Is the Trump Presidency undermining Liberal Democracy? Watch

Poll: Is President Trump your cup of tea?
Yes (108)
23.03%
No (361)
76.97%
Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#1
Donald Trump stunned everyone by winning the 2016 US Presidential Election. Both during the campaign, and as president, he has said and done things that many have found shocking. Some think he is the worst President ever, while others see him as a saviour figure standing up for those left behind by the Washington Elite.

His critics argue that he has debased the presidency with his attacks on enemies and allies alike, he has lowered the public discourse, flamed racial tensions, and appointed unreliable or corrupt administrators. His supporters point to the booming economy, his engagement with North Korea, and the fact that unlike some his predecessors he's actually fulfilling many of his campaign promises.

Which of these views do you think is correct?




Matthew is a lecturer in Politics and International Relations. He teaches on a range of modules on the Nottingham Trent University BA Politics degree, including Hyperpower Politics: The USA, Transnational Media and Society and Media Power and Politics. He also leads on the module Transnational Media Governance on the MA Journalism Degree. His main areas of focus are US policy and media politics.

Matthew did his original degree in Politics at NTU before completing an MA in Politics and Contemporary History at Nottingham University. He also has Post-Graduate Certificates in Research Methodologies and Higher Education. He completed his Phd at NTU in 2008.

In 2014 he won the Vice-Chancellor Award for Teaching and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is a member of the Political Studies Association and The Association for the Study of German Politics. His research is currently focusing on the use of game based learning in teaching, with particular emphasis on how it can be sued to examine US policy both at home and abroad.
Last edited by Puddles the Monkey; 2 months ago
3
quote
reply
crazychameleon
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#2
Report 2 months ago
#2
The way that Trump is undermining democracy is far more insidious than anything dictators like Hitler used to seize power. Trump has no ambitions to become an authoritarian dictator and I personally find it ridiculous that people make comparisons between him and Hitler, for example. However his narcissism and egoism has led him to issue personal insults against others and more importantly lead attacks on any news that is unfavourable to him and the free press. Unable to stand the criticism he receives, he has harnessed the extreme levels of support voters have given to him to attack some of the key tenets of liberal democracy and in doing so sown ever greater partisan division. Although these issues of partisanship existed before Trump's rise to power, he has exacerbated them and as the Leader of the Free World, his use of these tactics has greater legitimised them. Even if Trump goes in 2020, his impact will be felt for long afterwards.

Yes the economy is booming, but Obama deserves the credit for rescuing America from the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression and setting the country on its current economic path. I personally do not think his trade spat with China is a bad thing with China's aggressive and ever-growing trade power a genuine concern for America. However what Trump needs is allies and his bullying of his strongest allies such as Canada and the EU regarding trade is ridiculous and at a time when liberal democracy is under ever greater threat from Russia, China and others, his actions are incredibly ludicrous. You cannot and should not run a country like a business.

His supposed successes with North Korea are nonexistent as well. North Korea have not disbanded their nuclear weapons and their summit together was rather farcical, achieving nothing, but giving Kim Jong-Un time under the global spotlight. Instead it is South Korea who's new, less hardline president, Moon Jae-In who should be getting the credit for actually deescalating the tension.

