The first 100 days of the Trump administration have been filled with a whirlwind of new policies and challenges to Washington orthodoxies, and the country is sharply divided. But if we are open to it, we might find that there are reasonable arguments being made by both sides on many issues. And those conversations can start by considering: President Trump’s “America First” policy, and what it means to different people; the administration’s impact on the health of the stock market and our economy; the team that the president has assembled; and whether it’s the media, or the president, that’s under attack. In one night we will ask five debaters, from across the political spectrum, for their views on four key issues under the new Trump presidency.
“America First” has a specific history, as a nativist and isolationist slogan, popular among Americans who resisted entry into World War II and were associated with the demagoguery and anti-Semitism of Charles Lindbergh. And it’s a fitting slogan for Trump.
Both job and stock-market growth have been on upward trajectories for the last year, and manufacturing decisions from automakers and other firms reflect long-standing plans. Trump is taking credit for events and trends that precede him and his election.
It’s the antimatter Cabinet—an ungovernment brought forth by reactionary hostility to the idea of the public, a throwback to the industrial oligarchy that eventually brought American democracy to its knees.
As for Bannon, he’s not just an informal spokesperson for President Trump; he is the president’s chief ideologist, and along with Sessions and Stephen Miller, has had a huge hand in crafting the administration’s agenda.
The shift is greatest on values: independent America renounces exceptionalism, the notion that the US actively promotes democracy, civil rights, and rule of law. Trump's approach toward alliances, and multilateral institutions more broadly, is transactional.
The United States is still home to the world's largest consumer market, and Donald Trump is likely to stimulate growth. But that won't solve the U.S. economy's underlying issues, and that's a problem for the entire global economy.
Kris Kobach is only 50, but he’s the closest thing the fractured Republican Party has to an ideological godfather on the two most galvanizing issues in the conservative arsenal: immigration and voting rights.
President Trump — who ran a presidential campaign excoriating interventionism, ridiculed the idea of action in Syria, voiced confidence we could leave Bashar al-Assad in place and reintroduced the noxious 1930s “America First” rhetoric — when confronted with the real world threw away all that refuse and launched a retaliatory missile strike on the airfield from which planes carrying sarin gas took off earlier in the week.
Perhaps it took Trump to discredit the whole grab bag of ideas and remind us that putting “America first” means maintaining leadership in the world, keeping markets open and staying true to our values.
One cringes to hear the president use the phrase of the Charles Lindbergh, fascist-sympathizing set of the 1930s. He puts forth a demonstrably false narrative that we benefited other countries at the expense of our own.
President Trump has little relevant experience, zero curiosity in policy and a rotten temperament that suggests he is divorced from reality. His staff is a mix of ideological extremists and party hacks, none with White House experience.
From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.
The America First Committee (AFC), which was founded in 1940, opposed any U.S. involvement in World War II, and was harshly critical of the Roosevelt administration, which it accused of pressing the U.S. toward war.
But my bottom line is that the high pricing of the market — and the public perception that the market is indeed highly priced — are the most important factors for the current market outlook. And those factors are negative.
Nobody expects him to get his entire program enacted, but his economic efforts will be viewed as a success if even half is put in place and growth increases 1% with only modest inflation and a minor increase in the budget deficit,. That’s what the stock market is telling us is going to happen, and let’s hope the stock market is right.
“Even in normal times, even with an everyday president, it’s an extraordinary challenge to try to keep on top of so many issues and to try to understand the nuances and complexities of all these different things going on at once,” the Times’s Baker says. “And this is not a normal circumstance.”