Although Donald Trump’s inauguration speech will resonate with his Midwest nationalist supporters and poses challenges to America’s political elites, America’s mature political system will force Trump to compromise with the reality, an expert said.
An elected official must represent the seriousness of America’s political system which today still centers on traditional political elite system. Although Trump represents populism and stands against political elites, he will have to make compromises with such a political reality and finally overlook the wishes of his supporters who made him president, according to Yin Xiaohuang, professor of the Occidental College.
“Every former US president has made great promises at the inauguration, but they all had to face the reality inevitably. As Trump has become the president of the country from a candidate, he will also change,” he said.
Trump’s inauguration speech only took 15 minutes, and it is the shortest speech ever by a president at an inauguration in the modern American history, and the speech was only targeted at his supporters, the middle-class American radicals, who helped make him the President, instead of the people of the whole nation, according to Yin.
This group of American people used to be outsiders to the traditional political and economic system, and Trump has sworn to make those forgotten by the traditional political system to not be forgotten again, Yin said. And Trump’s background as a businessman makes his administration different from his predecessors, he added.
“On one hand, as a businessman, Trump will not do anything without a gain; on the other, considering his supporters, he also represents conservative populists,” Yin said.
The difference of Trump’s administration also lies in his decision not to make a strong case for America’s role in shaping outside world. However, there is a gap between Trump’s ideal and reality, which means he has to find a balance, according to Yin.
“Trump wants his policy to benefit people from Midwest; he wants to make America great again and always put America first. All these seem possible as the Republican Party is strong with the White House under its control now, but the reality is that no matter whether America is happy or not, they will have to contend with globalism and the structure of the world today. It is unlikely that Trump can ignore reality to pursue those dreams,” he said.
Trump is a president with a prominent personality, but he has to make compromises. For instance, no matter how Trump likes his personal Boeing 757, now he has to take the official plane. He also has to use the mobile phone given by the government, he added.
Although Trump has a strong desire to change the current situation, the traditional ideal of governing the country is still based on meritocracy of east and west coast states of America, which is almost impossible for Trump to change, Yin said.
“Theoretically, the Republican Party has taken all the power and it looks like most of Obama’s political legacy is in danger of perishing, but Obama has laid a smooth foundation for Trump’s administration. While America’s unemployment rate is 4.7% today, it was 10% at the beginning of Obama’s presidency. Even if the Obamacare would be repealed, some provisions must be included in the alternative,” he noted.
(This article is translated and edited by Chunmei.)