米大統領選 危うさもはらむトランプ旋風

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Republican front-runner Trump accelerates a dangerous whirlwind
米大統領選 危うさもはらむトランプ旋風

Voting was held on Super Tuesday, the biggest day of nominating contests for both the Democratic and Republican parties’ candidates in the U.S. presidential election.

The day marked the climax of the early-stage primaries in which more than 10 states held primary elections and caucuses. In the Republican race, Donald Trump, a real estate tycoon, and in the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state, advanced toward securing their parties’ presidential nominations by winning the most states on the day.

In his victory speech, Trump boasted that he has expanded the support base of the Republican Party, referring to “the numbers that we got in terms of extra people coming in. They came from the Democratic Party ... And they were independents.”

The whirlwind set off by an outsider with no political experience shows no sign of subsiding. Lying behind this development is voters’ anger at “Washington politics,” epitomized by gridlock due to constant partisan conflict. This can also be seen as a manifestation of anti-intellectualism, which is firmly rooted in the United States.

Trump has proposed that he would build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to stop the flow of immigrants, ban all Muslims from entering the United States, and forcibly deport all the illegal immigrants from the country. These radical assertions made by Trump are ones that an established politician cannot afford to make.

Novelty appeal

For those people who are angry, feeling their jobs were taken by immigrants, and for those who are hostile to Islam, Trump’s words may strike a chord in their hearts as novel remarks not assimilated into established politics.

Voters’ hope of entrusting to Trump the task of breaking the current deadlock has begun to spread among a wide range of supporters of the Republican Party. There is even speculation prevailing that Trump is the Republican candidate most likely to win the November election.

A matter of concern is that the party has yet to see policy discussions among candidates deepened at debates or other occasions, with Trump’s assertions left largely unexamined in terms of appropriateness and feasibility.

Repetition of such simplistic slogans as “We will overwhelm Japan, China and Mexico in trade,” and “We will make America great again,” sounds like nothing but perilous demagoguery.

Among mainstream Republicans, negative voices have arisen about the prospect of Trump winning the party’s presidential nomination. Yet the very gravity of the whole situation lies in the likelihood that such negative opinions would provoke opposition as “interference by establishment elites,” which may actually help expand Trump’s support.

At a victory rally, Clinton said, “Instead of building walls we need to be tearing down barriers ... We need to make America whole again.” It seems Clinton is already thinking about having a showdown with Trump.

Her experience of having been the first lady and a senator are Clinton’s strong point and also her weakness. How those people disgruntled with the “establishment elites” evaluate her will be the key to the campaign.

It is worrisome that both Trump and Clinton have made clear their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. The accord, which is aimed at reinvigorating trade in Asia and the Pacific regions, must not be scrapped with the change of president.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 3, 2016)

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-04 10:53 | 英字新聞

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