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The Trump Era

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by VCheng, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    This is a well-balanced article that should make for good discussion here:

    http://www.economist.com/news/leade...out-america-and-its-role-world-what-will-take

    America’s new president
    The Trump era
    His victory threatens old certainties about America and its role in the world. What will take their place?
    [​IMG]

    THE fall of the Berlin Wall, on November 9th 1989, was when history was said to have ended. The fight between communism and capitalism was over. After a titanic ideological struggle encompassing the decades after the second world war, open markets and Western liberal democracy reigned supreme. In the early morning of November 9th 2016, when Donald Trump crossed the threshold of 270 electoral-college votes to become America’s president-elect, that illusion was shattered. History is back—with a vengeance.

    The fact of Mr Trump’s victory and the way it came about are hammer blows both to the norms that underpin politics in the United States and also to America’s role as the world’s pre-eminent power. At home, an apparently amateurish and chaotic campaign has humiliated an industry of consultants, pundits and pollsters. If, as he has threatened, President Trump goes on to test the institutions that regulate political life, nobody can be sure how they will bear up. Abroad, he has taken aim at the belief, embraced by every post-war president, that America gains from the often thankless task of being the global hegemon. If Mr Trump now disengages from the world, who knows what will storm through the breach?

    The sense that old certainties are crumbling has rocked America’s allies. The fear that globalisation has fallen flat has whipsawed markets. Although post-Brexit Britons know what that feels like, the referendum in Britain will be eclipsed by consequences of this election. Mr Trump’s victory has demolished a consensus. The question now is what takes its place.

    Trump towers

    Start with the observation that America has voted not for a change of party so much as a change of regime. Mr Trump was carried to office on a tide of popular rage). This is powered partly by the fact that ordinary Americans have not shared in their country’s prosperity. In real terms median male earnings are still lower than they were in the 1970s. In the past 50 years, barring the expansion of the 1990s, middle-ranking households have taken longer to claw back lost income with each recession. Social mobility is too low to hold out the promise of something better. The resulting loss of self-respect is not neutralised by a few quarters of rising wages.

    Anger has sown hatred in America. Feeling themselves victims of an unfair economic system, ordinary Americans blame the elites in Washington for being too spineless and too stupid to stand up to foreigners and big business; or, worse, they believe that the elites themselves are part of the conspiracy. They repudiate the media—including this newspaper—for being patronising, partisan and as out of touch and elitist as the politicians. Many working-class white voters feel threatened by economic and demographic decline. Some of them think racial minorities are bought off by the Democratic machine. Rural Americans detest the socially liberal values that urban compatriots foist upon them by supposedly manipulating the machinery in Washington. Republicans have behaved as if working with Democrats is treachery.

    Mr Trump harnessed this popular anger brilliantly. Those who could not bring themselves to vote for him may wonder how half of their compatriots were willing to overlook his treatment of women, his pandering to xenophobes and his rank disregard for the facts. There is no reason to conclude that all Trump voters approve of his behaviour. For some of them, his flaws are insignificant next to the One Big Truth: that America needs fixing. For others the willingness to break taboos was proof that he is an outsider. As commentators have put it, his voters took Mr Trump seriously but not literally, even as his critics took him literally but not seriously. The hapless Hillary Clinton might have won the popular vote, but she stood for everything angry voters despise.

    The hope is that this election will prove cathartic. Perhaps, in office, Mr Trump will be pragmatic and magnanimous—as he was in his acceptance speech. Perhaps he will be King Donald, a figurehead and tweeter-in-chief who presides over an executive vice-president and a cabinet of competent, reasonable people. When he decides against building a wall against Mexico after all or concludes that a trade war with China is not a wise idea, his voters may not mind too much—because they only expected him to make them feel proud and to put conservative justices in the Supreme Court. Indeed, you can just about imagine a future in which extra infrastructure spending, combined with deregulation, tax cuts, a stronger dollar and the repatriation of corporate profits, boosts the American economy for long enough to pacify the anger. This more emollient Trump might even model himself on Ronald Reagan, a conservative hero who was mocked and underestimated, too.

