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Posts Tagged ‘Ronald Reagan’

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VAL 2016 | Mycket har skrivits om Donald Trump. En hel del har varit direkt hysteriskt och verklighetsfrämmande.

Newsweek 25 mars 2016

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.

Copper skriver:

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.

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VAL 2016 | Det fascinerande med Donald Trump är att han inte låter som andra politiker med sina på förhand testade svar på frågor.

The Hollywood Reporter - August 2015 - Issue 28

Trumps frispråkighet är en del av hans kampanjstrategi. Han vågar t.o.m. vara kritisk när det gäller delar av Ronald Reagan politik. Vilket inte säger lite när det gäller republikanska presidentkandidater.

Jämför man Trump med övriga republikanska presidentkandidater (eller demokratiska för den delen) framstår de som riktiga sömnpiller.

Här är ett exempel från Janice Mins intervju med Trump för tidskriften The Hollywood Reporter tidigare i år.

You voted for Reagan, right?

I did. I was friendly with him.

Is he your model?

No, he’s not a model. I didn’t like NAFTA [NAFTA was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993, but Reagan first proposed a ”North American accord” in a 1979 speech, and a precursor to NAFTA was signed by the U.S. and Canada in 1988.], I didn’t like some of the economic policies. But he was a man that I respected and liked, and he liked me.

But he also could broach moderates, conservatives, Democrats.

He did. Well, he was a Democrat with a liberal bent as a younger man. And then he became a conservative Republican. He had a great way about him. A great sense of dignity. And he was a wonderful father for the country in a sense. He had a great feel for what the country represents.

[…]

If you’re in this for the long haul, do you have to be more diplomatic in the media?

A little bit. A little more selective, I would say, more than diplomatic. And I’m very capable of doing that.

You’re friends with the WWE’s Vince McMahon. Critics have said your campaign is like pro wrestling — it’s just theatrics.

One of the reasons I tell people about my level of intelligence — like, for instance, I had an uncle, Dr. John Trump, who was at MIT, like totally brilliant, became a professor at MIT — is when you’re a Republican conservative, you have to build up your credentials a little bit. But I can pivot any way. I can be a very elegant, highly refined person, I can be a very politically correct person where I would never ever say anything that’s even slightly over the edge, or I can be who I want to be. It’s very time-consuming to be politically correct. And I don’t have the time. It’s also very boring to be politically correct. Right? You wouldn’t be here if I was totally politically correct.

[…]

Obviously, the power of your celebrity and brand means something.

If I weren’t a successful person, it wouldn’t work as well. Voters have great confidence in me because I really have been successful. I have an income of over $400 million a year. I don’t need anybody’s money. I was offered $5 million last week by a lobbyist to put in the campaign. I said, ”No, I don’t need it.” He said, ”What do you mean, ‘I don’t need it?’ ” I said I don’t need it. This is a guy that I know well, a good lobbyist, a tough cookie. He’s not giving to me because he thinks I have the most beautiful hair he’s ever seen. He’s giving to me because when he has one of his companies in trouble or needs something, they want to call me and say, ”Hey, Don, how you doing? Remember me?” I don’t need that stuff. Whereas Jeb Bush, with $114 million that he raised [so far this year], and Hillary with the $60 million [CBS News reports she raised $47 million in the campaign’s first quarter] and everyone else with the money they raised, they’re going to be called upon, and they’re going to have to do those things like little puppets. So people do respect that about me. I don’t need it.

[…]

These campaigns get dirty and ugly. Would you ever use Karl Rove?

No. Is he a friend of yours?

No, but he’s been a godfather of elections for the GOP.

What happened is Karl Rove in the last cycle spent $436 million, and he didn’t win one race. And on election evening [when he challenged Fox News’ Obama victory prediction], he had a bad night. The result was wrong! I guess you’re using that name as an example. I’ve got a lot of people against me. And in a way, it emboldens me. I don’t like it, but it emboldens me. I mean, Fox has not been nice to me, in my opinion. Not just at the debate. You see some of these pundits get on, and they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’ve been predicting my doom for a year.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Hollywood Reporter, augusti 2015, (nummer 28).

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Roger Stone, politisk rådgivare till bl.a. Rickard Nixon, Ronald Reagan och George H. W. Bush, förklarar, med utgångspunkt från valrörelsen mellan Barack Obama och John McCain, vad som krävs för att vinna ett presidentval.

