Trump and Democracy (TruLies Blog by Wolfgang Merkel)
Democratic elections have reached a historic low with the US-American 2016 campaign. But does this mean that we are in a post-democratic age where they have lost all meaning and have become an empty ritual? Prof. Wolfgang Merkel argues that this is only half the truth. While this year’s campaigns were more about accusations and defamations than political content, there are clear programmatic differences between the Clinton and Trump election programs. Differences we will have to deal with, now that Donald Trump won the election and the Republicans have the majority in both Senate and House of Representatives. Merkel criticizes the majority voting and Electoral College system, which made this victory possible in the first place. Nevertheless, even representative Democracies are in danger of no longer representing all of society but lecturing condescendingly and thereby playing into the hands of right wing populist movements.
This contribution was first published on 10/11/2016 in the Online Journal Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft (IPG-Journal). Professor Wolfgang Merkel is Director of the Democracy and Democratization Department at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) and a member of the Das Progressive Zentrum Advisory Board.
The project “TruLies – The Truth about Lies on Europe”, aided by the Stiftung Mercator and run by the Institute for European Politics (IEP) in cooperation with Das Progressive Zentrum, has two principal objectives. On the one hand, it strives to deconstruct Eurosceptic and populist prejudices, animosities, and false assertions, by means of social scientifically-grounded analysis. Thus, it aims to contribute to a rationalisation of the public discourse and debate in Germany (and beyond). On the other hand, “TruLies Europe” endeavours to publicly communicate its findings beyond the select circle of scholars to political actors, civil society, and the wider public. You may find further information on our website: http://trulies-europe.de/.
Wolfgang Merkel’s contribution can be found here.