    Nothing would make us happier than to see Mr Trump succeed in this way. But whereas Reagan was an optimist, Mr Trump rails against the loss of an imagined past. We are deeply sceptical that he will make a good president—because of his policies, his temperament and the demands of political office.

    Gravity wins in the end

    Take his policies first. After the sugar rush, populist policies eventually collapse under their own contradictions. Mr Trump has pledged to scrap the hated Obamacare. But that threatens to deprive over 20m hard-up Americans of health insurance. His tax cuts would chiefly benefit the rich and they would be financed by deficits that would increase debt-to-GDP by 25 percentage points by 2026. Even if he does not actually deport illegal immigrants, he will foment the divisive politics of race. Mr Trump has demanded trade concessions from China, Mexico and Canada on threat of tariffs and the scrapping of the North American Free Trade Agreement. His protectionism would further impoverish poor Americans, who gain more as consumers from cheap imports than they would as producers from suppressed competition. If he caused a trade war, the fragile global economy could tip into a recession. With interest rates near zero, policymakers would struggle to respond.

    Abroad Mr Trump says he hates the deal freezing Iran’s nuclear programme. If it fails, he would have to choose between attacking Iran’s nuclear sites and seeing nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. He wants to reverse the Paris agreement on climate change; apart from harming the planet, that would undermine America as a negotiating partner. Above all, he would erode America’s alliances—its greatest strength. Mr Trump has demanded that other countries pay more towards their security or he will walk away. His bargaining would weaken NATO, leaving front-line eastern European states vulnerable to Russia. It would encourage Chinese expansion in the South China Sea. Japan and South Korea may be tempted to arm themselves with nuclear weapons.

    The second reason to be wary is temperament. During the campaign Mr Trump was narcissistic, thin-skinned and ill-disciplined. Yet the job of the most powerful man in the world constantly entails daily humiliations at home and abroad. When congressmen mock him, insult him and twist his words, his effectiveness will depend on his willingness to turn the other cheek and work for a deal. When a judge hears a case for fraud against Trump University in the coming weeks, or rules against his administration’s policies when he is in office, he must stand back (self-restraint that proved beyond him when he was a candidate). When journalists ridiculed him in the campaign he threatened to open up libel laws. In office he must ignore them or try to talk them round. When sovereign governments snub him he must calculate his response according to America’s interests, not his own wounded pride. If Mr Trump fails to master his resentments, his presidency will soon become bogged down in a morass of petty conflicts.

    The third reason to be wary is the demands of office. No problem comes to the president unless it is fiendishly complicated. Yet Mr Trump has shown no evidence that he has the mastery of detail or sustained concentration that the Oval Office demands. He could delegate (as Reagan famously did), but his campaign team depended to an unusual degree on his family and on political misfits. He has thrived on the idea that his experience in business will make him a master negotiator in politics. Yet if a deal falls apart there is always another skyscraper to buy or another golf course to build; by contrast, a failure to agree with Vladimir Putin about Russia’s actions leaves nobody to turn to. Nowhere will judgment and experience be more exposed than over the control of America’s nuclear arsenal—which, in a crisis, falls to him and him alone.

    The pendulum swings out

    The genius of America’s constitution is to limit the harm one president can do. We hope Mr Trump proves our doubts groundless or that, if he fails, a better president will be along in four years. The danger with popular anger, though, is that disillusion with Mr Trump will only add to the discontent that put him there in the first place. If so, his failure would pave the way for someone even more bent on breaking the system.

    The election of Mr Trump is a rebuff to all liberals, including this newspaper. The open markets and classically liberal democracy that we defend, and which had seemed to be affirmed in 1989, have been rejected by the electorate first in Britain and now in America. France, Italy and other European countries may well follow. It is clear that popular support for the Western order depended more on rapid growth and the galvanising effect of the Soviet threat than on intellectual conviction. Recently Western democracies have done too little to spread the benefits of prosperity. Politicians and pundits took the acquiescence of the disillusioned for granted. As Mr Trump prepares to enter the White House, the long, hard job of winning the argument for liberal internationalism begins anew.

