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New America Studies l 6 Nomos Donald Trump and politics in the USA An interim balance sheet firecrackers | Haas | Hagemann | Sirakov | Wagner [Ed.] New America Studies edited by Dr. Christoph Haas Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang Jäger Prof. Dr. Andreas Falke Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wilzewski Volume 6 BUT_Boeller_6236-1.indd 2 02/03/2020 14:43 An interim report on Donald Trump and politics in the USA Florian Böller | Christoph M. Haas Steffen Hagemann | David Sirakov Sarah Wagner [Ed.] BUT_Boeller_6236-1.indd 3 02/03/2020 14:43 Photo credits Title: cbies - istockphoto.com The German National Library lists this publication in the German National Bibliography; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de. The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de ISBN 978-3-8487-6236-1 (Print) 978-3-7489-0351-2 (ePDF) British Library Cataloging-in -Publication Data A catalog record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN 978-3-8487-6236-1 (Print) 978-3-7489-0351-2 (ePDF) Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Böller, Florian / Haas, Christoph M. / Hagemann, Steffen Sirakov, David / Wagner, Sarah Donald Trump and politics in the USA An interim balance sheet Florian Böller / Christoph M. Haas / Steffen Hagemann David Sirakov / Sarah Wagner (eds.) 327 pp. Includes bibliographic references and index. ISBN 978-3-8487-6236-1 (Print) 978-3-7489-0351-2 (ePDF) 1st edition 2020 © Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden 2020. Printed in Germany. All rights reserved, including those of reprinting excerpts, photomechanical reproduction and translation. Printed on age-resistant paper. This work is subject to copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Under § 54 of the German Copyright Law where copies are made for other than private use a fee is payable to “Verwertungsgesellschaft Wort”, Munich. No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization acting on or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by Nomos or the author (s) / editor (s). Online version Nomos eLibrary BUT_Boeller_6236-1.indd 4 02/03/2020 14:43 Contents Reign of Chaos? The USA under Donald J. Trump 7 Florian Böller, Christoph Haas, Steffen Hagemann, David Sirakov and Sarah Wagner The Populist Moment? Populism and Polarization in the Times of Donald J. Trump 17 David Sirakov It Always Takes Two to Tango. An interim assessment of executive-legislative relations in the Trump era 41 Florian Böller & Markus B. Siewert Constitution and courts in the Trump presidency 63 Michael Dreyer halftime - a tie against Donald Trump. On the result of the 2018 mid-term elections 83 Christoph M. Haas Drain or Fill the Swamp? Developments in the field of campaign financing under President Trump 101 Jörg Hebenstreit The Republicans and Trump - Pretty much best friends? 119 Philipp Adorf Between Regeneration and Controversy - The Democratic Party during Donald Trump's term in office 137 Sarah Wagner Fragmentation vs. Consolidation? The digital structural change in the media system in the USA and its effects on politics 155 Curd Benjamin Knüpfer 5 Trump and the crisis of democracy in the USA 175 Christian Lammert Re-Igniting the War on Drugs? Trump and the Opioid Crisis 189 Betsy Leimbigler Tax Cuts and Tariffs - the Janus-faced face of Trumponomics 203 Christoph M. Haas Climate Policy Breakdown? Climate and Energy Policy under Trump 217 Ronja Ritthaler-Andree Radical Break? Grand Strategy and American Foreign Policy after Two Years Donald Trump 233 Luke D. Mr. Reaffirming the War on Terror? The US Anti-Terror Policy in the Trump Era 247 Marcus Müller Leaving the "troubled place"? The USA and Middle East Policy in the Trump Era 263 Steffen Hagemann How Trump is paving the way for China to become a world power 277 Iris Wurm The emperor's new clothes: Trump and North Korea 291 Oliver Thränert The end of NATO as we know it: Transatlantic relations under Trump 307 Simon Koschut Directory of Authors 321 Contents 6 Reign of Chaos? The USA under Donald J. Trump Florian Böller, Christoph Haas, Steffen Hagemann, David Sirakov and Sarah Wagner Donald J. Trump is without a doubt a turning point for the United States of America and the international system. An extremely polarizing style of communication, the tendency to mislead and lie, the erratic approach to political challenges and the sometimes openly displayed contempt for democratic institutions and processes, all of this shows in its abundance and simultaneous appearance the unprecedented 45th President in history of the USA. The election campaign was already unprecedented. Certainly the citizens1 of the USA have experienced campaigns in their history that were characterized by harsh rhetoric, falsehoods and personal attacks. In 1800 Thomas Jefferson and John Adams not only engaged in a bitter