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Will Trump Win Again?

This November’s presidential election in the United States will be a referendum on the state of the US economy, the country’s political and social direction, and American democracy itself. Should America – and the world – start preparing for four more years of President Donald Trump?

In this Big Picture, Columbia University’s Joseph E. Stiglitz rejects the conventional wisdom that Trump has helped to boost the American economy. Although Trump may be a good president for the top 1%, Stiglitz says, he has not been good for everyone else. But fellow economist Jean Pisani-Ferry disagrees, arguing that Trump – despite his reckless approach to policymaking – ticks more boxes on US voters’ economic wish lists than most of his predecessors did.

Turning to politics, MIT’s Daron Acemoglu fears that opponents who brand Trump and his supporters as fascists are merely fueling the president’s own polarizing instincts, making compromise even less likely. Similarly, Ian Buruma worries that efforts by Trump’s evangelical and Catholic conservative supporters to infuse politics with their religious beliefs risk turning political conflicts into irreconcilable clashes of faith.

Georgetown University’s Josiah Osgood, meanwhile, compares Trump to some of ancient Rome’s overmighty emperors, and asks whether the president’s own brazen abuse of power and other misdeeds will catch up with him in November. But Washington-based journalist Elizabeth Drew argues that the impeachment saga revealed the alarming fragility of the US Constitution in the face of a determined president with a tight grip on his party and contempt for the rule of law. American democracy, Drew concludes, is in greater danger than at any time in modern history.

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