President-Elect Trump

Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States.

Trump-NYTYes, I got this wrong.  I was wrong about the nomination and wrong about the eventual outcome.  I hope that I am wrong about what a disaster this is going to be.  I never thought that he could compete in MI, PA, and WI.  Yet, here we are.

I am concerned now about what a Trump administration will mean about the national and international economy (and, clearly, global markets share my concerns).  I am concerned about what a Trump administration will mean about the long established international order.  Will he, in fact, weaken NATO?  Will he actually encourage nuclear proliferation?  Will he make foreign policy decisions that will increase Russian influence in Europe and the Middle East?  Will his strident anti-Muslim rhetoric actually help motivate and recruit terrorists?  Will his threats about NAFTA (or actions about NAFTA) lead to damage to the Mexican economy? (which will, ironically, make the immigration problem worse). There is a long list.

I am further concerned about a president who campaigned openly on xenophobia and racism and who has explicit ties to the alt-right.  What will his “law and order” point of view mean, especially for African-Americans? Will he, for example, actually seek to deport 11+ million people?

And, of course, I am profoundly concerned about a President who has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the basic functions of government and who lacks a working understanding of global affairs.

Like with Brexit, this election feels like a rejection of the global economy, a rejection of diversity, and a rejection of expert knowledge.

We have elected a real estate developed and professional celebrity who has served neither in government nor the military.  Will he appoint neophytes and cronies or will he have to rely too heavily on others to make such choices?

Of course, the next bit will be to figure out why and how.  As I have noted in multiple posts, there were key assumptions about campaigning that Trump challenged and I will leave it to those who study that aspect of American politics to start to address those questions.

Make no mistake:  this was not a normal outcome and it holds within it serious implications for domestic politics and the international order.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    Andrew Sullivan says what I am thinking…far more eloquently:

    A country designed to resist tyranny has now embraced it. A constitution designed to prevent democracy taking over everything has now succumbed to it. A country once defined by self-government has openly, clearly, enthusiastically delivered its fate into the hands of one man to do as he sees fit. After 240 years, an idea that once inspired the world has finally repealed itself. We the people did it.

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    Like with Brexit, this election feels like a rejection of the global economy, a rejection of diversity, and a rejection of expert knowledge.

    1) We can only say this is a rejection of globalism as practiced for the last thirty years.

    2) It depends upon how one defines diversity.

    3) Who defines what is “expert” and what is not? Personally, I find the term has largely lost its meaning as pundit-proliferation means anyone with a public platform and an opinion gets “expert” status.

    The assumptions behind these things need to be re-examined.

  3. Pch101 says:

    Without 60 votes in the Senate, he can’t do much in the legislature (although he will be able to inflict his damage on the Supreme Court, which is enough reason to be unhappy.)

    I wonder how his fan club will feel four years from now when NAFTA is still here, more Fords than ever are coming out of Mexico, and iPhones are still made in China. (I would say that all in all, it may be another brick in the wall, except that there won’t be any wall…)

  4. Dumb Brit says:

    Well I’m 0 for 2 with Brexit & Trump. Best case is that the new leaders will face the reality that international trade matters, climate change matters, inclusion matters and therefore try to do what is best for their countrymen, not the over-inflated rhetoric that has fired up the bases.
    If Gulliani and Gingrigh are at the heart of the new government i suspect that it will be time to really worry.

  5. C. Clavin says:

    Welcome to a world that looks like Jenos and JKB and Guarneri and bill and Florack.
    If you want to see what’s going to happen, economically, in the coming years…look no further than Kansas.
    McCarthyism, interning the Japanese…nothing compared to what’s coming to America.
    Trump spent a year preaching anti-democracy…and America embraced it. A feckless press stood by and watched, having learned nothing in the run-up to Iraq. Both sides do it…right? Now we all will pay the price.
    A global recession.
    Un-fettered pollution.
    A supreme court that cares about nothing but big business and the rights of so-called christians to impose their mis-guided beliefs on others.
    I mourn for my LGBT friends.
    Foreign trade wars.
    And not unlikely – WW3.
    Enjoy.

  6. ptfe says:

    Just throwing this out there: Trump actually has fewer raw votes than Mitt Romney got in 2012, and in most states he got the same numbers as Romney. (PA is the one exception I’ve found.) In essence, the Republicans weren’t able to attract new voters, they were only able to win by reducing votes for the opposition.

