On November 3, American Space Leipzig director, Crister S. Garrett, talked about the 2016 presidential elections in the United States. 40 interested people attended the live-streamed event under the title “Road to the White House”.
Professor Garrett touched upon the essential dynamics, challenges, and strategies of the presidential election 2016. He emphasized on the election being crucial not just for the US, but also in a transatlantic and global context. Key issues of the election, especially trade, populism, and immigration will likely influence elections in Germany and France next year as well.
Furthermore, Professor Garrett talked about the importance of bringing voters to the booths and winning swing states. While minorities are increasingly crucial for American politics, mobilizing the white working class will be important for Hilary Clinton.
In addition, Professor Garrett mentioned the two party system as an aspect challenging Hilary Clinton. Many voters tend to vote for third party candidates. While younger generations often prefer the green party, older folks tend to agree with the libertarian candidate.
Professor Garrett also addressed that a Trump victory would mean that TTIP and TPP are dead, American alliance politics with NATO and Asia are under question and more nationalist immigration, economic, and international politics. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton would reform and strengthen Obamacare, support the existing transatlantic order and more humane and progressive immigration law.
The talk was concluded with a provocative thought. While the personality Trump is generally seen as toxic for American politics, Professor Garrett estimated that it would not surprise him if a majority of Germans would vote for what he stands for. He came to this conclusion by comparing public polls showing general agreement with the key message Trump brings forth. Opinion polls show that a notable majority in Germany supports what Prof. Garrett calls Trumpism and its populist nationalist program. Trump, he concludes, is not just an American phenomenon but really a transatlantic moment.