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Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Rise and Fall of Donald Trump

On 10 November 2016, George Friedman repeated a cornerstone in his geopolitical viewsHow Important Is the US President – or Any Leader? Essentially, I agree with him that we tend to overrate the importance of an individual President or Prime Minister, whether in Europe or USA.

Many rules have the famous - or notorious - exception. In this case, the "rule" is that it doesn't really matter who is the next U.S. President as external forces will restrict his abilities to inflict change upon America and/or the world. Might Donald Trump be that exception?

I think, feel and believe that the answer is a Yes and a No - or "It's complicated" (IMDb, Wiki). The short-term "Yes" will ultimately result in a long-term "No". The earliest indications on the duration of the initial "Yes" are not very promising (if and when you're a supporter of him).

Eliot Cohen, a professor of international politics at Johns Hopkins University and a former George W. Bush official, has even warned his fellow Republicans - hopeful of earning a federal appointment from President-elect Donald Trump - to "stay away" from Trump's "angry, arrogant" team" and that working for the billionaire businessman could mean "compromising one’s integrity and reputation"(eg, Atlantic, Independent, NYT, Politico).

In a way, George Friedman's view is supported by a September 2016 prediction of Allan Lichtman, an American political historian who teaches at American University in Washington, D.C. Since May 2016, Allan Lichtman has "insisted that Trump was lined up for a win — based on the idea that elections are “primarily a reflection on the performance of the party in power.” (WP).

Washington Post: "At the end of our September conversation, Lichtman made another call: that if elected, Trump would eventually be impeached by a Republican Congress that would prefer a President Mike Pence — someone whom establishment Republicans know and trust."

A Republican impeachment of a Republican President would be an extraordinary event. Yet, it would also be an example of the external forces that will restrict any President's ambitions to inflict change. George Friedman's rule is ultimately about the leveling forces in life, nature and the universe.

The chances on a Trump impeachment grow considerably when Trump is not able to recruit people whom he can rely on to execute his campaign promises. Trump's current entourage is bound to make the kind of mistakes that would lead to his future impeachment. 

While writing this blog, George Friedman just released a new GPF article on the similarities between the 1917 Russian revolution and Trump's promise of revolution. Excerpt: "It is possible to break the gridlock in Washington. Presidents [] Roosevelt and [] Reagan both did it – not by draining the swamp, but by surrounding themselves with people like Harry Hopkins and James Baker, who knew exactly what they needed to do and could honestly state what could not be done." 

Probably, the only exception to George Friedman's rule is true authoritarian power, like Genghis Khan or his grandson Kublai Khan. Sooner rather than later, Trump will be a footnote in history.

Rodney Black and the Blacklist - Footnote (In Your History) - FBsong, YT