Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Does Trump represent the end of the Reagan regime, or the beginning of something far more dangerous?


In today's New York Times, Tom Edsall gives an outstanding summary of the academic debate over whether Donald Trump is a disjunctive president, or something far more dangerous. His column includes quotes from Theda Skocpol, Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt, Julia Azari, Scott Lemieux, and, of course, Stephen Skowronek himself.

Most of the commentators argue that Trump does not fit well into Skowronek's model of presidential leadership, and that he raises distinctive dangers of authoritarianism that we simply have not seen in the past. Azari and Lemieux argue that we may be headed into a long and exhausting conflict between two evenly matched, ideologically polarized parties.

Skowronek gives a nuanced account of how things might play out. I am the only optimist in the bunch.

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