America will become more Trumpian in 2020
By Robinder Sachdev
Between now and the 2020 presidential elections in the United States, one thing is certain. No matter how and where things go in the world outside and inside the United States, Trump will be a more formidable candidate than any opponent when he is up for re-election in 2020.
By walking out of the Paris accord on climate change, Donald Trump has consolidated his base, and has shown to them – and the future voters of 2020 in America – that he has the ability to fight for them. That he can fight against the bad boys and the forces out there in the world that are out to destroy the very fundamentals of American life. That he will and can use any power at his disposal to protect American interests. This is certainly a very credible and reassuring message to any electorate – especially in the America of 2020.
There is a political master-stroke in this act of walking out. It is reported that Trump was influenced by the Bannon-Schiller school of thought against the Ivanka-Jared world-view, when he took this decision. The master-piece of this stratagem is that it shall help Trump in either case – a tails you lose, heads, I win scenario in 2020.
Here is how it plays out – this column invites you to visualize the America and world of 2020.
Scenario 1 – Imagine a world, where all and various actions of the Trump presidency from 2017 to 2021 have created a chaotic, conflicted, and uglier world. America and Americanism is at risk, and the joint enemies of globalization and (radical) Islam are threatening your bedroom in America. Trump 2020 is the saviour-candidate who is battling these evil forces who are at the gates of America – and he has proven it. He is the right candidate.
Cut to Scenario 2 – Imagine a world in 2020, where all and various actions of Trump presidency from 2017 to 2021 have created a secure, soothing, and a much relieved America and world. America is benefitting from globalization, and (radical) Islam is on the retreat. Trump 2020 is the Hero who has made this possible by knocking the heads of the nay-sayers and making deals that protect and project America and American jobs. He is the right candidate.
In either of above scenario, Trump is a clear winner in the rhetoric and debates of 2020. The reader may take the following litmus test. If the world is a bigger mess in 2020 – in a bigger danger, then Trump is the proven go-to-guy to fight this danger; on the other hand, if the world is better in 2020 – then Trump is the guy who made it better, and of course deserves a second term.
Oh, and those of you salivating with your theories, theses, and expectations about an impeachment in the next four years? Forget it. This presidency will go on strongly on its own path. And which-ever way it goes, it will boost Trump chances as a second term President. Though, I will always bow to the acumen of Professor Allan Lichtmann of American University who has predicted an impeachment within first two years of a Trump presidency. It may happen, may not happen, and even if it happens, the process may end up skewering other political leaders in the United States, rather than President Trump, as history has often showed.
Trump is not Trump – he is an American phenomenon. This phenomena will grow stronger by 2020, notwithstanding how either scenario 1 or 2 as above play out till then. By walking out of the Paris accord, Trump has defined the enemy that he will fight in the 2020 elections – and American voters will be searching for an easily definable enemy by then. Mike drop?
(Robinder Sachdev is the President of Imagindia Institute, an independent think tank and research center with a mission to promote the image and imagination of India. Robinder is also a lifelong trustee of the Children’s Book Trust – the oldest national children organization of India)