Opinion: In the U.S., the 2020 presidential race is on
For U.S. President Donald Trump, Republican defeat in the 2018 midterm elections at least turned the GOP into his party. With economic successes to his credit and growing constraints on his power imposed by a Democratic Congress, the question is whether he will tone down the polarizing style that has worked so well for him. On the domestic front, this seems unlikely, but international policy may provide an arena where Trumpism’s theatrical conflicts could yield constructive solutions.
2018 Global Outlook: The Trump presidency, Year Two
After a year in the White House, Donald Trump is suffering as much from his own erratic personality as from the burden of office. Foreign policy in the traditional, institutional sense has ceased to exist, and the way the president and Congress operate suggests there will be little room for maneouver once domestic troubles start to mount. Miscalculation and overreaction become increasingly likely as the global arena grows more precarious.
Squaring the circle in U.S. health care
America’s current health-care crisis isn’t due to neglect – incessant debate and trillions of dollars have been devoted to the system over the past decade. The Democratic vision of expanding access to health coverage – primarily by boosting enrollments – has run head-on into an effort by Republicans to contain medical costs and reduce the budget burden.
The Trump presidency – will the system keep working?
Donald Trump has complained about a cloud hanging over his presidency. To a considerable degree, it is of his own making. But the relentlessness and intensity of the Trump-hunt in the media has also been without precedent, and has served to disguise the weakness of the Democratic opposition and a growing split within the Republican party. Perhaps the only way the U.S. government can continue to function is for President Trump to reach across the aisle.
Global Outlook 2017: The Trump transition
President Donald Trump is the product of powerful undercurrents that laid bare the hollowness of politics as usual. His message has few historical precedents among U.S. presidents. Americans have no shared sense of what the new era will bring, just a feeling that there is no going back.
Next U.S. president must address aging nuclear arsenal
The United States’ nuclear weapons systems are old, and getting older. How – or even whether – the country will take steps to maintain and modernize this force is one of the key unanswered questions for U.S. defense policy going forward. The issue has attracted scant attention from the politicians running for president, but nuclear policy will be a topic that the n...
Argentina’s new government makes an ambitious start
President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, who was elected last October, has quickly set out to show how much his administration differs from that of his predecessor, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Much of the attention has focused on its determination to end the country’s complex set of price controls, subsidies and exchange rate restrictions. But his most significan...
Brazil braces for a rough ride, but its strengths remain
The drama of Brazil’s immense political and economic crisis has reached a sort of “ground zero” point, from which it can develop in any direction, leading to a positive or very negative outcome for the country. In early December 2015, Brazil’s Congress unexpectedly and abruptly moved to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. A...
Argentina’s new president will find it hard to make a fresh start
Let’s Change – Cambiemos – led by former Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri, won Argentina’s presidential run-off by less than 3 per cent of the popular vote. Headlines in Europe, the United States and Latin America heralded the opposition coalition’s victory as marking a reversal of the ‘pink tide’ – the swing to the left that has dominated South American politics ...
Pope Francis, diplomat extraordinaire
Whether navigating the Barque of Peter through the rough waters of international politics – or the even rougher waters of Church politics – Pope Francis is proving to be far more skilful and more adept than many of his detractors anticipated. In part, this is because he knows his own mind and refuses to be manipulated. If Francis has become a diplomat extraordinair...