election campaign over political convictions, but also attacked the personal character of the adversary (McCullough 2001). One of the dirtiest election campaigns took place 28 years later between Andrew Jackson and John Adams' son, John Quincy Adams. The latter accused Jackson of being "uneducated and unfit for the presidency" (Mieczkowski 2001: 33). Of course, before 2016 there were candidates in the main election campaign who came from the fringes of the right and left political spectrum. Barry Goldwater (AZ), who won the Republican nomination in 1964 with a clear position against the welfare state and the "liberal, Eastern establishment" (Savage 2004: 190), lost the election clearly against Lyndon B. Johnson (D-TX). The same fate befell the Democratic candidate Walter Mondale (MN) in 1984 with a very progressive election program against the Republican incumbent Ronald Reagan (CA). In addition, compromising publications about candidates or other surprising news immediately before the election (the so-called October Surprises) presented great challenges again and again. 1 The generic masculine includes people of any gender and is used in this book for reasons of ease of reading. 7 changes for campaigns or almost completely destroyed them. Among other things, memories are awakened in this context of the appearance in the 2012 election campaign of Republican candidate Mitt Romney (UT) who claimed during a private fundraising event that 47 percent of the electorate would vote for Barack Obama because they were dependent on government payments. The fact that a candidate becomes President of the United States without winning a majority of the votes is also not without precedent in US history. Al Gore won the so-called Popular Vote in 2000 with a lead of 543,895 votes, but did not reach the required 270 votes in the electoral college; an effect of the American electoral system that had already appeared in elections - albeit all in the 19th century. What then makes 2016 so unique and therefore also unprecedented? All of the above happened in that one election year. Donald J. Trump, an unconventional, inexperienced and highly polarizing candidate due to his right-wing populist attitude, received the nomination by the Republican Party. In surveys it became clear that Trump's electorate in the primary elections was unmistakably more inclined to racist prejudice than was the case for former Republican nominees such as John McCain or Mitt Romney (Tesler 2016). In the main election campaign, Trump repeatedly attacked his rival candidate Hillary Clinton with personal attacks, who in turn countered by characterizing Trump as being "temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be commander in chief" (Balakrishnan 2016). The atmosphere between the two camps was extremely tense, which continues after the election campaign to this day. In addition, there were the publications of e-mails from Clinton’s election campaign manager, John Podesta, on the platform Wikileaks, as well as investigations by the Federal Police FBI into possible criminal acts on the part of the Democratic candidate. In particular, a letter from FBI Director James Comey dated October 28, 2016, in which he informed the US Congress eleven days before election day that the agency was again investigating thousands of emails from Clinton, set the dynamics in the last electorate Week influenced. The exit polls show that the majority of the 13 percent of voters who made their decision in the last few days voted Trump (45.3 percent) and 12.5 percent voted for a third candidate (Huang et al. 2016) . On the other hand, there is the allegation that the phishing of Podesta's emails goes back to Russian secret services, which wanted to influence the elections in favor of Donald Trump (Mueller 2019: 15, 53, 232). Florian Böller, Christoph Haas, Steffen Hagemann, David Sirakov and Sarah Wagner 8 Furthermore, Trump's announcement that the election result might not be recognized in the event of a defeat by Hillary Clinton was unprecedented (Diamond 2016). Trump thus questioned the legitimacy of the democratic process as a whole - which seems downright grotesque in view of Russia's now known influence on the election campaign in favor of Trump. And finally, the election result itself was a surprise. With the loss of the states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which was believed to be safe, Hillary Clinton had no way of gaining the necessary 270 votes in the electoral college, even if she received over 2.86 million more votes nationwide Donald Trump (Federal Election Commission 2017: 5). The assumption, sometimes expressed, that Trump would adapt to the customs of office after his controversial election campaign and adopt a presidential style was quickly refuted. Since taking office, the US administration, led by Donald Trump, has broken with many political traditions and norms. Extensive vacancies, constant staff changes, internal disputes in the White House, feuds with opponents at home and abroad via Twitter, as well as a broken relationship with key players in society and in the US Congress have left one main impression on many observers: chaos . The American president remains controversial - his approval ratings remain at a low level - and continues to polarize American society even after he has taken office. At the same time, Donald Trump emphasizes that America First! had promised to implement his campaign goals at every opportunity. And in fact, the president has at least some successes against his electorate: the tax reform passed Congress despite opposition from the Democrats, with Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh two new conservative judges have moved into the Supreme Court, and Trump is cracking down on immigration policy and the administration can report positive developments on the labor market. In terms of foreign policy, Trump is also aiming to achieve better deals for the benefit of the national interests of the USA - for example by imposing punitive tariffs or by agreeing to existing agreements on climate (Paris Climate Agreement), foreign trade (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and security policy (Irandeal , INF contract). However, critics criticize the high risks associated with volatile and unpredictable foreign policy. The authors gathered in this volume first addressed this mixture in a Reign of Chaos? Dedicated to the USA under Donald J. Trump 9 Rhineland-Palatinate, the Political Science II of the TU Kaiserslautern and the Heidelberg Center for American Studies organized Summer School 2018. It was not primarily about getting closer to the 45th President himself, but rather a presentation and analysis of the political agenda pursued by him and his administration, as well as the underlying political (ideological) and economic motives and not least the successes and Defeats of the incumbent administration. This volume therefore focuses on the institutional, structural and social conditions of the domestic and foreign policy of the Trump administration. For this reason, explosive tweets, individual personnel changes, or short-term strategy changes are mostly in the background in the analysis. Given Trump's communication and political style, this is certainly a challenge for political science studies. Nonetheless, in this anthology, we are concerned with identifying long-term effective trends beyond current events and focusing on the causes and dynamics of the political negotiation process. In the first article, David Sirakov analyzes the interactions between political polarization and the phenomenon of populism, which has been the subject of increasing discussion, especially since Donald Trump's presidency. It shows that Donald Trump's populism in a politically and socially highly divided America is not only strongly compatible, but also deepens and subsequently consolidates the polarization in the country. Florian Böller and Markus B. Siewert examine the relationship between the White House and the American Congress. The current legislative record of the Trump administration is rather mixed despite unified government. Successes such as tax reform and the appointment of two conservative Supreme Court judges contrast with failures. For example, Republicans in Congress could not agree to withdraw Obamacare. Overall, the 115th legislative period was characterized by a continued high level of party-political polarization. Against this background, it is to be expected that, given the changed majorities in the House of Representatives, the President will be able to push through even fewer legislative initiatives after midterms 2018. Michael Dreyer deals with the effects of the personnel changes in the Supreme Court of the United States. So far, Donald Trump has twice had the opportunity to propose a new judge for the Supreme Court to the Senate, which has led to the consolidation of the narrow conservative overweight in the nine-headed committee . Nevertheless, no changes in the interpretation of the constitution have come to light so far. Dreyer, on the other hand, expects far greater effects from the numerous appointments of judges for the District and Appellate Courts as well as a number of special courts. Christoph Haas discusses the result of the midterm elections in 2018 against the background of the theoretical approaches to midterm elections and sees it as a draw against Donald Trump. The election result is also interpreted as an explanatory variable for the 2020 presidential election. Accordingly, the Democrats have a structural advantage. To use it, you need a presidential candidate who knows how to pull the independents to the polls. In this volume, Jörg Hebenstreit analyzes the reform efforts of the Trump administration in the field of campaign finance and assesses the extent to which the president has really been able to drain the quagmire of campaign finance practices. He explains that the efforts in this area have been largely limited and that there is no question of a drain the swamp. Rather, Hebenstreit attests to this administration a previously unknown number of large donors and lobbyists in the closest circle of power. In their contributions, Philipp Adorf and Sarah Wagner address the two central political parties. While Wagner poses the question of the challenges and opportunities for the Democratic Party during Donald Trump's term in office, Adorf addresses the reasons why the Republican Party, despite various scandals, disregard for democratic norms and conventions, turned away from traditional allies and the affection for authoritarian actors continued to support their president. To what extent the change processes within the media system of the USA can favor a certain form of politics and a certain style of political communication and how the change from a relatively homogeneous media landscape to a heterogeneous information supply affects politics is the focus of Curd Knüpfer's contribution . The interaction of media fragmentation and media consolidation is examined in detail here. Christian Lammert's contribution seeks answers to the question of how American democracy developed under the presidency of Donald Trump. Lammert argues that the data does not provide a good overall picture of the state of politics in the US. A particularly bad picture is shown by the insufficient responsiveness of the federal government Reign of Chaos? The US under Donald J. Trump 11 and its inability to limit the influence of the super-rich and economic interests on US politics. In her chapter, Betsy Leimbigler compares the background and consequences of drug policy since President Nixon with the current political efforts in the opioid crisis.It shows the disastrous effects that the decided criminalization of drugs had on the American criminal justice system and, above all, on the minorities in the population affected by it and, against this background, analyzes the political approaches to solving the opioid crisis. In particular, Christoph Haas deals with tax and customs policy in the analysis of the economic policy of the Trump administration. Trumponomics are showing a Janus-headed face: On the one hand, the tax cuts are intended to stimulate economic growth and leave Americans with more money in their pockets. On the other hand, tariffs act like price increases and weaken economic growth in the medium and long term. The impact of the Trump administration on environmental policy is shown in the contribution by Ronja Ritthaler-Andree. In addition to the already mentioned exit from the Paris climate protection agreement, the far-reaching reductions in climate protection measures of the Obama administration - which are less discussed in the media public - are shown. In his contribution to the foreign policy grand strategy of the USA under Trump, Lukas D. Herr diagnosed a turning point: Although former presidents sometimes acted alone, Trump fundamentally questions the multilateral embedding of the USA. The foreign policy of the Trump administration is primarily aimed at restoring national sovereignty and the material interests of the USA. However, Lukas D. Herr also states that in the area of ​​transatlantic relations and in relation to Russia, Trump's policy is met with vehement criticism in Congress and the public. In his contribution, Marcus Müller takes stock of the Trump administration's anti-terrorism policy. Accordingly, Trump, with his America First doctrine, rejected a "moral leadership role" for the United States and concentrated primarily on military elements of the fight against terrorism. Using the example of the intensified use of combat drones, Marcus Müller shows how problematic this development is, especially in view of the high number of civilian casualties. Domestically, this strategy was hardly questioned, as the Congress in particular was unable to act as an effective supervisory body. Florian Böller, Christoph Haas, Steffen Hagemann, David Sirakov and Sarah Wagner 12 This increased use of hard force is also evident in the Middle East in the fight against the so-called Islamic State. Steffen Hagemann argues that Trump is essentially continuing to reduce American engagement in the region, but has declared the fight against international terrorism and the containment and suppression of Iran to be national interests. Accordingly, the Trump administration has stepped up the fight against terrorism. With regard to Iran, too, the Trump administration is relying on a policy of maximum pressure after its exit from the nuclear agreement. In her contribution, Iris Wurm discusses how the hegemon USA deals with the rising and challenger China. Donald Trump has repeatedly sharply criticized China and imposed punitive tariffs, but one cannot