Opinion-Policy Nexus

Recent polls have suggested that Donald Trump was pulling uncomfortably close to Hillary Clinton, prior to the first televised debate between them. His most significant appeal has been to represent a change in the status quo of governmental gridlock, and being opposed by a candidate little more popular than himself, despite his multitude of personal flaws. That momentum toward the Republicans seems to have been arrested by Trump's performance in that opening encounter, and his behaviour in the days that followed.

In speculating what the implications of a Trump presidency might involve, people should be reminded of a fact that Trump himself hasn't absorbed: the constitution places significant restrictions upon the president's actions. His signature promises of a wall with Mexico, deportation of illegal immigrants, and barriers to Muslims are unlikely to be realized except in the most limited token manner. In the same way Barack Obama was unable to implement his pledge of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, because of congressional opposition, Trump's promised agenda will also likely face resistance. Even if the Republicans continue to control both branches of congress, they will never gain a filibuster-proof 60 seat majority in the Senate. 

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Friday, October 7, 2016 - 12:23

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