The election of Donald Trump as U.S. President in 2016 shocked Europe.
Â Â Nearly two years later, American voters are preparing to head to the polls. On November 6th, 2018, they will be offered a final chance to reboot the system – if they so choose.
Should voters rally on the Democratic side, Trump will be toothless – effectively stripped of any leadership power or sway he might possess. Should they vote for the party backing him, the disruption of U.S. society and the post-war, post-truth world order may gain traction.
Most Europeans are shaking their heads in consternation, simply wondering what’s next.
I believe that vast swaths of Americans like what they are seeing – even if Trump policies aren’t helping them.
Even if these policies are, in fact, hurting them.
Just what drove American voters to reject an established political veteran, in favor of a real estate magnate and reality TV star with questionable qualifications? A man who claims to be a world leader, while acting with no regard for his constituents, or the impact of his actions on global stability?
Most American citizens are angry and frustrated. The recession borne from the financial crisis of 2008 had a deeply traumatic effect on the nation.
In 2010, unemployment soared to 10% – twice the current rate in Denmark. In addition, more than six million households lost their homes. One-fifth of the nation’s wealth was wiped out – and that which remained changed hands from the middle class to the ultra-rich.
Today, much of the U.S. economy has recovered by traditional measures. The stock market, home prices, and employment have all stabilized, to some extent. What hasn’t recovered is wage growth. Citizens continue the struggle to get by on less – and though wages have risen slightly, they haven’t recovered enough to rescue the shrinking middle class.
At the same time, misguided finger-pointing has shifted the blame towards the failures of previous administrations, in lieu of acknowledging the disconnect between economic classes.
In recent commentary, I’ve posed that the political right creates boogeymen – coastal elites, globalists, immigrants, and minorities – who are then blamed for the drastic and devastating shift in wealth. These manufactured scare stories are then fueled by Fox News and other conservative press, as well as by Trump himself.
My opinion is that these stories draw attention away from the facts: the majority of the nation is reeling. Political protests have made little headway against the propaganda machine. Trump’s nationalism reigns, and his cronies reap the rewards – while the country succumbs to industrial oligarchy.
As the midterm election nears, uncertain voters have much to ponder.
Has Trump indeed created a revolution – or simply a band of looters, bound to drive the country into a financial abyss? Will the left mobilize? Will Democrats deliver a clear and convincing case for political revitalization?
As Trump continues to make sweeping policy changes, the effects of those changes ripple outwards. Countries within the European Union are increasingly recognizing the threat posed to the stability of both global economics and long-standing military alliances. They can no longer count on the U.S. to weigh in appropriately in matters of importance.
Without the U.S.’s ensured backing against the militarized forces of Russia, leaders in the European Union grow increasingly uneasy. Several countries, including Denmark, have already moved to join the France-led Defense Coalition, in hopes of averting complications posed by a perceived lack of military might – but is this truly an effective approach?
Will American politics continue to hold their current sway in global decision-making? Will U.S. citizens come to their senses in time to avoid outright political chaos? Or should EU leaders continue preparing for the worst? Â
I’ll be discussing these questions in more detail throughout the next few months. I’ll also be offering insights on the upcoming election and its impact to the U.S. and global economies, while touring in Denmark from November 1st-12th. For details, look here.Â https://www.ero-projects.com/david-weidner