The United States has endured what is arguably one of the most polarizing elections in recent history. How will America recover once it’s over?
- By David RothkopfDavid Rothkopf is visiting professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His latest book is The Great Questions of Tomorrow. He has been a longtime contributor to Foreign Policy and was CEO and editor of the FP Group from 2012 to May 2017.
On this week’s episode of The E.R., FP‘s David Rothkopf, Keith Johnson, Kori Schake, and new guest Jacob Weisberg, editor in chief of the Slate Group, discuss what life is going to be like for Americans in the days and weeks following Election Day.
By the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 9, America may have dodged a Donald Trump presidency, but the vision for the country and the supporters he rallied will not go away overnight — and neither will the vitriol, aggression, and generally toxic atmosphere his campaign fostered. And in this way, the panel agrees: For the United States, the end of the election marks the beginning of a new set of problems that will need to be addressed — and quickly.
The panel observes that this wave of “Trumpism” — the misogyny, nationalism, and racist undercurrents it inspired throughout the 2016 campaign — is not unlike the neo-fascist movements spreading across Europe (Brexit, Marine Le Pen, Eastern Europe). Although it’s clear that the fundamental cause of America’s issues lies with economic dislocation and dissatisfaction, does either Trump or Hillary Clinton have a plan that will make real headway toward lowering the national deficit? The panel discusses the root of the U.S. national deficit — as well as the root of “Trumpism” — beginning with Ronald Reagan’s presidency and traces a path to where the country is today.
Finally, the group discusses not only what they are most worried about but also what they are most optimistic about come Nov. 9. Yes, the United States feels as divided as it has ever been in recent times, and, yes, things are getting worse for democratic politics on the international stage, but America is still the most prosperous and strongest country. Do The E.R. panelists ultimately wax optimistic? And is the United States about to enter a period of better things to come?