Both my native country, India, and my adopted country, America, are liberal democracies that are right now in the thrall of right-wing populist demagogues — Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India’s case and President Donald Trump in America’s. Few would deny that between the two, Trump is the crazier one — a showboat with impulse control issues. Modi, by contrast, a humble tea stall owner once, is a veritable picture of discipline and restraint.

Yet Modi, who got re-elected by a landslide last month, is potentially more dangerous because Indian democracy lacks strong institutional checks on his illiberal ambitions. In America, however, multiple resistance points — courts, Congress, opposition both from outside and even within the GOP and states — have managed to thwart Trump’s worst instincts.

For all of Trump’s bluster and bravado, the fact is that beyond tax cuts, he hasn’t accomplished much of his signature agenda. Even though his party controlled all three branches of government for the first two years, Obamacare stands, albeit considerably weakened, and his wall doesn’t.

Where Trump has made his real mark is on trade and immigration. By abusing his authority under the National Security Act, he picked unnecessary trade wars. And …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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