    The narrative of some sort of “wave of angry blue collar whites” is basically hash. The guy secured essentially the same demo as his predecessor, which tells us (1) there’s a remarkable tribal effect going on; (2) Republicans had no interest in outreach, which is why their message resonated among the aforementioned angry blue collar whites; and (3) Clinton was absurdly disliked/uninspiring, since she came up ~5m votes shy of Obama’s total.

    I’m deeply concerned about the racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti-intellectual toxicity of Trump and his followers.

  7. Jc says:

    Like with Brexit, this election feels like a rejection of the global economy, a rejection of diversity, and a rejection of expert knowledge.

    It is more a rejection of facts. A rejection of a changing economy that people want the government to “fix” (good luck with that), rather than asking their government for help in adapting to the changes. It is the full embrace of ignorance and belief in fairy dust promises. Sad.

    Now for the interesting part. What does this stew become – What does a GOP in full power with a President Trump actually draft as legislation? Who does Trump surround himself with, which I think is huge as I still believe he just wants the title and not the work. Who will want to work for someone who will get rid of you if his ideas fail and not acknowledge you and take credit for your ideas when they succeed?

    I only take solace that my great state of Virginia (thanks to my fine people of Northern Virginia) actually read and understand what is best for this country. If you feel lost, come here – its a beacon of intelligence – although it may get chewed apart by this new administration’s cuts

  8. michael reynolds says:

    The people in the bulls-eye are not us for the most part, it’s immigrants – Muslim and Mexican especially.

    We should be looking at ways to get states and localities to refuse to cooperate with Trump’s ICE. We need to spread an ethos of resistance to any actions against brown people, including treating informers like unpersons.

    I think we also have to withdraw the frankly mawkish degree of support we grant the military. It’s his military now, not ours.

    We should do what we can as individuals to support the people of the Baltics who Trump will undoubtedly hand over to his master, Putin. Ditto Poland. NATO should in its last days look at establishing future partisan forces inside countries likely to be taken by the Russians.

    Finally, I need some kind of sticker I can put on my passport indicating my rejection of Trump. What a humiliating time to be an American.

  9. ptfe says:

    @Jc: ” What does a GOP in full power with a President Trump actually draft as legislation?”
    @C. Clavin: “Welcome to a world that looks like Jenos and JKB and Guarneri and bill and Florack.”

    I was surprised to see Florack (in another thread) admit to concern about the damage a Trump presidency will do.

    We apparently now need to draw distinctions between populist/burn-it-all and status quo/governance Republicans. Hopefully the Senate and House are more in the second vein and don’t acquiesce to an off-the-rails President Trump. Otherwise the next 4 years (2 years? A boy can dream, can’t he?) are going to be an unmitigated disaster instead of a series of unsightly regressions.

    Regardless, any foreign policy we might have once had is going into Trump’s burn barrel. Welcome to the Irrational International Interactions Conference. Your keynote speakers today are Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. Have a glorious day!

  10. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    On top of all that…with Trump keeping control of his business while being the President, we are looking at a Russian style kleptocracy.
    Remember this day…everything is different now.

  11. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What a humiliating time to be an American.

    Exactly…I am humiliated to be an American this morning.

  12. Tillman says:

    My one solace in this shitshow of a night is McCrory went down (assuming he doesn’t win the provisional ballots) and Mike Morgan made it to the NC Supreme Court. Of course, the General Assembly is still a supermajority of Republicans so this won’t stop much.

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:

    Well, here in California we just legalized weed, so there’s that.

  14. Jc says:

    @ptfe: We still have the filibuster, right? Hopefully to mitigate some of the damage? But yes, the foreign policy direction probably scares me the most.

    Has Hannity been named the new White House Press Secretary yet? Lol, I have to take this with humor it is the only thing that can help dull the pain….

  15. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Well, here in California we just legalized weed, so there’s that.

    Trumps position is too enforce federal law to recriminalize Marijuana.

    States rights only matter for guns and charter schools.

  16. michael reynolds says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Let him try.

  17. Tillman says:

    @michael reynolds: …I had completely forgotten that. It was legalized in several states last night.

    Oh well. Life goes on.

