If President Donald J. Trump delivers on his most important campaign promises, the United States will fall into an economic recession. American society will become more polarized. The world will also suffer as Washington will offer no leadership against climate change and the present delicate geopolitical balance will be put to the test.
Fortunately, many observers expect that this scenario is unlikely to materialize. They predict that Trump will reverse on many of his campaign promises. They believe that the president-elect made protectionist promises just to attract the support of an angry electorate. They think that now that he has won, he will return to the moderate and pragmatic positions he always embraced.
Though one could discard those views as wishful thinking, there are good reasons to believe that Trump will not deliver on his most outrageous campaign promises. Normally, candidates move to the extremes during the primaries and then adopt moderate positions in the general election campaign. It’s true that Trump also made most of his controversial campaign promises in the primaries — unlike other candidates, however, he did not become more moderate once he was confirmed as the Republican Party’s candidate. Still, since presidents normally strive to govern for the entire country and not just for their supporters, it is normal that they moderate their promises once in office. Moreover, since the checks and balances system induces compromise, the political process leads to policy proposals being watered down as they go through Congress. Since politics is the art of compromise, presidents need to drop some of their campaign promises to draw support from others.
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