Donald Trump has impacted American politics. However, we do not know whether he changed America or brought out an America that already existed. If he did, that sleeping giant supporting him may come back to bite him as he appears to have forgotten about a good number of them.
We found these points from MIC on Trump’s impact on the political system:
1. Trump has eroded political norms. Trump has changed what is allowed in politics at almost every turn. “In the year since his election, the president has persistently normalized the abnormal in ways big and small, concrete and abstract, obvious and subtle — from ‘unpresidential’ rhetoric to the undermining of federal agencies,” Mic’s Eric Lutz wrote in a review of how Trump has changed the nation.
2. Our partisan divides are deeper. Trump promised to unite the country, but Republicans and Democrats are further apart on key political issues after Trump’s first year than ever before.
3. Republicans are facing a defining choice. Run with Trump or away from him? “You can’t be the anti-Trump guy in the primary. But you don’t want to be the 100%-for-Trump guy in the general,” a GOP pollster told Politico.
4. That choice is threatening to rip apart the party. Steve Bannon is recruiting far-right conservatives to pose primary challenges Republican senators across the country. His targeting of high-profile Republican leaders, like Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, will cost the party resources and pull candidates to the right in order to win. It’s already led to Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) saying they’ll resign. And House Republicans are announcing their retirements instead of trying to run in competitive districts against Democrats.
5. Progressive energy isn’t waning. In the days after Trump’s election, many Americans opposed to him wondered how they could jump into politics. So, many people founded new groups, joined existing organizations, ran for office and much more. That led to progressives winning in key places on Tuesday to bring historic victories.
6. But it’s not clear progressives will take over the Democrats. Tuesday’s elections showed Democratic candidates can be popular on the state and local level. But disapproval of the party as a whole remains low, at its lowest point in 25 years. Various outside groups are jockeying to present their ideology as the best path forward for Democrats — a process that has been far from comfortable or seamless.
7. Many key problems for voters remain unaddressed or worse. Cost of health insurance, increasing pay for workers, improving some trade deals — Republicans and Trump have done little to move the needle. Their health insurance proposals could not pass the Senate, so Trump ended cost-sharing subsidies and destabilized the market. It’s not clear the tax reform plan would benefit the middle class. And NAFTA remains in effect.
8. Yet Trump has made major changes elsewhere. Climate change, killing other trade deals, immigration — a few areas where U.S. policy has shifted substantially. Trump is being more aggressive about deportation, and provisionally ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for immigrant children. The U.S. is now the only country not in the Paris climate agreement. And Trump often presents the U.S. as isolationist.
There are two important points worth reiterating.
First, our partisan divides are not deeper, they have been revealed. What Donald Trump did was strike a cord with many silent or inactive voices, causing them to wake up and vote. Moreover, this segment of the population already existed. It felt ignored. It was afraid. It felt it had been silenced. Trump appealed to this group showing America just how divided it already was, empowering a certain segment of the political right.
Second, Trump is failing to deliver. He is not addressing the concerns of the base he built, he is leaving working America out of the process by not working to get what they want.
Trump’s rants, his flip flopping and his Twitter tirades show Trump is simply disconnected from the world and the people who live in it. Trump is unable to genuinely connect with the people he represents. Unless he starts to connect, the disconnect will be his downfall.
Trump has not changed America, he revealed an ugly, and discontented, side of America that already existed.