As much as Trump is fulfilling his campaign promises, to me it appears Trump has no intention of fulfilling the role as President fully. It is only an ego boost for him and he detests the long hours and hard work actually involved with the boring day-to-day issues, instead enjoying big rallies and press events far more. As a result, his administration is being woefully run with there still being unfilled positions and scandals almost weekly such as Pruitt's misuse of public funds and blatant links with coal and gas despite being head of the EPA. Moreoever, I don't think it is truly correct to say that he is fulfilling all of his campaign promises. He told supporters that he would "drain the swamp" and acted as an anti-disestablishment figure. His tax cuts for the richest, placement of his own family, wealthy Goldman Sachs bankers and people with links to coal, oil and gas in positions of power show that he is in actuality perpetuating the power of the swamp at the expense of most of his base.
Last edited by crazychameleon; 2 months ago
14
quote
reply
limetang
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#3
Report 2 months ago
#3
(Original post by crazychameleon)
The way that Trump is undermining democracy is far more insidious than anything dictators like Hitler used to seize power. Trump has no ambitions to become an authoritarian dictator and I personally find it ridiculous that people make comparisons between him and Hitler, for example. However his narcissism and egoism has led him to issue personal insults against others and more importantly lead attacks on any news that is unfavourable to him and the free press. Unable to stand the criticism he receives, he has harnessed the extreme levels of support voters have given to him to attack some of the key tenets of liberal democracy and in doing so sown ever greater partisan division. Although these issues of partisanship existed before Trump's rise to power, he has exacerbated them and as the Leader of the Free World, his use of these tactics has greater legitimised them. Even if Trump goes in 2020, his impact will be felt for long afterwards.

Yes the economy is booming, but Obama deserves the credit for rescuing America from the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression and setting the country on its current economic path. I personally do not think his trade spat with China is a bad thing with China's aggressive and ever-growing trade power a genuine concern for America. However what Trump needs is allies and his bullying of his strongest allies such as Canada and the EU regarding trade is ridiculous and at a time when liberal democracy is under ever greater threat from Russia, China and others, his actions are incredibly ludicrous. You cannot and should not run a country like a business.

His supposed successes with North Korea are nonexistent as well. North Korea have not disbanded their nuclear weapons and their summit together was rather farcical, achieving nothing, but giving Kim Jong-Un time under the global spotlight. Instead it is South Korea who's new, less hardline president, Moon Jae-In who should be getting the credit for actually deescalating the tension.

As much as Trump is fulfilling his campaign promises, to me it appears Trump has no intention of fulfilling the role as President fully. It is only an ego boost for him and he detests the long hours and hard work actually involved with the boring day-to-day issues, instead enjoying big rallies and press events far more. As a result, his administration is being woefully run with there still being unfilled positions and scandals almost weekly such as Pruitt's misuse of public funds and blatant links with coal and gas despite being head of the EPA. Moreoever, I don't think it is truly correct to say that he is fulfilling all of his campaign promises. He told supporters that he would "drain the swamp" and acted as an anti-disestablishment figure. His tax cuts for the richest, placement of his own family, wealthy Goldman Sachs bankers and people with links to coal, oil and gas in positions of power show that he is in actuality perpetuating the power of the swamp at the expense of most of his base.
Taking all that as granted. Why does that make him more insidious than someone who wants power to form a dictatorship?
1
quote
reply
veroet
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#4
Report 2 months ago
#4
I love Donald trump (: my whole family supports him. I have Donald trump pencil case Merch
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
5
quote
reply
crazychameleon
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#5
Report 2 months ago
#5
(Original post by limetang)
Taking all that as granted. Why does that make him more insidious than someone who wants power to form a dictatorship?
There are numerous checks in place to stop a dictatorship occurring in America with the three separation of powers. However as with a frog in boiling water, Trump is largely unintentionally eroding away these legal protections and the free press. If there comes along a leader with true dictatorial aspirations, with a congress and supreme court more divided than ever along partisan lines (see Brett Kauvanagh launch vitriolic attacks on the Clintons and the Democrats) and very low faith in the media, it is fertile ground for a strongman to emerge. Such an event occurring is no stretch of the imagination with there being a global pattern.
2
quote
reply
Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#6
I think all of these are good points, and I can’t disagree with the vast majority of it.

However....

Is there an argument that Trump is having a positive effect (although clearly unintentionally), in terms of reinvigorating the Democratic grassroots. There’s a whole generation of young people mobilising in opposition to Trump. As a result we might end up with a Democratic Party that’s more than just a slightly more liberal mirror image of the Republicans.

Also the Trump administration is giving us an unintended lesson in civics and constitutional law. Ordinary people in the street are now suddenly discussing things like the Logan Act and whether a President can pardon themselves (which is honestly a legitimate question).