You basically have to do three things to win. Define yourself. Define the other guy. The other person. And define the issues on which the election is going to be decided. In other word dominate the dialogue. If you do those three things you will win. If you fail to do those three things you lose.

Mer: Del I och del II av intervjun med Stone i TPMtv (Talking Points Memo TV). 

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USA | Hillary Clinton – om hon vinner valet – kommer att likna Ronald Reagan mer än Barack Obama. Denna tes framför Roland Poirier Martinsson i Sans.

Sans nr 4 2014

Martinsson är kolumnist i Svenska Dagbladet och numera bosatt i Austin i Texas. Han skriver så här om Clinton:

Skulle hon vinna och flytta in i Vita Huset med Bill som Rikets Förste Herre, då kommer en stor andel av hennes supportrar snart att bli besvikna, och många av hennes hårdaste motståndare att tänka att det kanske inte var så farligt trots allt. Hillary Clinton är en hårdför och realistisk politiker, som inte kommer att kompromissa med USA:s ställning i världen (i det avseendet finner vi med stor sannolikhet en av meningsskiljaktigheterna mellan henne och president Obama). Hon inser betydelsen av en balanserad budget, och i tjugo år har hon och maken varit stolta över hur USA:s ekonomi under Bill Clinton tid i Vita Huset uppvisade både rekordtillväxt och budgetöverskott.

Det skulle inte förvåna om hon blir den förste demokratiske presidenten i mannaminne som väljer landet före partiet när det är gäller underskott och statsskuld. Chansen är dessutom stor att hon kommer att ha en välvilligt inställd republikans kongress att samarbeta med. Och hon kommer inte att bry sig särskilt mycket om ett eventuellt omval.

Sammanfattningsvis kommer det faktum att Hillary är kvinna varken att gynna eller missgynna henne, hon har en god chans att vinna om hon ställer upp, vilket hon gör om inte hälsan kommer i vägen, och om hon vinner kommer hon att bli den bästa högerpresidenten sedan Ronald Reagan.

Artikeln tar upp en lång rad intressanta vinklar på fenomenet Hillary Clinton. Mycket låter trovärdigt. Men ovanstående citat låter betydligt mindre realistiskt i dagsläget.

Clinton kommer inte att kompromissa om USA:s ”ställning i världen” skriver Martinsson. Det hänger mycket samman med vad man menar med att inte kompromissa.

Kommer hon verkligen att återta initiativet gentemot Ryssland och Kina? Det kommer att kräva en vilja att visa musklerna. Och då inte bara symboliskt.

Det samma kan man fråga sig angående Mellanöstern. USA:s anseende blir inte lätt att återupprätta i regionen. Vare sig Israel eller de allierade konservativa arabstaterna kommer låta sig imponeras av bara retorik.

Men vi kan alltid hoppas. Men ingenting under hennes tid som utrikesminister tydde t.ex. på att hon lyckades få president Obama att ändra sin utrikespolitik. Någon skillnad mellan utrikespolitiken under Clinton och under John Kerry är svårt att urskilja.

Det andra antagande från Martinsson är att republikanerna plötsligt skulle vilja kompromissa om bara Clinton blir president. Det är svårt att förstå varför de skulle vilja ändra stil.

Bara för att hon var (relativt) respekterad och populär som senator betyder inte att hon även blir det som president. Och kommer republikanerna verkligen vilja kompromissa om man förlorar ännu ett presidentval? Svårt att tro.

Får de dessutom behålla makten i kongressen finns det inte mycket att vinna på att börja kompromissa. Republikanerna ovilja att samarbeta med Obama hänger inte bara samman med att man tycker illa om hans politik.

Det hänger minst lika mycket samman med en genomtänkt strategi. Strategin var synlig redan från första början, redan från dag ett.

Man ville se till att så få förändringar som möjligt skulle kunna rota sig. Det var en fördröjningstaktik i väntan på att man skulle vinna tillbaka Vita Huset.

Det kan liknas vid den brända jordens strategi som Ryssland använde sig av mot Napoleon och under andra världskriget.

Genom att förstöra allt, och sedan dra sig tillbaka i försvarsposition, gjorde man det omöjligt för fienden att vinna kriget.

