The Economist: How Clinton and Trump see America’s future
This week, the British publisher briefly examines the main political views of the key candidates for the USA presidency - Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The Economist dwells upon the US presidential campaign 2016 comparing policies of two strongly different candidates the Democratic and Republican nominee.
Advisers and former colleagues say that Mrs Clinton shares a traditional view of America: as a force for good and with a special duty to guarantee global norms. Yet they caution against assuming that Mrs Clinton will be much more hawkish in her actions than Barack Obama—not least because some intractable problems will dominate her in-tray, starting with Syria. In presidential debates the Democratic nominee talked of pushing for a no-fly zone and safe havens in Syria. But in a leaked speech that she gave to bankers in 2013, she noted the risks of creating a no-fly zone, which would require destroying Syrian air defences, some in heavily populated areas; a big and risky task. In Asia Mrs Clinton will have to address North Korea’s aggressive moves to develop its nuclear arsenal. The Democrat has backed tougher sanctions on North Korea and building elaborate anti-missile defence systems with Japan and South Korea—all steps that alarm China. In contrast Chinese leaders were quietly pleased when the presidential campaign saw Mrs Clinton forced to disavow an ambitious free-trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that would bind 11 Asia-Pacific nations, not including China, more closely with America. President Hillary Clinton’s relations with Russia’s autocratic leader, Vladimir Putin, would begin in a glacial state—not least because the Clinton campaign, backed by American spy chiefs, accuses Russia of trying to meddle in the presidential election by stealing and leaking e-mails from top Democrats.
Mr Trump has signalled some basic principles over over the years, starting with an un-Reaganesque contempt for democracy. He has praised the Chinese government’s violent suppression of protests in 1989 and lauded Mr Putin for his “very strong control over his country”. He has suggested that America’s obligation to defend NATO allies might be conditional. He has promised to “bomb the shit” out of Islamic State, without explaining what that means, and regretted that American troops did not seize and keep Iraq’s oilfields. There’s more: he says he will renegotiate the nuclear-arms deal with Iran and press China into dealing with North Korea. And he called climate change a hoax and promised to cancel billions of dollars in payments to programmes designed to lessen it.
The only real certainty about Mr Trump’s foreign policies is that he knows what his voters want to hear: that America holds a winning hand, if only it is ruthless enough to play it. If elected, Mr Trump would struggle to fulfil half his promises. But given the geopolitical chaos a President Trump threatens to unleash, disappointed voters in America will be the least of the world’s worries.