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12.11.

2016

StrangeNewLand:AmercanaTmeofTrumpTheNewYorkTmes

http://nyti.ms/2ekFxWM

POLITICS

NEWSANALYSI S

StrangeNewLand:AmericainaTime
ofTrump
ByDAVIDE.SANGER NOV.9,2016

WASHINGTONATrumppresidencywillplungetheUnitedStatesintoanera
ofunknownsthathaslittleparallelinthenations240yearhistory.
WhileDonaldJ.Trumphasbeenvagueabouthispositiononmanyissues,he
hasbeenexplicitaboutseveralthatwouldfundamentallychangeAmericas
direction.
Ifhiscampaignpromisesbecomerealityanditisnotclearhowmanyhe
willactuallypursuetheAffordableCareActcouldberepealedwiththehelpof
aRepublicandominatedHouseandSenatewhoseleadershiphadvirtuallygiven
uphopeofrecapturingtheWhiteHouse.Mr.Trumpsaidhewouldreplacetheact
withsomethingbetter,butheneverofferedaplan.
TheSupremeCourtwouldveerrightperhapseventuallyfartotherightof
whereitwasbeforeJusticeAntoninScaliasdeathcreatedavacancythatMr.
Trumpwillnowfill,andthereistheprospectofseveralmoreopeningsduringhis
tenure.ThewallhepromisedalongtheMexicanborderwouldbebuilt,andthe
prospectofimmigrationreformmaybeburiedbeneathit.
Thetortureofterrorismsuspects,somethingthatPresidentObamaexplicitly
banned,wouldreturninterrogationtechniquesthecurrentC.I.A.director
recentlysaidhisofficerswouldneverreturnto.
AlthoughMr.TrumpwillnotbeabletopulltheUnitedStatesoutoftheParis
climateaccord,hecanlegallyignoreitsprovisions,inkeepingwithhis
questioningoftheexistenceofmanmadeclimatechange.Hecouldproceedwith

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whatheoncecalledabanonMuslimsenteringthecountry,butlateramended
afterbeingaccusedofracismtoabanonvisitorsfromalistoftroublednations,
almostallofwhichareMuslimmajority.
HewouldpullbackthetroopsthattheUnitedStateshasstationedaround
theworldtokeepthepeaceunlessAmericaispaidfortheprotection.Hewould
tellNATOthattheUnitedStateswillliveuptoitspostWorldWarIIsecurity
commitmentsonlyifothernationsfirstpaytheirfairshare.Herepeatedly
dismissedtheideathatthoseforwarddeploymentsareinAmericasown
interests,thattheypreventChineseorRussianadventurismandkeepopenthe
traderoutesforAmericangoods.
Asthepresidentelect,Mr.Trumpwillsoonbebriefedonhowtouse
AmericasnuclearcodesthecodesHillaryClintonandMr.Obamasaidhecould
neverbetrustedtohold.Andwithinthefirstyearofhispresidency,itshould
becomeclearwhetherMr.Trumpmeantitwhenhesaidthathewascomfortable
withthethoughtthatJapanandSouthKorea,bothsignatoriestotheNuclear
NonproliferationTreaty,mightabandonitslongtimecommitmentandbuild
weaponsoftheirown.
IftheUnitedStateskeepsonitspath,itscurrentpathofweakness,theyre
goingtowanttohavethatanyway,withorwithoutmediscussingit,Mr.Trump
said.
PerhapsthemostunpredictablematterishowMr.Trumpwilldealwith
Russiaanditspresident,VladimirV.Putin,whomhehasrepeatedlypraisedin
termsthatshockedevenhisownparty.WouldheliftthesanctionsoverRussias
annexationofCrimeaamovethatMr.Trumpseemedtosuggestwasjustified
anditsharassmentofUkraine?WouldhebackofffromtheObama
administrationsdecisiontobolstertheAmericanmilitarypresenceoffRussias
borders?
Therehasbeenagrowingbipartisanconsensusintheforeignpolicyand
intelligenceleadershipthatRussiamustbebothconstrainedandcontained,its
harassmentofthenewmembersofNATOhalted,itscyberattacksdeterred.But
Mr.TrumpneveroncearguedforRussiancontainmentonceastapleofhis
partysforeignpolicyandrepeatedlyarguedthathe,andhealone,could
negotiatewithauthoritarianslikeMr.Putin.

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Myadministration,hesaidrecently,willworkwithanycountrythatis
willingtopartnerwithustodefeatISIS,andhaltradicalIslamicterrorism.And
thatincludesRussia.OnWednesday,Mr.Putinseemedtoreturnthatsentiment,
sensinghisopportunityandsayinghelookedforwardtorestoringfullyfledged
relationswiththeUnitedStates.
Mr.TrumpdismissedRussiashumanrightsviolations,itsjailingof
journalistsandpoliticalopponents,itsriggedelections.Hewouldmeasurethe
country,hesaid,solelybyitswillingnesstochipintoAmericanprojects.
IftheywanttojoinusbyknockingoutISIS,thatisjustfineasfarasIm
concerned,hesaid.Itisaveryimperfectworld,andyoucantalwayschoose
yourfriends.Butyoucanneverfailtorecognizeyourenemies.