speak of a consistent economic and security policy strategy. On the contrary, the solo efforts in foreign and economic policy eroded the US security architecture in the Pacific and thus favored China's rise to the leading power in the region. Within the transatlantic relationship, Trump caused significant tensions in his first two years in office, not least because of his vehement criticism of the European NATO allies. Simon Koschut states that Trump's policy does not yet mean the end of NATO, "but possibly the end of NATO as we know it." He diagnoses a regression from a security community based on common values ​​and norms towards an interest-based defense alliance. From the analyzes of the individual policy areas presented here, five political trends in the USA in the Trump era can be identified: 1. The almost complete lack of substantial political measures, long-term strategies and binding legislation can be seen. The only exception to this was the tax reform of 2018, which was hardly initiated or significantly influenced by Trump. Otherwise, Trump's transactional and short-term profit-oriented policy style is characterized above all by ad-hoc executive orders. In addition, there are sudden changes in strategy and the staging of politics - especially in foreign and security policy - as well as the withdrawal of decisions by the Obama administration, for example in environmental, health and arms control policy. 2. Even before the end of Trump's first term in office, this political style had negative effects - both for domestic politics and in international relations. Outwardly, trust in the USA as a reliable ally and liberal law enforcement agency is massive. Reign of Chaos? The United States under Donald J. Trump 13 sunken. In domestic policy, no progress has been made on key challenges such as the renewal of the infrastructure, the issue of stricter gun laws or health policy. This further reduces the confidence of voters in the problem-solving ability of democracy in the USA. The majority change from Republicans to Democrats in the House of Representatives is unlikely to change this situation much and even exacerbate the gridlock. 3. President Trump is not the only cause of the current situation. Rather, and the articles in this volume also point to this, it is long-term trends that have made Trump's policy possible in the first place. In this respect, Trump is a symptom of these developments and not their roots. This applies, for example, to the partisan polarization that has intensified since the mid-1990s, which blocked non-partisan problem solutions even before Trump and caused dissatisfaction with politics in Washington, D.C. has stoked. Structural conditions, for example in the media system, in economic policy with regard to the effects of global interdependencies, or in foreign policy due to the rise of China in power politics also have an impact on current politics in the USA. Trump's populist policy is precisely aimed at exploiting these conditions in order to secure his own re-election. 4. Given the polarization that has prevailed, it is not surprising that the 45th President’s policies encounter resistance in American society. The Democratic Party was able to take advantage of this resentment in the 2018 midterm elections and regain control of the House of Representatives. Resistance is also stirring at other levels: for example at the federal level in climate or migration policy. In addition, some measures by the Trump administration failed in courts or through isolated opposition in Congress. However, this should not hide the fact that Trump's policies are supported and supported by his electorate and by large parts of the Republican Party. 5. Because it is unlikely that factors such as social and party political polarization, the crisis in the media system or economic inequalities can be remedied in the short term, the USA will face major challenges even if Trump is voted out in 2020. It remains to be seen to what extent Trump breaks taboos both internally and externally and his attempts to connect established institutions such as the opposition in Congress, the media or even central government institutions such as intelligence services, environmental authorities or the central bank to Florian Böller, Christoph Haas, Steffen Hagemann, David Sirakov and Sarah Discrediting Wagner 14, causing lasting damage to democracy in the USA. The editors would like to thank all speakers at the Summer School for their presentations and all authors for their contributions to this volume. The summer school would not be possible without the financial support of the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the State Agency for Civic Education Rhineland-Palatinate, which is why we would like to extend our special thanks to both institutions. Literature Balakrishnan, Anita, 2016: Clinton: Trump is totally unqualified to be commander in chief, in: CNBC,