For those who voted Donald Trump into power, the 2016 election was the rejection of a political system which has misgoverned since 9/11, whose cure for the financial crisis it caused has doubled two centuries of accumulated national debt in seven years and lost 15 million workers in the process. A period during which America made friends with its enemies, accommodated militant Islam, and lost its global standing by embracing globalisation. Trump’s mandate was to declare war on all of this. Putting America First even if this means disdaining the elites, bypassing due process, and turning the mainstream media – so accustomed to sustaining the consensus of the post-Reagan era – into the real ‘opposition party’.
For those who voted against Trump, the chaotic rollout of executive orders has exceeded their worst fears, as he reverses domestic policy, attempts to shut the nation’s doors to refugees and immigrants, escalates tensions with Mexico, flouts diplomacy with Australia or Iran, and reshapes perceptions of America from one day to the next. European leaders have gone so far as to describe the United States today as a ‘threat’, by turns interfering and isolationist, turning its back on 70 years of foreign policy.
The immediate future looks un-scriptable, what will it look like on May 16th? Arguing for Trump will be Melanie Phillips and James Delingpole. Arguing against will be James Rubin and Jonathan Freedland. And moderating the debate will be Emily Maitlis.