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Publicat în 8 februarie 2017, 17:09 / 1190 elite & idei

Alexandru Georgescu: The Genesis of a President and the Four Horsemen of the Establishment’s Trumpocalypse

Alexandru Georgescu: The Genesis of a President and the Four Horsemen of the Establishment’s Trumpocalypse

by Alexandru Georgescu

Donald Trump’s stunning electoral upset presages a new political realignment within the United States’ two-party system. Hopefully, the end of such a process will be a more competitive system, in which the preferences of the large and increasingly heterogenous American population are better aggregated and reflected in the resulting public policies. The US is no stranger to such shifts, as canny politicians have, in the past, taken advantage of turbulence to ride a wave of discontent to power and remake the electoral landscape. The most recent one was Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” which saw conservative Southern Democrats turn Republican and liberal Republicans turn democrat, anticipating the red state-blue state divide that we have today and especially the rural-urban divide. Later, the stirrings of another realignment were felt in the support given to President Reagan by blue-collar workers, who were traditionally Democratic voters. With Trump’s election, the shift is becoming permanent, with the Republicans seemingly on their way towards becoming a non-interventionist, labor and protectionist party. Of course, a Trump impeachment or scandal may derail not only his Presidency, but also his nascent Trumpist ideology, partly undoing some of these transformations.

The “Establishment” is uniquely injured by his rise, and therefore at its most dangerous, since it threatens not only the status-quo that enriched its members and gave them influence, but also the underpinnings of their worldview. A political realignment is a major upheaval for the Party nomenclatures, the Think Tanks, the donor alliances and the partisan media outlets which must now navigate a politically unfamiliar world in which their own status hangs in the balance. As the saying goes, it is easy for a man to not understand something when his salary depends on his continued ignorance. However, these formal and informal institutions enumerated above are part of the critical mechanism for the formulation of policy preferences and the intermediation between the governed and the centers of power. Schadenfreude at their panicked flailing should be accompanied by anxiety regarding the effect that such upheavals may have on the body politic and the public discourses of the nation.

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