With a year until the American presidential election, what can stop this impetuous billionaire from extending his term at the White House? A Democrat challenger who’s up to the job, repeated scandals or Trump himself?
Sex scandals, chaos in his administration, international swerves, resentment from the military and CIA agents, the Democrats debating his impeachment. For the moment, it seems Donald Trump is forgiven for everything, like water running off the back of the famous duck by the same name.
With a year to go until the next presidential election, the New York billionaire, who in June officially threw himself into the campaign for a second term in office, remains upright in the midst of the storm he’s caused.
After all, the economy has never been better, with the quasi-disappearance of unemployment, even if the precarious and poorly paid casual jobs partially mask reality, and even if the wealth gap continues to widen. For many Americans, he belongs to the blue-collar workers, the middle class and the conservative social strata; Trump is “getting the job done.”
Of course, on the international front, the trade war against China is cause for concern. And the brutal withdrawal from Syria and letdown of Kurdish allies have left a bitter taste in the mouths of American generals. But Trump, who is guilty of everything except not showing his hand, had always said he intended to withdraw American men and women from what he considers “ridiculous endless wars, many of them tribal.” This is also the average American’s opinion, as Americans are weary of perpetually seeing their country play “the policeman of the world” in the four corners of the globe.
Like the Gulf Stream, the powerful isolationist current that runs deeply throughout the land of George Washington is back on course. And it's too bad for traditional allies invited to manage all alone in suffering the potential consequences of the desertion of the U.S. military, a wave of immigration and a skyrocketing jihadi threat. “From now on, Europe’s issue is ensuring the safety of their surroundings given that the Americans consider it’s not their problem,” points out former French Ambassador to the United States Gerard Araud.
For those great in number who thought this 45th president of the United States who suffers from “pathological narcissism” to be his own worst enemy, Trump has shown that, against all odds, he is also his greatest ally. “He raised the political standard in a specific place; that of insults, cries, of being out of touch with reality,”* said historian Thomas Snegaroff. “Therefore, it will be difficult for his future Democratic rival to occupy media space by prioritizing the sense of nuance and moderation. Now, it has become impossible for a candidate to not attempt to speak directly to the people,”* the French expert on the U.S. said. But, in this aspect of the game, the former New York real estate tycoon remains unrivaled.
The fact remains that the 12 months remaining until the next presidential election could be very long months for Trump. The impeachment proceedings certainly have no chance of succeeding in removing him from office, as the Republicans will block this in Congress. But this heavy charge launched by the Democrats following the extortion carried out on the Ukrainian president by the president in an attempt to harm one of the Democratic presidential candidates, Joe Biden, could undermine American public opinion.
The other danger that could trap Trump is the economic shift forecast by several experts, or a financial firedamp explosion that could ruin his hopes of reelection at the same time as it ruins millions of shareholders and investors in the United States. “Whatever happens, I wish the person who succeeds Trump in 2020 or in 2024 good luck, because they’ll inherit a totally chaotic world,”* shudders Thomas Snegaroff.
*Editor’s note: These quotes, although accurately translated, could not be verified.