Interview: Trump enjoys the sport of fighting with media, says New York journalist Paul Glader
Bengaluru, Nov 16: The much-awaited mid-term elections were held in the United States on November 6 and the results were balanced of sort. While the Democrats, who have been struggling for a while now, regained control of the House of Representatives, the Senate was retained by the Republican Party.
Although President Donald Trump saw a "tremendous success" in the results, the outcome meant that the president will have to now work with the opponents for the rest of his term and American politics could be in for more conflicts in the near future. However, do the country's policies vis-à-vis China and Russia change after this? Do the Democrats now are placed better for the 2020 presidential polls?
Oneindia spoke to Professor Paul Glader from New York on issues pertaining to the mid-terms. Prof Glader is an Associate Professor of Journalism, Media and Entrepreneurship at The King's College; director of The McCandlish Phillips Journalism Institute and also the director of the Dow Jones News Fund business reporting program. A former reporter with the Wall Street Journal, he has written for various renowned publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Bloomberg Business Week, Forbes.com and many others. Professor Glader is also associated with various journalism initiatives.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
Oneindia: Do the results signify any change in Donald Trump's way of governing? He looks unlikely to mend his ways. How do you see the president co-existing with the Democrat-dominated House now?
Prof Glader: Good question. I believe we will continue to have friction between the two parties and the tension between the White House and Congress will also increase.
Oneindia: A number of women representatives have been elected in the mid-terms as besides those from LGBT, African-American communities. Do you feel Trump's chauvinistic and white nationalism card in a way has seen this result? Afterall, democracies always have that counter force which even the most powerful of leaders do not find easy to contain.
Prof Glader: Some people predicted a "blue wave," meaning Democrat party voters would turn out in greater number and elect anti-Trump candidates. That was true in part. But Republicans earned a share of victories in certain states and held on to their advantage in the Senate.
So it ended up being a "Purple Wave" that was shared victories by Republicans and Democrats, with an edge going to Democrats in the midterm elections. And, yes, we did see more candidates from minority communities, including Muslims. Undoubtedly, Trumps nationalism, chauvinism and other isms created animosity and a backlash. It motivated people who were never involved in politics before to do so now.
Oneindia: Do you see any change in US's policies towards China and Russia after these results?
Prof Glader: Well. I think the US will continue a toughened stance toward China and Russia. Trump has initiated a tougher stance - economically and politically - with China and I think many Americans, not just Republicans, support that. And the scrutiny on Russia's soft power and attempts at influencing elections in the US and elsewhere has also drawn the focus of the nation. Even if Trump aims to maintain relations with Putin, the Congress is enforcing a cautious relationship.
Oneindia: Where does the Republican Party go from here? Will it be happy with Trump's slowing down now, if at all that happens?
Prof Glader: Who knows where the Republican Party or the Democratic Party go from here. It seems forces and factions are pulling both parties from the centre toward more extremes. But we could also see some intelligent, qualified candidates re-emerge at the centre when the nation becomes tired of autocratic, populist blowhards.
Oneindia: The Democrats managed to take back the House even though they have a leadership crisis at the moment which saw former prez Barack Obama having to campaign for them aggressively. Can they now bring up a face counter to Trump in 2020?
Prof Glader: I wouldn't be surprised if Trump is re-elected. I think his base is still behind him. He continues to barnstorm at political rallies to fire up his base when he or they need a little populist pizzaz. They follow him on Twitter. He has created a movement of sorts, followers who repeat his chants, buy his hat and believe he can do no wrong. Sow who will the Democrats put up to run against Trump in 2020? He or she will have to be a unique figure. Perhaps New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who was a mayor of Newark. Perhaps Sen. Bernie Sanders will run again and this time the Democratic Party will actually get behind him and let him take his best shot at Trump. Former vice-president Joe Biden is a name in the mix. So is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Perhaps an outside candidate such as billionaire Michael Bloomberg will make a run.
Oneindia: Trump's spat with the media has increased after the results. Is the president under pressure somewhere after the Democrats won the House?
Prof Glader: When Trump fights with the media and disrespects the media by calling them "The enemy of the people," his base becomes animated. So he returns to that for calculated reasons as and also because he enjoys the sport of fighting with the media. Sometimes, though, his fights do backfire. Fights with the media also animate the opposition.
The media sometimes expose the president's prevarications from these exchanges. They always expose his cruelty toward others and what many consider to be his unfitness for high office. His fights with the media can upset his staff or undermine his staff, cause internal tensions and distractions from strategy in the White House, internecine squabbles, resignations or firings. So the president's battle with the media is also an ongoing risk.