Events - 04.05.2017 - 00:00 

100 days of President Trump

In Friday’s opening session at the 47th St. Gallen symposium, political minds assembled to give us insight into the first 100 days of the Donald Trump presidency.
St.Gallen Symposium 2017

5 May 2017. The panel, led by Prof. James Davis from the University of St.Gallen, included Evgeny Morozof, a journalist and expert on how the Internet and new technologies affects politics; Symone Sanders, the former national press secretary for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s best-selling book Trump: The Art of the Deal.

From the outset, Davis tried to ensure that the panel was not there simply to bash the US president. He guided the panellists to delve into what has happened in the United States that made it possible to elect Trump, and where the country is headed. Evgeny Morozof said that although many people do not think there is anything exceptional about Trump’s election, he believes that in the end it was an exceptional coalition of diverse groups. "Trump had support in Silicon Valley… and two suppressed parts of the conservative movement: the extreme Libertarian movement and social conservatives."

Symone Sanders experienced the past US election on the ground, which gives her a unique and specific point of view of what transpired during both the primary and general elections of 2016. She stated that in her assessment, the election was a "change election", determined by voters who were looking to go in another direction. Another reality that she observed up close was the number of young voters – including young minority voters – who supported President Obama in previous elections, but voted for Trump in 2016. "These voters didn’t have party loyalty and they felt that the Democratic Party didn’t speak for them."

Tony Schwartz, who worked closely with Trump on the 1987 autobiography, was critical of his ability to lead. He believes that great leaders must first and foremost be great human beings, and that Trump does not meet that standard. He believes that Trump has the emotional development of a child, lacks knowledge, shows no signs of having a belief system, and has no sense of empathy. As to what Schwartz believes drives Trump, it’s his, "tribal world view. Trump believes in kill or be killed, win or lose. It’s either him or it’s you. Given, that he operates like his survival is always at stake."

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