs. How many of these points were also on Clinton's agenda is left as an exercise for the reader.
Finally, what alarms me is not how far Trump is from mainstream Republicans, but rather how close the Republican party is to Trump.

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