Finally there’s the fact that Trump’s inward looking foreign policy means that European and other nations are having to step out from out of Anerica’s Shadow and filling the void left by Trump’s inaction. They might end up playing a much more vital role in UN and global affairs challenging American hegemony?

While Trump’s presidency is causing problems, it might be argued that there are some good things coming out of it (although not ones he’d probably want)
2
quote
reply
Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#7
(Original post by limetang)
Taking all that as granted. Why does that make him more insidious than someone who wants power to form a dictatorship?
I suppose you could argue that Dictators are often fairly easy to spot and combat (although not always successfully). Trump is undermining democracy while claiming to be saving it
0
quote
reply
999tigger
  • Very Important Poster
Badges: 19
#8
Report 2 months ago
#8
I am surprised he thinks it is suitable to mock Professor Ford and now make claims she is a hoax. Quite unpresidential.
quote
reply
Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#9
(Original post by 999tigger)
I am surprised he thinks it is suitable to mock Professor Ford and now make claims she is a hoax. Quite unpresidential.
I think it’s really interesting the way Trump can say and do things that would destroy a normal
poltical career, yet he somehow gets away with time and time again.

Equally, parts of the Republican Christian movement in the US are going out of their way to gloss over and excise his behaviour. In anyone else they’d declare it evidence of them being unfit for office.

Why do you think Trump has this Teflon quality, and more importantly, will it last?
0
quote
reply
999tigger
  • Very Important Poster
Badges: 19
#10
Report 2 months ago
#10
(Original post by Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer)
I think it’s really interesting the way Trump can say and do things that would destroy a normal
poltical career, yet he somehow gets away with time and time again.

Equally, parts of the Republican Christian movement in the US are going out of their way to gloss over and excise his behaviour. In anyone else they’d declare it evidence of them being unfit for office.

Why do you think Trump has this Teflon quality, and more importantly, will it last?
Why? because he has always operated that way. He doesnt see why traditions should restrain him. Look at his refusal to disclose his finances.

The point is he is a salesperson, so he will pitch his ideas, go big on the rhetoric to make people feel Armageddon is near and then change tack to his real more reasonable pitch to get the deal he was always after in the first place. His aim isnt to be the most popular in the country just amongst his supporters, hence his presidency is one big election campaign.

He has the Teflon quality because he is aggressive in attacking his doubters an making other people take the bullet for him.

If things went bad, then people might examine more closely but he does a good job of letting his supporters feel he is fighting and doing an amazing job for them. He is also riding high off the back of a booming economy based on tax cuts and that had already turned in Obamas time. Expect him to get re-elected.

Have to wait and see how they do in the mid terms though. He isnt dull.
quote
reply
Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#11
(Original post by 999tigger)
Why? because he has always operated that way. He doesnt see why traditions should restrain him. Look at his refusal to disclose his finances.

The point is he is a salesperson, so he will pitch his ideas, go big on the rhetoric to make people feel Armageddon is near and then change tack to his real more reasonable pitch to get the deal he was always after in the first place. His aim isnt to be the most popular in the country just amongst his supporters, hence his presidency is one big election campaign.

He has the Teflon quality because he is aggressive in attacking his doubters an making other people take the bullet for him.

If things went bad, then people might examine more closely but he does a good job of letting his supporters feel he is fighting and doing an amazing job for them. He is also riding high off the back of a booming economy based on tax cuts and that had already turned in Obamas time. Expect him to get re-elected.

