How to Understand the Trump Era

The Deep Roots of Populism, Racism, and Unchecked Presidential Power

The Unconstrained Presidency

by James Goldgeier and Elizabeth N. Saunders

By making unilateral foreign policy decisions, Donald Trump hasn’t single-handedly destroyed the checks and balances that are supposed to constrain executive power: his actions merely expose that they have been wearing away for decades.

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America's Original Sin

by Annette Gordon-Reed

The deadly rally in Charlottesville last year was a tragic reminder that Americans must come to grips with both the legacy of slavery and the system of white supremacy it established.

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The Jacksonian Revolt

by Walter Russell Mead

The distinctively American populism Donald Trump espouses is rooted in the idea that the United States is not a political entity guided by a universal mission but the protector of the American people, whose chief business lies at home.

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American Political Decay or Renewal?

by Francis Fukuyama

In the 2016 election, American democracy finally began to respond to economic stagnation and growing inequality. The real question is not why populism gained traction but why it took so long to happen.

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Populism on the March

by Fareed Zakaria

Economic stasis and rapid cultural change have provoked a backlash in Europe and North America, and enlightened leadership will be needed to respond to legitimate grievances without pandering to the public’s worst instincts.

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How America Lost Faith in Expertise

by Tom Nichols

In many ways, the populist swell that brought Donald Trump to office represents a rejection of experts and all they represent. Here’s what those who see ignorance as a virtue get wrong.

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