  18. MBunge says:

    We’ve been at war for almost 15 years, we haven’t had 3+ percent GDP growth in roughly eight years, the main reason the unemployment rate has declined is that millions of people have just dropped out of the labor market, an overwhelming majority of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account, our media and political establishment has indulged and enabled the intellectual and emotional implosion of the GOP and conservatism, most of our elite can’t even acknowledge those and other problems exist and NONE of them have any idea what to do about them and the alternative offered to Trump was an old, uninspiring, uncharismatic, unaccomplished, unlikeable exemplar of the status quo who dragged 25 years of baggage and scandal with her…and you guys think bitching about Trump is where the discussion needs to start?

    Mike

  19. SKI says:

    @Pch101:

    Without 60 votes in the Senate, he can’t do much in the legislature (although he will be able to inflict his damage on the Supreme Court, which is enough reason to be unhappy.)

    @Jc:

    We still have the filibuster, right?

    If you think McConnell isn’t planning on nuking the filibuster…

  20. Argon says:

    I’m less worried about Trump himself. It’s his team of likely advisors that should worry everyone.

  21. Michael Robinson says:

    @Pch101:

    Back in the good old days, when the Republican senators believed they were looking at a Clinton victory, they were already circulating their intention to leave Scalia’s seat empty until Clinton left office.

    Do you honestly believe they are going to let traditional and customary standards of comity stand in the way of implementing the entire conservative agenda? Because, let’s be clear, they are only traditions and customs, and they are the only remaining obstacle to implementing the entire conservative agenda.

    On the first day of the new Senate, expect to see adoption of an entirely unprecedented rulebook.

  22. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @MBunge:

    the main reason the unemployment rate has declined is that millions of people have just dropped out of the labor market

    You have a point.

    Let’s get people out of higher education, and eliminate retirement and get america working.

    Look at the numbers: Are 90 million Americans not working or not looking for work?

    The total U.S. population age 16 and over is at least 243 million. Subtracting the nearly 156 million Americans in the labor force in June 2013 — that is, those who were either working or looking for work — leaves 87 million Americans, which is close to 90 million.

    However, the 90 million number is padded, since this number includes a lot of Americans who wouldn’t be expected to be working. Specifically:

    • People age 16 to 17, who likely are in high school: 9 million

    • People who are enrolled in either two- or four-year colleges: 21 million

    • People age 65 and older, who have reached retirement age: 40 million people

    That means 20 million people are of normal working age, not in college and not working. That’s less than one-quarter the amount repeatedly cited in the blogosphere.

    Now, since the economy was getting better, I would say that there may be 10 million stay-at-home moms that would easily add to that number.

    That leaves 10 million.

    My wife is desabled, and cannot work… so let’s say another 5 million for that catagory.

    That leaves 5 million.

    Considering my questionable youth, I would say that there is a very healthy “grey” economy that is intentionally unreported income. If yoou doubt that, think of all the states where Weed is still illegal, or other assorted less-than-legal occupations.

    I can see 5 million there, and I doubt if this would trade that “income” for unemployment.

    Facts. The new administration and proponents will need to get used to Facts.

  23. Pch101 says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    You don’t need to guess. The labor force participation rate measures those who aren’t working but who are not counted as unemployed.

    Most of them are retired, disabled, ill, in school or staying home to take care of others. We use unemployment data to determine who isn’t working but would like to, and those numbers are far lower.

  24. David M says:

    Isn’t this why we have the electoral college? To prevent things like this from happening?

  25. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Pch101:

    We do not disagree.

  26. grumpy realist says:

    It does look like Kansas is starting to come off its Brownbackian enthusiasm. All the Supreme Court of Kansas judges look to be returned to their seats, and several more Democratic individuals were voted in.

    Now, of course, the entire US is going to have to go through its own version of Brownbackistan until it decides that it’s a really really stupid idea.

    No wonder both China and Russia are rubbing their hands with glee and grinning from ear-to-ear. Ayn Rand was the most effective double-sided agent they ever managed to insert into the core of their rival’s belief system, bar none.

  27. Pch101 says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    I know. I’m trying to point out to the ignoramuses who rely upon email chains for their “facts” that there are guys who devote their professional lives to measuring this stuff for real.

    I find it funny that the right-wingers are quick to cite labor force participation without having understanding what it is. They don’t realize that abusing data just makes them look stupid.

  28. Jen says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Finally, I need some kind of sticker I can put on my passport indicating my rejection of Trump. What a humiliating time to be an American.

