An ‘outsider’ president

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An ‘outsider’ president

PARK HYUN-YOUNG
The author is a Washington correspondent of the JoongAng Ilbo.

“I ran because of Barack Obama, because you did a poor job. If I thought you did a good job, I would have never run,” U.S. President Donald Trump told Democratic candidate Joe Biden at the second presidential debate on Oct. 22. While he was attacking Biden, who served as vice president in the Obama administration, it seemed as if Biden was the incumbent and Trump was the challenger. Trump mocked Biden for being a typical politician.

When he is the one at the pinnacle of American politics, Trump considers himself an outsider even after almost four years as president. He talks and acts as if nothing has changed since the time when he was a millionaire businessman and television personality.

With less than a week left until the election, Trump is travelling to as many as four states a day for his campaign. When he takes the microphone, he shouts that he will bring down the “deep state” — the hidden power group within the government — and the corrupt Washington establishment. Now, the establishment in Washington is him and the officials he’s appointed. His supporters rave over him without questioning the claim.

There are mixed views on whether Trump’s outsider sentiment is a re-election strategy or his innate instinct. Tony Schwartz, co-author of Trump’s book “Trump: The Art of the Deal” (1987), analyzed that it was a part of Trump’s nature as he aspired to enter the elite society in New York but was not welcome. Political analyst Ed Kilgore argued that it was natural for an incumbent president to avoid judgment of the people as Covid-19 resulted in great losses in the United States. So he may pose as an outsider as a way to avoid accountability for disease control.

Trump is counting on white male voters with no college education who did not vote in 2016. They share the outsider sentiment.

Rather than diversifying the gender, ethnic group and academic background of his supporters, he puts his hopes on the same target.

In Pennsylvania, one of the decisive swing states, it is estimated that 2.4 million white voters did not go to college and did not vote in 2016.

However, will those who voted for the outsider Trump in 2016 because they were sick of established politicians and systems and because he would make America great again still cast their votes for the incumbent President Trump for the same reasons in 2020?

Who will American voters choose next week — the politician Biden or eternal outsider Trump?


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