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PrivacyPolicy

Mr.Trumphasbeenconsistentinsomeareas.Sincethelate1980s,hehas
nurturedasetofpreoccupations,chieflythatAmericasalliesJapanandSaudi
ArabiaamongthemarerippingAmericaoff.Hemaintainedthatpositioneven
asJapanfadedfromthesceneasamajorworldpowerandasSaudiArabia
emergedasoneofAmericasmostcriticalalliesinaregionoftheworldwhereMr.
TrumpseeslittlereasonfortheUnitedStatestoremain.
InaninterviewinMarch,hehadnocompunctionaboutthreateningthe
kingdomssurvivability.IfSaudiArabiawaswithoutthecloakofAmerican
protection,Mr.Trumpsaidduringa100minuteconversation,Idontthinkit
wouldbearound.
Themysteryishowmuchofthatkindoftalkarisesfromdeeplyheldbeliefs,
andhowmuchisanopeningbidbytheauthorofTheArtoftheDeal.
Heseeshimselfasadealer,anegotiatorwhoknowsthatyougetnowhere
unlessyouthreaten,saidGrahamAllison,alongtimeHarvardprofessorwhohas
begunanewprojectinappliedhistory,takinglessonsfrompastmomentsto
informAmericascurrentstrategicchoices.
Indeed,theworldisabouttodiscoverwhetherthemostoutlandishpromises
Mr.Trumpmadeinhiscampaignaboutrethinkingtheinternationalorder
thoughtsthatoftenseemedatbestoffthecuffareabouttobecomereality.
FinancialmarketsabroadpanickedonTuesdaynight,fearfulthataTrump
presidencywouldinstantlysendthecountryintouncertaineconomicterritory
thatinvestorshaddiscountedaswhollyimprobablejust24hoursago.Butthere
wasafarmoremilddeclineasWallStreetopened,suggestingthatinvestorshere
sawotherpossibilities.Mr.Trump,whoneverarguedwiththenotionthatheisa
protectionist,timeandagainvowedtopunishcompaniesthatmovejobsabroad,
ataskthatwouldbeginwiththeabolishmentofNafta,thetradeagreementthat
oncewasenvisioned,byPresidentBillClinton,asthefirststepunifyingthe
WesternHemisphere.ToMr.Trump,itisadisaster.
TheTrumpvision,infact,isanAmericaunboundbyahalfcenturyoftrade
deals,freetopursueanationalisticapproachinwhichsuccessismeasurednotby
thequalityofitsalliancesbuttheeconomicreturnonitstransactions.Wewill

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notberippedoffanymore,hesaidintheinterviewinMarch.Weregoingtobe
friendlywitheverybody,butwerenotgoingtobetakenadvantageofby
anybody.
Hebristledatthesuggestionthathiswallbuilding,tradedealcanceling
viewswouldtakeAmericabacktoaneraofisolationism,arguingthathewas
simplyfreeingtheUnitedStatesfromthebindsofinternationalrulesthatarenot
inthenationsinterests.
Notisolationist,butIamAmericafirst,hesaidwhenhewasaskedwhether
hisownpolicieshadechoesofthemovementbythesamenamechampionedby
CharlesLindberghinthe1930s.
Iliketheexpression,hesaidofAmericafirst.Fromthatmomenton,he
beganusingitathisrallies,anditbecamethestuffofbumperstickersand
chants.
Heisalsounabashedlybusinessfirst,andthatextendstohistaxproposals,
whichalsoleavethemarketsdeeplyuncertain.
StartingwiththedayhedescendedthelongescalatorinTrumpTowerin
June2015tobeginaquestalmostnoonethoughtwouldsucceed,Mr.Trumplaid
outanagendaoftaxcutsmodestforfamilies,andsharpforbusinessesthat
hearguedwouldbethestimulusasluggisheconomyneeds.
ButhealsopairedthosecutswithamajorplantorebuildAmericas
dilapidatedairportsandcollapsingbridges,with$137billioninfederaltaxcredits
asanincentiveforprivateindustrytospendupwardofatrillionmore.While
privatizationishardlyanewidea,Mr.Trumphasdescribedanapproachfewhave
evertriedbeforeanditisfarfromclearhowitwouldwork.Presumably,users
ofthatinfrastructurewouldultimatelypayforit,intollsandusagetaxes,through
amechanismfewunderstand.
Nooneknowshowmuchofthisagenda,largelythrowntogetherratherthan
theproductofdeepstudyanddebate,isforreal.HispolicyofficeinWashington,
createdtolayoutthepositionpaperscommontomostcampaigns,wasgradually
disbanded.Heisfamouslyvolatile,capableofchanginghismindinaninstantif
heseesnewavenuesforprofit,allthewhiledenyinghehadeversuggested
anotherpath.

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InMr.Trump,ProfessorAllisonseesarevolutioninapproachreminiscentof
the1828electionofAndrewJackson,anotherpopulistwhorodetopower
rebellingagainstwhatamountedtoAmericasfirstEstablishment.
MyGod,ProfessorAllisonsaidonTuesdaynight,astheresultsveered
towardMr.Trump.Weareinastrangenewland.
Findoutwhatyouneedtoknowaboutthe2016presidentialracetoday,andget
politicsnewsupdatesviaFacebook,TwitterandtheMorningBriefingnewsletter.

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