    From the print edition: Leaders
     
  2. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    Trump cosmbined two large groups in the USA in to powerful voting block. One was those that are against abortion and most of the rest are religious or racial bigots. Trump is much like Putin and just has Putin and China have been invading and annexing territory and even becoming more admired and popular I would expect the same from Trump.
     
  3. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    Please take a look at this:

    VotesBreakdown2016.jpg
     
  4. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    Trump will be busy, he has to build a 2000 mile wall, round up and deport 11 million illegal immigrants and take away the health insurance from 20 million people and rewrite all the trade agreements.
     
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  5. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    :pop:
     
  6. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    You don't have the manpower for either.
     
  7. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    It should create a lot of jobs.
     
  8. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    You can't though. Otherwise you would be spending billions every year to no avail. It's because illegal immigrants will keep coming in some way or the other.
     
  9. Nilgiri

    Nilgiri Lieutenant GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    [​IMG]

    Trump be like :basketball:

    ==========================

    BTW well worth reading:

    The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so.

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.

    This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’s be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.

    So much for that. The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.

    And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.

    It’s a profound failure of empathy in the service of endless posturing. There’s been some sympathy from the press, sure: the dispatches from “heroin country” that read like reports from colonial administrators checking in on the natives. But much of that starts from the assumption that Trump voters are backward, and that it’s our duty to catalogue and ultimately reverse that backwardness. What can we do to get these people to stop worshiping their false god and accept our gospel?

    We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice.

    You’d think that Trump’s victory – the one we all discounted too far in advance – would lead to a certain newfound humility in the political press. But of course that’s not how it works. To us, speaking broadly, our diagnosis was still basically correct. The demons were just stronger than we realized.

    This is all a “whitelash,” you see. Trump voters are racist and sexist, so there must be more racists and sexists than we realized. Tuesday night’s outcome was not a logic-driven rejection of a deeply flawed candidate named Clinton; no, it was a primal scream against fairness, equality, and progress. Let the new tantrums commence!

    That’s the fantasy, the idea that if we mock them enough, call them racist enough, they’ll eventually shut up and get in line. It’s similar to how media Twitter works, a system where people who dissent from the proper framing of a story are attacked by mobs of smugly incredulous pundits. Journalists exist primarily in a world where people can get shouted down and disappear, which informs our attitudes toward all disagreement.

    Journalists increasingly don’t even believe in the possibility of reasoned disagreement, and as such ascribe cynical motives to those who think about things a different way. We see this in the ongoing veneration of “facts,” the ones peddled by explainer websites and data journalists who believe themselves to be curiously post-ideological.

    That the explainers and data journalists so frequently get things hilariously wrong never invites the soul-searching you’d think it would. Instead, it all just somehow leads us to more smugness, more meanness, more certainty from the reporters and pundits. Faced with defeat, we retreat further into our bubble, assumptions left unchecked. No, it’s the voters who are wrong.

    As a direct result, we get it wrong with greater frequency. Out on the road, we forget to ask the right questions. We can’t even imagine the right question. We go into assignments too certain that what we find will serve to justify our biases. The public’s estimation of the press declines even further -- fewer than one-in-three Americans trust the press, per Gallup -- which starts the cycle anew.

    There’s a place for opinionated journalism; in fact, it’s vital. But our causal, profession-wide smugness and protestations of superiority are making us unable to do it well.

    Our theme now should be humility. We must become more impartial, not less so. We have to abandon our easy culture of tantrums and recrimination. We have to stop writing these know-it-all, 140-character sermons on social media and admit that, as a class, journalists have a shamefully limited understanding of the country we cover.

    What’s worse, we don’t make much of an effort to really understand, and with too few exceptions, treat the economic grievances of Middle America like they’re some sort of punchline. Sometimes quite literally so, such as when reporters tweet out a photo of racist-looking Trump supporters and jokingly suggest that they must be upset about free trade or low wages.

    We have to fix this, and the broken reasoning behind it. There’s a fleeting fun to gang-ups and groupthink. But it’s not worth what we are losing in the process

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/comment...ness-of-the-press-presidential-election-2016/

    Some in the MSM finally get it, it seems. But will enough do so? Either way they are going to be deconstructed severely (by choice or force) over the coming years....and it will be long overdue.
     
  10. DrSomnath999

    DrSomnath999 Major RESEARCHER

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    what about groping laws ??

    would groping be legalised in America after trump wins ??:feminist:

    Trump had said to sue those womens who maligned him for sexual assault charges .What would happen to them .

    What would be the punishment for those women after trump becoming president ??
    ans -Might be life time imprisonment in dungeon & groped to death :sarcastic:

    CHEERS
     
  11. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    That CBS guy has correctly identified the problem, but it is wider than just journalists. Elites are by their nature separated from the society at large, be it political elite, academia, or the media. This is especially problematic in the media which is owned by the rich for the most part, as is the political elite itself. Over here, many of the so-called elite are dismayed that the Trump had won, but really, what was the choice? To let the Hillary - a proven traitor - win? More importantly, Trump's victory is backlash against the non-human system which has thrown the people to the streets, backlash against the elites which sent the common man to dig through garbage dumps just to survive while they live on bribes and bonuses.
     
  12. Nilgiri

    Nilgiri Lieutenant GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    The 1st amendment is what is relevant. Trump was talking, not doing.....and it was in hypotheticals not confirmation of action.

    People that make false accusations and defame people get their day in court if the person they targetted files charges. Lets see what happens.
     
  13. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    http://www.economist.com/news/unite...d-frances-national-front-probably-what-expect

    The Trump administration
    What to expect
    Something between Reaganism and France’s National Front, probably

    [​IMG]
    Get to work, Mike

    AMERICA is about to take a hard right turn. All that is in doubt is whether the final destination is one that Ronald Reagan might have saluted—a country of low taxes, light regulation and free markets, in which individuals and businesses are free to seek prosperity with a minimum of government involvement—or a more nationalist, populist and even statist place, with questions of law, order, identity and cultural tradition playing a role that demagogic European politicians might both recognise and applaud.

    In their hearts many Republican leaders in Congress prefer something closer to the first vision. But on the morning after election day the party’s keeper of the Reaganite flame, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, stepped to a podium in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, and pledged fealty to Donald Trump. Mr Ryan, a free-trader and fiscal conservative who had rebuked Mr Trump several times during the campaign, credited the president-elect with securing a mandate for his version of government. He thanked Mr Trump for providing electoral coat-tails long enough to create the first unified Republican government in Washington since 2007.

    But if Mr Ryan and his fellow congressional leaders are to survive this new order, they will have to embrace some unfamiliar positions. Mr Trump won office by challenging Republican orthodoxy on trade barriers (he likes them, though they alarm big business), spending (the president-elect sees no pressing need to reform Social Security payments to the old), relations with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin (Mr Trump is a fan) and immigration. Trump supporters are sure they have been promised that government agents will round up and expel millions of foreigners without the right papers, possibly including hundreds of thousands of youngsters brought to the country as children and shielded from deportation by executive orders signed by Barack Obama. They also expect a wall on the border with Mexico, and something tangible will probably have to be built to stem a voter-revolt—though Congress may balk at spending the vast sums needed for the fortifications Mr Trump has described.

    [​IMG]


    Many in the party are now eager to show that it can synthesise long-held conservative principles with Mr Trump’s worldview. Mr Ryan talked of freeing ordinary workers from the Obamacare health law. Signalling an all-out assault on the environmental rules and schemes that Mr Obama had hoped would be a big part of his legacy, Mr Ryan spoke of reining in oppressive federal officials to save the livelihoods of coal miners, farmers and ranchers who use public lands in Western states. Yet Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, moved quickly after the election to quash Mr Trump’s promises to impose term limits on members of Congress as part of a plan to change the culture in Washington.

    Optimistic Republicans predict that Mr Trump will be a sort of CEO-president, setting grand strategy while delegating day-to-day governance to Congress and to his vice-president, Mike Pence, a sternly conventional Christian and fiscal conservative who served in the House of Representatives before becoming governor of Indiana. They describe Mr Trump as a boss who disdains policy memos in favour of face-to-face briefings, and is more fussed by what works and what resonates with his base of working-class voters than with the niceties of ideology. Republicans certainly have a chance to shape America as they will. Mr Trump will get to appoint at least one justice to the Supreme Court, and in the country at large will enjoy support from 34 Republican governors. Overall the party of Mr Obama is weaker than it has been in generations, and faces still more losses in 2018, when the Senate map strongly favours Republicans.

    Expect conservative action in every field of domestic policy. Obamacare will be an early target for dismantling, says Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, a surgeon by background and a member of the Senate leadership. Several colleagues credit the unpopularity of the health law with securing their re-election this week, Mr Barrasso says. Republicans do not need to present a 2,000-page replacement bill on the Senate floor, he explains—Mr Trump can do a lot to dismember the law by appointing a new Health and Human Services Secretary who relaxes the many rules and mandates in the act, as Congress prepares alternatives that use tax credits, savings accounts and greater competition to provide cheaper, if less comprehensive health cover. With tens of millions of Americans covered by Obamacare, Republicans will look to states to step in and take the lead role currently played by the federal government, though Democrats predict millions will still fall through the gaps.

    Congressional bosses and Trump advisers predict swift moves to expand production of American gas, oil and coal, whether by building new pipelines (including the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada), easing exports of natural gas or opening public lands to new drilling and mining. Environmental agencies and the Department of the Interior will be staffed with pro-business executives, says a senior Trump adviser, following the dictum that “personnel is policy.”

    Change of climate

    Business leaders tipped for such posts as energy secretary or interior secretary include Harold Hamm, an Oklahoma oilman, and Forrest Lucas, the founder of an energy-services firm. Campaign advisers have told Mr Trump—who has called climate change a hoax—that domestic energy output could be increased by $150bn a year, and have urged him to swiftly withdraw from climate change commitments made by Mr Obama. They predict that a new conservative majority in the Supreme Court will doom the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era scheme to limit coal’s use in electricity generation, and kill rules that increased federal oversight over waterways. President Trump probably has the legal power to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, ratified by America this year, though it might take time. Expect lawsuits from Democratic-run states, demanding more federal action to curb greenhouse gases as pollutants.

    A senior economic adviser suggests that Mr Trump could achieve sweeping tax cuts within his first 100 days. Trimming corporate tax rates may be politically easier than reforming taxation on individuals, including popular tax breaks on mortgage interest. A Trump administration may offer big firms an amnesty if they repatriate profits held overseas, spending some of the proceeds on big new infrastructure schemes, though in the Senate Mr McConnell has suggested infrastructure is not a high priority.

    Mr Trump’s populist rhetoric may not stop him appointing Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker and finance director of the Trump campaign as his Treasury secretary. Other big jobs are expected to be offered to Republicans who came out early for the president-elect, such as Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, an anti-immigration hardliner and close adviser, and a former mayor of New York (and campaign attack dog), Rudy Giuliani. Representative Tom Price of Georgia is spoken of as a possible budget chief in the White House, while contenders for secretary of state include a former House speaker, Newt Gingrich, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey (who is also talked of as attorney-general, but reportedly thinks the job insufficiently grand). National-security posts are likely to go to such advisers as Lieut-General Michael Flynn, a fiery Obama-critic and former head of the Defence Intelligence Agency, and another retired three-star general, Keith Kellogg.

    During the campaign foreign-policy grandees from prior Republican administrations were among Mr Trump’s harshest critics, shuddering at his geopolitical views. Now they must decide whether to help a new president with no experience in public office. Stephen Hadley, a national security adviser in George W. Bush’s White House who refrained from comment on Mr Trump, is tipped to be one of them.

    From the print edition: United States
     
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  14. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    I can see protests in the Vietnam style era if Trump carries through with campaign promises on health care and deportations. We will have to see. Not sure how well grounded Trump is in reality.
     
  15. Gessler

    Gessler Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    To be honest, I think even Trump himself never thought he'll win. Right now I think he's somewhat uncertain on how to proceed for the immediate future.
     
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