Donald Trump

The End of American Enlightenment

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    President-elect Donald Trump has won this election by holding up a metaphorical mirror to U.S. voters that shows them the worst of themselves and their country. The author argues that there can be nothing more dangerous than a populace wounded in this way.

  • Facts


    • Many voters said they did not believe or trust Mr. Trump after the televised presidential debates. One poll found that over half the respondents said they would not be comfortable with him as president. Yet somehow he still won.
    • Critics say Mr. Trump will eventually be able to wind back some of the achievements of the Obama presidency, such as recognition of same-sex marriage and certain pro-immigrant laws, if he is able to nominate judges to the Supreme Court.
    • There have been anti-Trump protests held across the U.S. over the past two days since he won the presidential election.
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2016 Election Washington
Storm clouds: Preparations for the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump in Washington. Source: AP

Donald Trump is a relic of a dying America. Now the future of the country belongs to him. The Obama era will be degraded and abandoned. Achievements of recent years, such as the reform of the healthcare system and the recognition of same-sex marriages won’t survive 2017.

Searching for the reasons, you can stare deep into the soul of the U.S.: The two Americas, the race issue, the two-party system, Christianity. But the truth is that Donald Trump is a European import. It is not by chance that “Mr. Brexit,” Nigel Farage, supported his candidacy; it is not by chance that Mr. Trump voiced enthusiasm for both Vladimir Putin and the far-right voters of the Alternative for Germany party. He was inspired by the right-wing populists of Europe and he copied their punchy style of politics.

For decades, American exceptionalism was an article of faith for U.S. conservatives. But this year, it is the left who best represented it, above all Michelle Obama. Even if other countries were cowering before fascist attacks, the U.S. would show the world how a modern, multicultural country responded to this threat.

Simply by being elected, Donald Trump has degraded America. He has transformed the country from a beacon of multiculturalism into one more isolated island of white people afraid of their own shadows.

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