Trump’s shattering expectations.
I got on the Trump Train back in July 2015 for three primary reasons:
1) Immigration — his candidacy was a referendum on a wall.
2) Political correctness — any other political figure who’d said one-tenth of the things he did would’ve been toast. Instead of groveling, he doubled down. Rather than shedding support, his level of support increased.
3) Messianic democracy — he offered a reorientation of Republican foreign policy from neocon interventionism to America First nationalism to such an extent that the 2016 election was one in which the Democrat was the hawk and the Republican was the relative dove.
Trump’s positions on trade and corporate taxation were encouraging to hear but I figured they would at best amount to small effects on the margins.
Was I ever wrong about that. The news of foreign investment heading into the US and of manufacturing already here staying here as a direct consequence of Trump’s election continues daily–Ford (hyperbole aside), Carrier, Trans-Lux, SoftBank, to name the biggest and most conspicuous ones so far.
There is nothing more valuable than access to the US market. That can be leveraged to the hilt. Wal-Mart didn’t become the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer by focusing on reciprocity and equitability with its suppliers. That sort of principled cuckery is the reason the phrase “nice guys finish last” exists.
Parenthetically, don’t think I’ve lost my grounding here. Despite the recent surge, the markets are headed for a serious downturn in the relatively near future, on the order of a double-digit percentage decline over the course of a single year. That was going to happen irrespective of who was elected. I’d put it at 5% before Trump takes office, 80% during his first-term, 10% between ’20-’24, and 5% that it’ll happen after that.
Anyway, Trump’s net favorability has gone from -29.2 to +5.2 in a mere six weeks. He’s now within striking distance of Obama. The markets need to open an over/under on whether Trump will be more popular than Obama by inauguration day: