When Donald Trump ran for office he ran as an economic nationalist. He criticized foreign interventions. He believed that the United States should form an alliance with Russia in Syria against ISIS. When he came into office with people like Steve Bannon advising him he was making his promises a reality. Under Trump’s America unnecessary foreign interventions were to be a thing of the past. Free trade deals were to be renegotiated. Jobs were going to come back home. China was seen as the main threat to America’s global dominance.
Lately we have seen a different Donald Trump. He bombed Syria. He is clashing with Russia. He is getting friendly with China. Steve Bannon has been removed as a principle officer in the National Security Council. President Trump is acting like his Presidential predecessors. He is acting like a mainstream politician. His intellectual adviser Steve Bannon is sidelined. This change of policy could have a knock on effect in American politics.
Donald Trump is a billionaire. His Cabinet has fellow billionaires and military leaders. But he campaigned on a populist nationalist agenda. There were 2 agendas in the Trump candidacy. One agenda was to appeal to the voters who were alienated from the ruling elites. Another agenda seems to be to win the election. It could be said that it was winning for the sake of winning.
The downgrading of Steve Bannon has exposed a rift in the Trump Presidency. It could mean a split in the supporters of President Trump. Could Steve Bannon led an opposition to President Trump. Steve Bannon doesn’t need the job. He is already a wealthy man.
Even if President Trump used a nationalist agenda cynically it does show that voters genuinely want change. They feel that economic policies benefit the elite. They want a government that represent the people. If they turn away from President Trump then they would look elsewhere.
Steve Bannon was asked was his nationalism white nationalism? He said no it wasn’t white nationalism it was economic nationalism. He sought to combine conservative moral values with a government who sought to protect and expand the middle class. I have read that many people that voted for Trump used to vote President Obama. Many of these voters would have voted for Bernie Sanders if they got the opportunity to vote for him. In 1992 the Clinton’s team had a saying “its the economy stupid”. To understand politics you can’t ignore economics.
President Trump got elected because he spoke to the economic insecurities of his voters. If he ignores their economic concerns many of them will become disillusioned with him.