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¿Cuánto importa Trump?

CAMBRIDGE – Estados Unidos nunca antes tuvo un presidente como Donald Trump, con su personalidad narcisista, lapso de atención breve y falta de experiencia en los asuntos internacionales, más inclinado al eslogan que a la estrategia en política exterior. Hubo presidentes, como Richard Nixon, con sesgos sociales e inseguridades personales similares, pero Nixon tenía una visión estratégica de la política exterior. Otros, como Lyndon Johnson, eran sumamente egoístas, pero tenían mucha habilidad política para trabajar con el Congreso y otros líderes.

¿Verán los historiadores del futuro la presidencia de Trump como una aberración transitoria o como un importante punto de inflexión respecto del lugar de Estados Unidos en el mundo? Los periodistas tienden a prestar demasiada atención a la personalidad de los líderes: les da buen material para escribir. En cambio, los teóricos sociales tienden a proponer teorías estructurales amplias que plantean el crecimiento económico y la ubicación geográfica como fuerzas que hacen que la historia parezca inevitable.

Hace tiempo escribí un libro en el que traté de poner a prueba el peso real de los líderes, mediante un análisis de puntos de inflexión importantes en el surgimiento de la “era americana” un siglo atrás, y especulé sobre lo que hubiera sucedido sustituyendo al presidente histórico por su contendiente más probable. Con otro presidente y las mismas fuerzas estructurales ¿se hubiera producido la era del liderazgo global estadounidense?

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