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Trump: A User’s Guide

The whole world is pondering how Donald Trump works. His unwaveringly enthusiastic supporters feel he is staying true to his program, which in itself is quite original; faced with post-campaign reality, leaders tend to water down their previous promises and aim for a consensus.

We should therefore expect Trump to stay in campaign mode, instead of trying to build bridges with his opponents. While far from becoming the president of all Americans, he may well remain the leader of the minority that elected him. This strategy of division and animosity matches perfectly with Trump’s behavior and speeches; he sees the world in black and white, with him or against him. By making such radical decisions, he has forced his staff and the country’s citizens to choose a side: either with him, the good, or against him, the bad. It is classic for leaders of authoritarian regimes to compromise their partisans in this way, in order to ensure their loyalty and make any dissidence impossible. If our hypothesis is true, Trump will gradually find himself increasingly at odds with a world that is neither black nor white, but gray.

American society and the vast world beyond it can only function through arrangements, compromises and constant negotiations. In the real world, the Trump method will likely lead to violence and chaos — both of which are already being witnessed at the United States borders, and even sooner than expected. Trump could come back to reality, which would not stop him from applying a more moderate version of his program. But he may also continue in his current virtual world. In this case, judges, Congress, businesses, protestors and any citizen able to speak out will soon prevent him from continuing his mandate. The highly-mediatized protests over the last few weekends offer ample proof for this scenario.

In just two weeks, Trump has become the most unpopular president in American history. It is already a foregone conclusion that 2017 will see weaker economic growth than in 2016, as terrified businesses stop investing in the United States. And no amount of tweeting can roll back this principle of reality.

Nb. I hope I am wrong.

    • i agree with most of what you are saying and i think it is going to get worse.
      the cost of living in the US will go up as most of the food I buy comes from somewhere else. fruits and veggies from Mexico and we wont be able to uses migrants for that back breaking work as they all come from across the borders.
      what i dont agree with is that you described him “gently” he is a lot worse than that. I dont think he will last long .
      i am an American citizen . It will be constant chaos ,discord and by Xmas we will start seeing turnovers in his staff as there is no room for disgreementvor even suggestion. it is his way or the highway.

  • Ne vous inquietez pas: vous vous trompez. Une fois de plus. Sur la signification du consensus, sur le blanc, le noir, et le gris, la mediocrite des decisions de compromis, sur les causes reelles du chaos et des paix de soumission a ces memes compromis–entre quoi? Vous connaissez surement l’image du melange de la m**** et de la glace? Le gris, comme vous dites, n’est jamais que de la glace a la m****

  • Mr. Trump is in office as President of the United States for 9 days and the writer has determined that “It is already a forgone conclusion that 2017 will see weaker economic growth than in 2016, as terrified businesses stop investing in the United States.” Apparently, the author makes the mistake of thinking himself an oracle. As a former resident of France, I would suggest your government and people focus on your own problems such as putting aliens above the good of the French people and promoting such punitive tax programs that those who are most productive look elsewhere to make their home. One only has to look at the vast numbers of young French Students who leave to start their future outside France.

  • Je vais m’exprimer en anglais
    Bonjour,
    I could’nd agree more with you despite what people say. This man is deranged, unfit to be president to this great nation. He’s a danger to it and to the world and he will be
    impeached!

  • Except for the immigration decision, which was not well thought out, I think his other early decisions were quite good. Anyone with extensive business experience can see exactly what he is doing, namely using business strategies for the good of the country. To those who say he is crazy, I would say “crazy like a fox”, as the expression goes. He will use executive orders where he can, follow them with legislation where he can get Republican support, and lastly engage Democrats to support him. It’s called low-hanging fruit. To those who say that he was elected by a minority I would point out that both the House and the Senate have Republican majorities, and that both he and Clinton campaigned to get electoral votes, not solely popular votes, as they should. I have to wonder who all these people are that have the luxury of going to protests rather than working. BTW I am an Independent who has voted for Democrats and Republicans, and I actually voted for a third-party presidential candidate this time, but so far I think that Trump is mostly doing the right things, even though his methods may make people uncomfortable.

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