President-elect Donald Trump’s victory has confounded many forecasters.
It has also shocked and surprised establishment opinion and many of the intellectual elite. Yet what he will actually do in his presidency is still very much unknown. During the election campaign he made broad generalizations that were deeply abhorrent to wide swaths of the American electorate. He has also contradicted himself and made comments that have very rarely passed the acid test of accuracy or truth. Yet he won a decisive victory.
How will he deal with the established political institutions underpinned by the constitution, the U.S Bill of Rights and work with his own party in Congress who have their own agenda? There are many unknowns here indeed.
There is no knowing how bi-lateral or multi-lateral arrangements with the U.S. will proceed, how international trade and environmental concerns and indeed the U.N. programs and initiatives will be recast. The president elect’s plans and those of a multitude of interest groups and political office holders will play out in a way that will challenge all of them.
Mr. Trump’s penchant for making independent decisions irrespective of the opposition to them will challenge collaborative work of all stripes.
He has clearly mined a seam of resentment and anger present in the American electorate. Frequently though, politicians have struggled often and mightily to fulfill promises they have made and to be seen as satisfying the needs of their supporting base.
How will he negotiate that relationship now that he has attained office with skills he has not practiced, considering his lack of political experience? And in a U.S. that is greatly divided, how will he deal with those groups and communities who vigorously oppose his policies?