Roland Poirier Martinsson har nog också en lite väl romantisk bild av Clinton när han skriver att hon kommer att välja ”landet före partiet när det är gäller underskott och statsskuld”.

Om detta syftar på demokraterna i kongressen har Martinsson kanske rätt. Men knappast om det handlar om att bli återvald.

Slutligen kan man anta att anledningen till att Martinsson skriver att Clinton nog kommer att bli ”den bästa högerpresidenten sedan Ronald Reagan” nog mer handlar om att han vill retas lite med tidskriftens läsare.

Inget gör en typisk kulturradikal (liberal eller socialistisk, välj själv) mer upprörd än en positiv förebild jämförs med Reagan.

Trots allt är det nog mer realistiskt att jämföra en president Hillary med den fyrtioandra presidenten, d.v.s. Bill Clinton. Mannen som kan bli USA:s First Dude.

Tidskriftsomslag: Sans, nr 4: 2014

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VAL 1966 | Matthew Dalleks bok fokuserar författaren på ett område som andra författare tidigare ignorerat när det gäller Ronald Reagan.

The Right Moment by Matthew Dallek

Dallek konstaterar att t.o.m. Reagans officiella levnadstecknare, Edmund Morris, avverkar 1966 års guvernörsval i Kalifornien på ett par sidor.

Detta trots att valet var en av de viktiga vändpunkterna i USA:s historia. Reagans seger över sin demokratiska motståndare, guvernör Edmund ”Pat” Brown, blev början på vad som har kommit att kallas Reagans revolution.

Strategin som användes i valkampanjen – att koncentrera sig på ekonomi, lag och ordning och försvarsfrågor – var den samma som tog Reagan till Vita huset 1981.

Så här skriver Dallek om valets betydelse för den konservativa revolution som bar Reagans namn.

In truth the Reagan revolution began in 1966, and it was not primarily about economics or foreign policy. Reagan’s stunning, out-of-nowhere victory in the California governor’s race against two-term incumbent and Democratic giant Pat Brown marked the arrival of the Right in postwar American politics. Reagan’s leadership of that movement is perhaps his most enduring legacy.

[…]

Ronald Reagan’s race against Pat Brown — the real Reagan revolution — began as a debate about retaking control of a society in chaos. What Ronald Reagan stood for above all was law and order.

Reagan and Brown clashed on every issue, major and minor, of the day. Understanding the collapse of the liberal order and the rise of the conservative movement requires understanding how Reagan and Brown, during the several years leading up to 1966, came to embrace such bitterly opposed visions of government and society.

Reagan was a card-carrying conservative, Brown a proud liberal. For Reagan, opposing communism was paramount. For Brown, anticommunism was but one issue in foreign affairs and a nonissue at home. Reagan saw the welfare-state policies of recent decades as a slippery slope toward socialism. Brown viewed governmental programs as the best way to achieve a ”great society.” Reagan denounced moral decline on campus; Brown thanked God for the spectacle of students protesting. Brown seized an opportunity to lead the civil rights movement into the new frontier of fair housing; Reagan believed that even the 1964 Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional. Faced with urban riots, Brown looked to government to help eradicate poverty; Reagan vowed zero tolerance for criminals.

[…]

It was Reagan’s promise to arrest moral decline that won him a million-vote victory over the popular incumbent, who had beaten Richard Nixon in 1962 and seemed destined to usher in California’s progressive future.

[…]

In 1966 these two titans faced off in a battle of worldviews. Law and order was the hinge on which an era turned, yet the particular strategies involved were crucial. For the first time, the conservative movement was able to distance itself from the anticommunist fringe. For the first time, the conservatives learned how to push the right buttons on key issues, from race and riots to war and crime. Reagan successfully linked the liberal social programs of the ’60s with disorder in the streets, and offered an alternative vision of what government should and should not do. The Reagan revolution would prove so lasting because the formulas developed in the heat of the moment — pro-social order, pro-individual liberty, anti-government meddling — had a lasting appeal. Americans, like most people, crave peace and prosperity. The Reagan revolution has come to be associated with the free market. Yet at its origins, and perhaps still today, it is equally about social order.

Bild: The Right Moment: Ronald Reagan’s First Victory and the Decisive Turning Point in American Politics av Matthew Dallek.

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Ad--How Ronald Reagan discovered v-8

How Ronald Reagan Discovered V-8, reklam från 1951.

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