    I have a long-planned trip to Mexico scheduled for next month. How I am going to look my hosts in the eye I have yet to figure out. “It wasn’t me” just doesn’t seem to cut it.

  29. Pinky says:

    Delightful. I come back for a visit, and both Clavin and Reynolds are posting.

    I’m worried about the results of this election. A lot of what Steven said has merit. But there are no two people in the world who have exhibited less understanding of American policy and politics than Clavin and Reynolds. I don’t delight in the fact that you guys are hurting today – losing an election is always painful, and I sympathize. I delight that you two are so universally wrong that your cries of doom calm me.

  30. al-Alameda says:

    @Pinky:

    Delightful. I come back for a visit, and both Clavin and Reynolds are posting.

    Don’t worry, you’ll get through this period of gloating and momentary success, and emerge from it as depressed as ever.

  31. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Jen:

    How I am going to look my hosts in the eye I have yet to figure out. “It wasn’t me” just doesn’t seem to cut it.

    Yeah…

    I was at the University of London in ’84, when people in the UK were asking me how I could vote for Reagan…

    Then in Rio de Janeiro as an Ex-Pat in ’05, ’06 & ’07 when most in South America asked the same of my support of W.

    Face it: Like it or not, we all all now the racist homophobic masses that elected Trump.

    We can go nowhere in the world without facing that.

    Get used to that broad brush. It is the cloak which you will now wear. They have their country back.

  32. PJ says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    We can go nowhere in teh world without facing that.

    You only need to learn how to pronounce “about” the right way….

  33. David M says:

    @PJ:

    I think it’s spelled aboot. (My early years in Canada may pay off again)

  34. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @C. Clavin: Welcome to a world that looks like Jenos and JKB and Guarneri and bill and Florack.

    Awww, you just can’t quit me, can you? It’s almost touching, in a repulsively creepy fashion.

    Let me start you on you Re-Education Process, so you get a head start at the Re-Education Camps.

    1) I take no responsibility for Trump’s election. Zero. Nada. I didn’t vote for him in the primary. However, Hillary and the DNC did their damnedest, using some very unethical and arguably illegal methods, to make the election Hillary vs. Trump. That included hiring convicted felon and frequent White House guest Robert Creamer, who paid instigators to go to Trump rallies and cause trouble while pretending to be Bernie Bros. Hillary got exactly the election she wanted and worked for and paid for.

    2) A lot of you seem too stupid to grasp this, but there is a very, very big difference between LEGAL and ILLEGAL immigrants. Trump has reserved his comments for ILLEGAL aliens. He actually married a LEGAL immigrant.

    3) Trump is not anti-Semitic. He has a lengthy record of being pro-Israel, and his daughter, son-in-law, and a couple of his grandchildren are Jewish.

    I’m thinking of starting a GoFundMe page for terrified Trumpophobes like you and most of the idiotic Commentariat here. It would provide free one-way tickets out of the US. However, it would be limited to flights to Mexico, Cuba, or Venezuela. I am considering adding Iran and North Korea as possible destinations.

    I am deeply regretting not buying stock in Depends right before the election. I’d have made a KILLING.

  35. Pch101 says:

    @David M:

    I’m sure that he’ll figure it out, eh?

    For those of you who are need of language training:

    http://www.yorku.ca/twainweb/troberts/raising.html

  36. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @PJ:

    No, I spent my time in Canada, eh?

    I worked a bit hanging Kiln in Ontario, on a relatives farm. They were sharecroppers.

    Canadians can be as daft as us, and even more racist. They have a LOT of practice hating Quebec, and gripe about Native Peoples getting breaks.

    I have no intent on leaving the USA. I have the benefit of living in the strong blue state of Colorado now.

    .

    (Jesus… I sound like some sort of Stenbeck modern-day technological okie.)

  37. dxq says:

    Omarosa just said Trump’s going to keep a list of his enemies.

    Fantastic.

  38. PJ says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:
    I’m just saying that the rest of the world still likes Canadians, didn’t suggest moving, just adopt the country for any trips abroad. Except for Canada.

  39. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @PJ:

    I think I still qualify for a Lithuanian Passport.

    At least, while it’s still an independent country.

    Lithuania issues manual on what to do if Russia invades

    NATO.

    What will be the strength of NATO during the next 4 years? Discuss, and show your work.