Have to wait and see how they do in the mid terms though. He isnt dull.
Ironically the economy might be his undoing. He’s tied his presidency so closely to the booming stock market (remember his promise that he’d never let anything bad happen to the economy). The global economic situation is more fragile than people realise. If another 2008 happens and the GOP base start to loose their jobs, how long will they stick with him?
0
quote
reply
999tigger
  • Very Important Poster
Badges: 19
#12
Report 2 months ago
#12
(Original post by Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer)
Ironically the economy might be his undoing. He’s tied his presidency so closely to the booming stock market (remember his promise that he’d never let anything bad happen to the economy). The global economic situation is more fragile than people realise. If another 2008 happens and the GOP base start to loose their jobs, how long will they stick with him?
Enough for him to get re-elected and ofc he will be skilled at blaming anyone else.
quote
reply
Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#13
(Original post by 999tigger)
Enough for him to get re-elected and ofc he will be skilled at blaming anyone else.
I think people forget that Trump ran against a very poor opponent:

Clinton had a lot of negative baggage (and Bill’s).
All those negative stories about her health.
The lack of a clear message from her campaign.
The ongoing Wikileaks emails.
The FBI decision to reopen the email inquiry.
Her complacency in deciding not to campaign in certain key states.
The perception of her as part of an out of touch elite.

Is Trump’s election still guaranteed if they can find a decent candidate with a proper message, or is his re-election almost a done deal now?

so many known unknowns and unknown unknowns.
1
quote
reply
quasa
  • Community Assistant
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#14
Report 2 months ago
#14
(Original post by Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer)
Donald Trump stunned everyone by winning the 2016 US Presidential Election. Both during the campaign, and as president, he has said and done things that many have found shocking. Some think he is the worst President ever, while others see him as a saviour figure standing up for those left behind by the Washington Elite.

His critics argue that he has debased the presidency with his attacks on enemies and allies alike, he has lowered the public discourse, flamed racial tensions, and appointed unreliable or corrupt administrators. His supporters point to the booming economy, his engagement with North Korea, and the fact that unlike some his predecessors he's actually fulfilling many of his campaign promises.

Which of these views do you think is correct?
Hey Matthew,
Thanks for taking time out from lecturing to engage with people who are not your typical political students.

Re: Trump, whilst I am worried by some of his actions (and how some of his supporters are victimising certain people undeservedly), I am curious to know your views onwhy there seems to be a rise in far-right behaviour across the west in the last couple of years, despite the media (allegedly) being pro-left.

EDIT - yes, I think he is undermining Democracy in general.
0
quote
reply
999tigger
  • Very Important Poster
Badges: 19
#15
Report 2 months ago
#15
(Original post by Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer)
I think people forget that Trump ran against a very poor opponent:

Clinton had a lot of negative baggage (and Bill’s).
All those negative stories about her health.
The lack of a clear message from her campaign.
The ongoing Wikileaks emails.
The FBI decision to reopen the email inquiry.
Her complacency in deciding not to campaign in certain key states.
The perception of her as part of an out of touch elite.

Is Trump’s election still guaranteed if they can find a decent candidate with a proper message, or is his re-election almost a done deal now?

so many known unknowns and unknown unknowns.
There isnt an obvious opponent. Anyway I think eh will be re-elected. In his own mind he is the greatest president ever.
quote
reply
molot
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#16
Report 2 months ago
#16
Clearly Trump hasn't undermined it as much as some of his predecessors have (yet) where democratic governments were toppled and replaced with pro-US dictatorships.
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
1
quote
reply
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#17
Report 2 months ago
#17
(Original post by Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer)
Donald Trump stunned everyone by winning the 2016 US Presidential Election. Both during the campaign, and as president, he has said and done things that many have found shocking. Some think he is the worst President ever, while others see him as a saviour figure standing up for those left behind by the Washington Elite.

His critics argue that he has debased the presidency with his attacks on enemies and allies alike, he has lowered the public discourse, flamed racial tensions, and appointed unreliable or corrupt administrators. His supporters point to the booming economy, his engagement with North Korea, and the fact that unlike some his predecessors he's actually fulfilling many of his campaign promises.

Which of these views do you think is correct?




Matthew is a lecturer in Politics and International Relations. He teaches on a range of modules on the Nottingham Trent University BA Politics degree, including Hyperpower Politics: The USA, Transnational Media and Society and Media Power and Politics. He also leads on the module Transnational Media Governance on the MA Journalism Degree. His main areas of focus are US policy and media politics.

