VAL 2016 | Mycket har skrivits om Donald Trump. En hel del har varit direkt hysteriskt och verklighetsfrämmande.
Det har gjorts få balanserade försök att ge en realistisk bild av vad Trum skulle kunna åstadkomma om han verkligen valdes till president.
Istället har vi matats med fåniga försök att jämföra Trump med Adolf Hitler. Och precis som alla republikanska politiker försöker Trumps anhängare jämföra kandidaten med Ronald Reagan. Båda har lika fel.
Det amerikanska politiska systemet ger inte presidenten fria händer att göra som han eller hon vill. Presidentens makt är inte oinskränkt. Inte ens när det gäller inom försvars- och utrikespolitiken.
Detta borde vara uppenbart för alla som exempelvis studerat Barack Obamas bataljer med kongressen under de senaste två mandatperioderna.
Alla som är intresserade av amerikansk politik borde därför läsa Matthew Coppers analys i Newsweek. Han ger en realistisk bild av Trumps möjligheter att få igenom den politik som han baserar sin kampanj på.
Om Trumps potential skall jämföras med någon historisk föregångare så är det inte, enligt Copper, någon auktoritär diktator utan snarare de tidigare presidenterna Dwight D. Eisenhower och Jimmy Carter.
Demokraten Carter anses allmänt vara en av de mer mediokra presidenterna i modern tid.
Och man får gå tillbaka till republikanen Eisenhower för att hitta någon som helt saknade politisk erfarenhet innan de blev valda.
Även Trump saknar politisk erfarenhet. Detta är en anledning till hans popularitet men det kommer också påverka hans administrations effektivitet om han blir vald. Precis som det påverkade Eisenhowers och Obama idag.
The comedian Louis C.K. wrote to his fans that “Trump is Hitler,” another “funny and refreshing dude with a weird comb-over.” On the left, The Washington Post and Slate columnists have likened Trump to a fascist. In a case of rare agreement across party lines, conservatives have used a similar description. Conservative author Matt Lewis has called Trump an avatar of white-identity politics. And the haters have a lot of fodder. The mogul began his campaign saying Mexico was sending the U.S. “rapists,” then proposed a loopy and bigoted ban on Muslim immigration “until we figure out what the hell is going on” (whatever that means). Trump continues to lambaste the media at his rallies, referring to them as “the worst.” At least two journalists say they’ve been roughed up at Trump events without provocation—one of them is a woman who writes for a conservative publication and claims it was Trump’s campaign manager who left her bruised, a charge Trump’s people vigorously deny. This isn’t the Beer Hall Putsch, but it is ugly.
Trump isn’t Hitler. He isn’t a fascist either—although he has, despite a career of deal-making, the my-way-or-the-highway proclivities of a Latin American strongman, which would be worrisome if America were Bolivia and not an enduring democracy. […] He’s also not a savior. Due to his solipsistic personality and vague, unworkable policies, he could never be what he promises to be if elected. But that doesn’t make him the sum of all fears.
The unspectacular truth is that a Trump presidency would probably be marked by the quotidian work of so many other presidents—trying to sell Congress and the public on proposals while fighting off not only a culture of protest but also the usual swarm of lobbyists who kill any interesting idea with ads and donations. […] Trump is no match for the American political system, with its three branches of government. The president, as famed political scientist Richard Neustadt once said, has to take an inherently weak position and use the powers of persuasion to get others to do what he wants.
Could Trump blow up those legendary checks and balances and make America a fascist state? Oh, please. …] Trump’s more likely to end up like Jimmy Carter—a poor craftsman of legislation and a crushing disappointment to his supporters. Since World War II, only Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have left office with high approval numbers. Presidents generally end their tenure not with a bullet in a bunker but with a whimper.
But to actually accomplish even modest legislative goals, let alone become a 21st-century führer, is beyond the mogul’s ken. Philosopher Leo Strauss coined the term reductio ad Hitlerum, the common tendency to reduce all arguments to Hitler, or to always see an action leading to Nazism. In its more extreme forms, you get statements like “You-know-who was also a vegetarian.” Trump’s displays of bigotry during the primary, most notably his call for a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslims entering the U.S., are abhorrent, but they don’t put the America on a fast track toward the Third Reich—not unless you believe Congress, business, the armed forces, the judiciary and so on are all willing to start setting up internment camps. The U.S., with its unemployment rate of less than 5 percent and minuscule inflation, is a country where retirees try to get better yield, not the hyperinflation Weimar Republic that gave birth to Hitler. Fascism, with its totalitarian control of society and the economy—“Nazi” was short for National Socialists—doesn’t describe Trump’s views, even if former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, throw around the term fascist when bad-mouthing the billionaire.
But one thing we know is that Trump is used to having his way. Eisenhower, the last president who had never held elective office before entering the White House, might be the closest thing we have to a useful comparison. Many worried that the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe would flounder in a system where his commands were not instantly met with a salute. ”He’ll sit there all day saying, ‘Do this, do that,’ and nothing will happen,” lamented Harry Truman as he readied to turn over the presidency to the five-star general. “Poor Ike—it won’t be a bit like the military. He’ll find it very frustrating.”
It’s extremely unlikely anyone will ever utter the phrase “poor Donald.” And we should allow for the possibility that, like Eisenhower, he would be a successful president. His business has its eye-rolling qualities (mmm, Trump Steaks), but he does cut deals and, in case you hadn’t heard, even wrote a book about it. Trump has positive qualities that detractors should recognize: ideological flexibility, an ability to negotiate, great communication skills. However, they seem easily overwhelmed by his obvious flaws: bigoted policies that target religions and utterances that slander Mexicans, a brash and imperious style, a tendency to hold grudges long beyond their sell-by date. Ultimately, Eisenhower’s weak grip on Washington was a contributing factor to the rise of anti-Communist crusader Senator Joseph McCarthy.
It’s more than likely Trump would wind up being just another president on the alphabetical roll call, nestled between the memorable Truman and the utterly forgettable John Tyler, distinguished more by his hue, his bullying and his encouragement of other bullies than by any lasting damage done to a republic that has endured far worse.
Tidskriftsomslag: Newsweek, 25 mars 2016.