Trump can ignite America, not move it

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/7/23 1:18:00

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Thursday that he is going to lead the country back to safety. He also said he will put America first and replace globalism with Americanism.

His words on the final day of the Republican convention were sensational.

"On January 20 of 2017, the day I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced," he said.

He also attacked China, as usual, accusing the country of "outrageous theft of intellectual property," "illegal dumping" and "devastating currency manipulation."

At least Trump is frank, pointing out real issues that are troubling Americans, including poverty and violence, immigrants and terrorism, economic doldrums and a shortage of jobs, as well as war and destruction abroad.

Trump was at first considered a joke by American elites, but he beat the Republican party machine and rose against the will of many establishment Republicans. Apparently, he knows the wills of the mass of middle- and lower-class voters better than other Republicans.

Most of these promises may not materialize in the end. When a country as large as the US has been on a certain track for a long time, it is very difficult to change course. The changes will also hurt some interest groups, who will fight back.

It is also unlikely that there will be any major change to international policies, such as the US' NATO policies or Asian strategies.

However, even if Trump loses to Hillary Clinton, the questions he has raised will continue to resonate. Although the US may not be able to carry out major adjustments, the country is no longer strong enough to support globalism. More people may call for Americanism.

No matter who becomes the next US president, the country's current situation and the fact that its people want better jobs and lives will determine the policymaking strategy of the future US administration. Although a Cold War mentality may still dominate US elite groups, generally speaking, there is limited space for US politicians to sacrifice huge Sino-US trade benefits and push the country's geopolitical competition with China to the edge.

The new president cannot count on anti-China rhetoric to win over constituents. China is not the main reason for US economic problems.

The US political system has determined that presidential candidates' policy promises are aimed at votes instead of real reform. Reform requires the entire society to share risk and pain.

But a US president in peaceful times is not likely to have the courage to lead the people to endure these pains. Trump is no exception.

Posted in: Editorial

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