The Trump Presidency (3)


Johan Galtung - from Washington DC, 11 Nov 2016 - TRANSCEND Media Service

Trump and his inner circle of executives now work hard on a presidency “for all Americans”, after having insulted most of them. His business model calls for a President Trump different from the Candidate Trump.

Some predictions of what he will claim:

  • he is not against blacks, but reached out to them;
  • he is not against women, only commented on some beauty contestants;
  • he is only against Mexican illegals–therefore no wall is needed;
  • he is only against illegal immigrants–solving that they are welcome;
  • he is against people not working, living at the expense of others;
  • he is against bank(er)s not investing, only speculating, “trading”.

Above all he wants to lift white, male, American workers up, not only to jobs and a living income, but to restore their dignity.

Will he be believed?  That will take time.  Current protests, demos, even battles against him, will abate. But many may think: if he can change that much once, he may do so twice; and then toward what?

Up against him comes a fact: the decline of the group he wants to lift up and who brought him into power is much less due to the groups he insulted, and much more to simple automation, maybe as much as 88%.  Those jobs may no longer exist. “Education, retraining for white collar, not blue collar jobs”, the System says. OR: if artisanry was overtaken by industry and industry by automation and AI, artificial intelligence, maybe advanced, labor-intensive, high quality artisanry? Not easy, and different from campaign rhetoric and “business model”.

But very many jobs can be created improving the infrastructure.  That is also a Sanders revolution, but Trump may be less economic and more into dignity. Financed by cutting down on bases and military commitments abroad, except Israel?  Conservative he is not; nor are the others, always progressive. Old maps to US politics are invalid.

But US democracy as such has so far stood the test brilliantly.


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. Prof. Galtung has published 1670 articles and book chapters, over 450 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service, and 167 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 14 Nov 2016.

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One Response to “The Trump Presidency (3)”

  1. Peter Horan says:

    One very interesting piece of data from Thomas Piketty goes a long way to explain disaffection in the “rust-belt” states. The data are about income inequality in the US. He points out that, from WW2 till 1982, the top 10% in total income (including capital gains) earned 35% of national income and this was steady. Since Reagan, it has risen to 50% today.

    In this circumstance, I suggest that economic growth delivers income growth to the people at the top and denies it to those at the bottom. So, low wages stagnate.

    The cake grew, but the greedy got the new slices.

    Had the growth been uniform, every person’s income would have risen with economic growth and perhaps things would be different.

    Doing infra-structure development is one good way of ensuring that the US as a whole benefits from this kind of economic activity because it won’t all be captured by the top 10%.