    Bluebooks will be collected.

  40. John D'Geek says:

    @Dr Taylor:

    I never thought that he could compete in MI, PA, and WI.

    I’m from the “Pennsyltuky” region and knew he would do well — but even I didn’t know he would actually take Pennsylvania.

    The reasons are quite clear to me, and apparently Michael Moore: both parties — yes, the Democrats as well — are completely disconnected from average Americans. When Clinton talked, it was always about special interests; and both she and her predecessor regularly insulted those of us from “fly over” country.

    Not a way to get me to vote for you.

    Then there’s always the “bumper sticker” theory, which makes sense to anyone familiar with Hypnotic Theory: “Make America Great Again!” is a slogan that subconsciously resonates — negatively with some, but it still resonates; “Hillary Clinton 2016” is, at best, “meh”.

    If you haven’t been following Scott Adams, you should go back and read his predictions — starting from well before anyone considered him a serious contender. “Eerily prescient”, to steal a phrase. Only when “the Godzilla of Persuasion” sided with the Clinton Camp did he change his tone. The TLDR version: Most pundits are assuming we’re still in the age of print, where one actually has to think on the issues (okay, I got part of that from The Federalist, not Scott Adams, but it’s on the same vein). We’re not. This is the Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, 24-hour-newbyte cycle (“24 hour news cycle” give them too much credit, IMHO), “everybody is always on and the thinking has been done for you” era.

    We’re in the Age of Persuasion.

    Facts don’t matter any more. Donald Trump proved that last night.

    P.S. On a different note, have you read “The Righteous Mind”, by Jonathan Haidt? Definitely a “must read” for those of us, I’m including you based on guesses from the articles you write, trying to figure out why the two sides can no longer comprehend each other.

  41. @John D’Geek: I think there is something to what you are saying, but I also wonder as to how much of what we say wasn’t ultimately normal for a polarized electorate. There is much to sort out.

    And yes, I have read Haidt. I find some of his thesis quite compelling but I remain not fully persuaded in the totality of his argument.

  42. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: “I am deeply regretting not buying stock in Depends right before the election. I’d have made a KILLING.”

    Yeah, I guess that extra bag of Ding-Dongs was just too tempting.

  43. wr says:

    @John D’Geek: ” both parties — yes, the Democrats as well — are completely disconnected from average Americans. ”

    Excuse me, but white working class men without college degrees are NOT the same as average Americans, and I’m getting pretty sick of being told that I don’t count as a real American because I had the gall to go to school and get a job that pays decent money.

  44. Pch101 says:

    @wr:

    If you don’t drive a used truck, drink too much cheap beer, and have a limited vocabulary, then what good are you to anyone?

  45. John D'Geek says:

    @wr: I said “Average” not “Real” — those words do not mean the same thing.

    @Steven L. Taylor: Hmmm … well, strictly from a hypnotists point of view, a polarized electorate is a hypnotized electorate. I would expect similar things under similar circumstances … which would be a pain to test, but not undoable.

    Of course I could just be misunderstanding your comment.

  46. John D'Geek says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Re: Haidt. I’m sure his thesis will be improved in the future (such is the nature of research), but I seem to experience it on a regular basis.

    Of interest to me was the finding that while the majority of conservatives can understand progressive concepts (75%), the inverse is not true — only 25% of liberals can accurately understand conservative concepts.

  47. grumpy realist says:

    @John D’Geek: Given that one “conservative” belief is that because I’m female, I’m inferior….

    Thanks, I don’t mind if I NEVER understand that.

  48. Grewgills says:

    @John D’Geek:

    I said “Average” not “Real” — those words do not mean the same thing.

    What do you mean by ‘average American’? I have a sneaking suspicion that that term means rather different things to different people. If you mean, white, christian, not college educated, rural or on the edge of suburbia, then those ‘average Americans’ seem to believe that they are the real ™ Americans.

  49. TPF says:

    “rejection of expert knowledge.”

    You mean rejecting the people who delivered failure at home and abroad the last couple decades? You betcha!

  50. @Ben Wolf:

    Who defines what is “expert” and what is not? Personally, I find the term has largely lost its meaning as pundit-proliferation means anyone with a public platform and an opinion gets “expert” status.

    Fair enough. How about just “rejection of knowledge”–Trump campaigned on pure ignorance of how the world works and often without the command of basic facts.