Joe Raedle/Getty Images

An American Political Tragedy

From Reaganomics to Obamacare, US policies have often overpromised and underperformed. Donald Trump's presidency is the culmination of this trend – one that can be reversed only with a major realignment of US political parties.

BERLIN – US President Donald Trump’s nearly eight months in office have been characterized by a series of disturbing political developments. But Trump is not entirely to blame. His presidency is just the latest act in a long-running political tragedy.

From a foreign-policy perspective, the problem began in the 1990s, when the United States squandered the post-Cold War peace dividend. With regard to domestic policy, the failures began even earlier: from Reaganomics in the 1980s to Obamacare in the 2010s, major policies have often overpromised and underperformed, while failing to address underlying problems.

Of course, US politicians are rarely short on lofty rhetoric – from Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” campaign to Barack Obama’s “Yes, we can” slogan to Donald Trump’s “America First” refrain. And, beginning with John F. Kennedy, presidents have likened the US to a “city upon a hill” – an example to the rest of the world.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/m0TQFLi;

Handpicked to read next

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.