Special to WorldTribune.com
A Hillary Clinton presidency will be more of the same, but Donald Trump will upend U.S. politics, and favor Israel.
It is now clear that, barring the possibility that the FBI will recommend the indictment of Hillary Clinton for endangering national security by sending and receiving classified material on her personal computer, she and Donald Trump will enter the November presidential election campaign as the Democratic and Republican candidates.
The astonishing and overwhelming victory of Trump on the one hand, is balanced by the struggle Mrs. Clinton has had to overcome the challenge of Bernie Sanders, independent senator and self-proclaimed socialist.
Trump and Sanders are avatars of the same social phenomenon — the total alienation of a very large segment of the American populations from the political/economic/social elites of the country.
As I wrote months ago, this primary season reflects the politics of rage and fear on the Republican side and envy and resentment on the Democratic.
Two of the most brilliant analysts writing in the USA Today have recently commented on this phenomenon. David Goldman ends his essay with the words: “If the American mood is ugly now, wait to see what happens after another round of disappointments. I have no idea what Americans will do. I don’t recognize them anymore.”
Criton Zoakos in a brilliant commentary writes: “Only for the sake of convenient reference may we call this phenomenon ‘the Trump insurgency’. In reality it is a full-blown popular revolt against a quarter century of bipartisan policies… economists have debated fruitlessly over the importance… of fiscal imbalances and excessive debt. To no avail they have sought answers to the question of what happens if these problems are not addressed by policymakers. Now we know: voter insurgencies happen; revolts happen that topple the established policy-making elites.”
Hillary Clinton will be the candidate of the economic/political establishment, as well as the blacks and Hispanics.
Trump, who is in reality a full-blooded populist, impossible to describe as of the right or of the left, will represent the insurgency commented upon by Goldman and Zoakos.
It is interesting that analysis of his supporters indicates that he is popular not just in the underclasses, but in much of the gainfully-employed middle class as well.
The only social class where he has little support is precisely the financial upper class to which he himself belongs.
If Clinton is elected the country will have four more years of same-old, same-old.
If Trump is elected, American policy of the last twenty-five years will be turned upside-down.
In the first case the underground insurgency will grow. In the second, it will be immediate and above-ground. What will this mean for the future of a country which has immense military power and which issues the world’s currency? Stay tuned.
What about the implications for Israel, after eight years of an administration notably hostile diplomatically but which at least until the latest controversy over defense aid has faithfully continued defense and intelligence cooperation?
A Clinton administration can be expected to be Obama II. She is not particularly pro-Israel nor anti-Islamist. As secretary of state Clinton supported the two-state solution, opposed further construction in the settlements and east Jerusalem, and reversed the stand she had taken as a senator on moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. She has shown no tendency to question the nuclear “deal” with Iran, unlike several other former Obama administration officials.
Trump, on the other hand, can be expected to favor Israel and to be anti-Islamist.
His daughter, son-in-law and his principal legal adviser can all be expected to move him in a pro-Israel direction. He will probably try to use his vaunted negotiating skills to broker an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, but when that predictably fails, he is realistic enough to move on to other projects.
We are already living the famous Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times”. They will soon become even more interesting.
Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor of Economic Statecraft at The Institute of World Politics, Washington, D.C., and a researcher at the Center for National Security Studies, University of Haifa. He was formerly with the U.S. National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.