The Executive, the Magistrate, and the Maverick
Section 3 President Donald Trump
Section III President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump
Donald Trump came to the White House bent on overhauling traditional politics. Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump disparaged the political class in Washington claiming that “people are sick and tired of stupid and incompetent people leading our nation” (Trump cited in Jackson, 2015). He denounced policy-makers’ “foolishness and arrogance” in leading the U.S. “to one foreign policy disaster after the other” (Trump, 2016). According to Trump, his predecessors’ lack of vision and leadership weakened America’s global standing by overextending national resources, permitting allies to financially defraud the U.S., and allowing allies and adversaries to disrespect American power. In order to surmount these failures, Trump promised voters that he would restore an “America First” policy which would provide a “coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies” (Idem). The transactional approach of international relations underlying “America First” was summarized by two of the president’s main advisors early in his presidency, who argued that for Trump “the world is not a ‘global communityʼ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage” (McMaster and Cohn, 2017).
In contrast to his predecessors, Trump presented himself to the electorate as someone who “could get things done” (Johnson, 2018). Leaning on his widely advertised business acumen, Trump consistently juxtaposed his much-touted managerial skills with the supposed ineptitude of the entrenched career politicians. For example, when questioned about how he would...
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