Trump supporters Andy Cross/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Qué les digo a mis amigos que no son norteamericanos

CAMBRIDGE – Con frecuencia viajo al exterior e, invariablemente, mis amigos extranjeros preguntan, con diferente grado de desconcierto: ¿Qué diablos está pasando en tu país? Esto es lo que les digo.

Primero, no malinterpreten la elección de 2016. Contrariamente a algunos comentarios, el sistema político estadounidense no ha sido arrasado por una ola de populismo. Es verdad, tenemos una larga historia de rebelión contra las élites. Donald Trump tocó la fibra de una tradición asociada con líderes como Andrew Jackson y William Jennings Bryan en el siglo XIX y Huey Long y George Wallace en el siglo XX.

Sin embargo, Trump perdió el voto popular por cerca de tres millones de sufragios. Ganó la elección apelando al resentimiento populista en tres estados del Cinturón de Óxido -Michigan, Pennsylvania y Wisconsin- que anteriormente habían votado por los demócratas. Si cien mil votos hubieran sido emitidos de otra manera en esos estados, Trump habría perdido el Colegio Electoral y la presidencia.

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