VAL 2016 | Donald Trumps protektionistiska politik går tvärt emot det egna partiets nyliberala inställning i ekonomiska frågor.
Men protektionism har en lång historia i amerikansk politik. Under slutet av 1800-talet var det etablissemangets åsikt i det republikanska partiet medan frihandelsvännerna var i klar minoritet.
Idag kan vi konstatera att en anledning till Trumps framgångar är just hans villighet att gå emot sitt egets partis ideologiska fundament på det ekonomiskt-politiska området.
The Economist, under hela sin existens en frihandelsvänlig röst med nyliberala tendenser på det sociala området, gillar inte vad de har sett av Trump.
Samtidigt konstaterar tidskriften att han uppenbart har förmåga att känna in vad väljarna vill höra. Åtminstone vissa delar av väljarkåren. Om detta sedan räcker i en valkampanj mot Hillary Clinton lär vi snart få se.
I en längre artikel – ”Fear trumps hope” – skriver The Economist så här:
His electoral success is founded on espousing a view of America both exceptionally bleak and widely shared. Two-thirds of Americans think the economy is rigged in favour of the rich; almost seven in ten believe their politicians don’t care about ordinary Americans.
Mr Trump inflates and conflates these problems into an absurd caricature of undiluted failure and decline. “We’re like a third-world country,” he laments. America “makes the worst trade deals ever made in the history of trade…We’ve spent $4 trillion in the Middle East and we’re in far worse shape than we were before…China, it doesn’t respect us.” He must believe some of this; his opposition to free trade is long-standing. Yet his miserabilism is plainly tactical. It gives him opportunity to throw a few popular scapegoats to his despondent supporters: job-stealing illegal immigrants—including the “rapist” Mexicans he denounced when he launched his campaign; factory-killing Chinese trade negotiators, whom he accused this week of “raping” America; “incompetent” and “crooked” politicians.
His unusual talents are part of the answer. Charismatic, tactically astute, charming at times and ruthless, Mr Trump is a far more formidable politician than almost anyone had suspected. His outrages have kept print- and broadcast-media attention focused on him; with nearly 8m followers on Twitter and a flair for pithy invective, he rules on social media, too. At the time of his entry into the race, his slander against Mexicans seemed naive as well as boorish; it now seems remarkable how well-formed his pitch to resentful, working-class whites was. He says this was because he understands and shares their concerns. “I worked summers when I was going to school with carpenters and electricians. You know my father was a builder in Brooklyn and Queens, predominantly…I worked with all of these guys, I know these guys.” That has a rare ring of truth. Expedience explains his positions on many issues, including guns, which he once disliked and now advocates, abortion, which he once accepted and now opposes, God, in Whom he previously showed little interest but now praises. His xenophobia and protectionism, however, have form.
Newspaper clippings suggest he vigorously opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993: “The Mexicans want it and that doesn’t sound good to me,” he was reported as saying.
Yet if Mr Trump’s supporters like his message, many are also motivated by disdain for the party bosses who so haplessly opposed him. Exit polls in Indiana suggested half of Republican voters felt “betrayed” by their party.
Second, years of partisan grandstanding in Congress have discredited America’s entire political process, and the Republicans—especially those of them thrust to power by the party’s previous populist insurgency, the Tea Party—are mainly responsible.
In that sense, the Trumpian revolt is not a continuation of the false promise raised by the anti-government Tea Party, but its successor. With Mr Trump’s nomination almost assured, its fires, too, must now rage and burn out.
Trump against Clinton: the general election is shaping up to be hot and ugly. There appears to be little prospect of Mr Trump moderating his positions, by lurching to the more ameliorative centre that Republican leaders—fearing electoral annihilation—recommend. Whether he believes in his positions or not, they are mostly too extreme to be credibly revised. Apparently vindicated by his success in the primaries, Mr Trump seems to have little interest in changing tack. That also goes for his aggressive, often offensive methods. Turning to Mrs Clinton, his one-time wedding guest, the presumptive Republican nominee is disdainful. “She’s playing the woman card. That’s all she’s got going. She’s got nothing else going. The only thing she’s got is the woman card. And she plays it to the hilt,” fumes Mr Trump, whom 70% of American women dislike.
Tidskriftsomslag: The Economist, 7-13 maj 2016.