Concerning the Impact of Chaotic American Politics and Trump’s Candidacy on Taiwan

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy was recently ousted from his position, a first in American history. Coming as another shock right after the U.S. government narrowly avoided a shutdown, his ouster has had a huge impact.

Early this year when the House voted for speaker, even though the Republicans have a nine-seat majority (221-212), McCarthy had to go through 15 rounds of votes before he was elected, which revealed the effect of internal differences within the Republican Party. On Aug. 30, both houses of Congress quickly passed a temporary appropriations bill to avoid a government shutdown. This will last only 45 days, however, and then the two parties will have to go head-to-head again.

Furthermore, because the budget cuts in the appropriation bill were limited, some Republican members of Congress were dissatisfied and threatened to remove the speaker. Now that the House must once again elect a new speaker, how long will that take? Naturally, this will considerably affect America’s legislative process.

Although the Democrats are the ruling party in the Senate, they are in the minority in the House. Ultimately, the House Democrats voted to remove former Speaker McCarthy because he supported former President Donald Trump and refused to investigate the chaos at the Capitol that occurred at the beginning of 2021. Moreover, McCarthy had just launched an impeachment investigation against President Joe Biden, even though there is no substantial evidence. He also tried to shift blame to the Democrats for the possible government shutdown. Along with the votes of some far-right defectors, their votes successfully removed McCarthy.

In sum, in addition to the fighting between the two American parties this year, the speaker’s removal ignited a struggle within the Republican Party between those who support and those who oppose Trump. As for Trump’s role, even though lawsuits entangle him now, they will not affect his candidacy in 2024. Numerous polls suggest that he is in a league of his own, far outpacing his rivals, and has already become the de facto Republican Party candidate. Polls also suggest that he is beating Biden by about 10%.

From this we can see that American populism is on the rise, characterized by anti-tradition and anti-intelligence sentiments. Seven years ago, Trump won the election primarily because the American people were greatly dissatisfied with the government at the time, of which the populist Trump took advantage. In a society in which people question and cast aside traditional values, they deliberately break old ones and construct new ones; the destructiveness, however, has outweighed the constructiveness, and this is an extremely large challenge for American society and the nation as a whole.

Of course, the poor economic situation in the U.S. is a major factor in the rise of populism. The Biden administration will continue to support Ukraine in its resistance against Russia. Moreover, the problem of refugees at America’s southern border is becoming increasingly serious. All of this involves issues of budget allocation, and calls from Republicans for ending support to Ukraine grow louder every day. This is only adding fuel to the fight between the two parties.

Based on the current situation, amid the chaos in the U.S., Trump’s candidacy and even possible reelection might create much uncertainty. Some Western countries are already discussing the nightmare of another Trump presidency. Trump’s style of doing things is completely disorderly, and he has only short-term interests, not long-term views. A transactional leader who was friendly toward Vladimir Putin and tough on China, he might use transactions to ease tensions in hotspots like Ukraine and Taiwan. If Beijing makes concessions, will he sell out Taiwan? These are important issues to which we must all pay attention.

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