Matthew did his original degree in Politics at NTU before completing an MA in Politics and Contemporary History at Nottingham University. He also has Post-Graduate Certificates in Research Methodologies and Higher Education. He completed his Phd at NTU in 2008.

In 2014 he won the Vice-Chancellor Award for Teaching and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is a member of the Political Studies Association and The Association for the Study of German Politics. His research is currently focusing on the use of game based learning in teaching, with particular emphasis on how it can be sued to examine US policy both at home and abroad.
(Original post by Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer)
I think all of these are good points, and I can’t disagree with the vast majority of it.

However....

Is there an argument that Trump is having a positive effect (although clearly unintentionally), in terms of reinvigorating the Democratic grassroots. There’s a whole generation of young people mobilising in opposition to Trump. As a result we might end up with a Democratic Party that’s more than just a slightly more liberal mirror image of the Republicans.

Also the Trump administration is giving us an unintended lesson in civics and constitutional law. Ordinary people in the street are now suddenly discussing things like the Logan Act and whether a President can pardon themselves (which is honestly a legitimate question).

Finally there’s the fact that Trump’s inward looking foreign policy means that European and other nations are having to step out from out of Anerica’s Shadow and filling the void left by Trump’s inaction. They might end up playing a much more vital role in UN and global affairs challenging American hegemony?


While Trump’s presidency is causing problems, it might be argued that there are some good things coming out of it (although not ones he’d probably want)
(Original post by Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecturer)
Ironically the economy might be his undoing. He’s tied his presidency so closely to the booming stock market (remember his promise that he’d never let anything bad happen to the economy). The global economic situation is more fragile than people realise. If another 2008 happens and the GOP base start to loose their jobs, how long will they stick with him?
With regards to your first question the answer is likely all of the above.

Much of what Trump says is idiotic, ill informed and rash (though there is an appeal in that to the ordinary person) however he is attempting to fufil what he promised and where it has been stopped (Muslim Ban) he can squarely point the finger at what his supporters will see as a corrupt establishment.

With regards to your second question i find that view highly speculative. Just as with Brexit here, many of the types of people who are engaged and fighting it are not new ordinary people but rather the same people who were fighting just a few years ago for their first black president or for gay marriage ect.. Far from living in a world where the left are engaging people en masse, what we see is an Octupus group of activists for the most part who simply move from Obama to Occupy to Trump to Brexit ect.. I question whether turnout will be be substantially increased despite the notion which like to comfort themselves with (the silent majority is often more important).

With regards to your third question i think it is somewhat overstated. The Trump foreign policy is actually highly external, it is simply geared towards China rather than Russia. The response thus far from Europe would suggest that though they may grumble, nothing will radically change. One also questions whether a greater role in the UN would even be a good thing given that it is a flaccid and corrupt organisation giving a voice to Russia.

With regards to your final comment that is again speculative. Although there are factors which may cool global demand and therefore US exports, the risk of a domestic recession is relatively low and a cooling of global growth via reduced inflationary pressure may not even be a bad thing (plus the threat to global growth comes from a Strong Dollar). In short, we require a shock event to see something come to pass that would be likely to threaten him.
0
quote
reply
zhog
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#18
Report 2 months ago
#18
Is the Trump Presidency undermining Liberal Democracy?
Not at all, the reaction to it by the loosing party is. On the charges of dragging political discourse down and flaming racial tensions at least, they are worse than Trump.
Last edited by zhog; 2 months ago
0
quote
reply
The RAR
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#19
Report 2 months ago
#19
There is certainly one thing you got right, he is fulfilling his promises in the campaign which is surprising since politics is all about lies. For a businessman, he is quite better than your average businessman.
1
quote
reply
TheTroll73
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#20
Report 2 months ago
#20
Trumpet
2
quote
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Were you ever put in isolation at school?

Yes (157)
27.35%
No (417)
72.65%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise