The reports gave rise to speculation that not only was the president’s re-election campaign itself ordering campaign items produced in China rather than in the U.S., but that they were attempting to mitigate against the increased costs that would come with the tariffs by pushing for the quick completion of those materials — moves that would provide a double dose of irony for a politician who has famously emphasized prioritizing American jobs and manufacturing.
But instead of blaming the political forces that cut holes in the social safety net (if such a safety net was even built in the first place) and that prioritized the desires of the wealthiest segments of American society while the working class withered — those "political forces" would be the Republican Party — Trump supporters blame the long-oppressed groups who have finally gotten a toehold on the American dream. Trump promises his supporters that if he's elected, he will put them back on top. The problem is that "back on top" means stepping over those who don't share their race and gender.
Honduran migrants, who were taking part in a caravan heading to the US, board a bus to return to Honduras, in Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala, on Oct. 20, 2018. Some 220 Honduran migrants were returning to their country and some 130 were waiting at a shelter Saturday, according to a police source, while thousands who forced their way through Guatemala's northwestern border and flooded onto a bridge leading to Mexico, were waiting at the border in the hope of continuing their journey. Johan Ordonez, AFP/Getty Images
In 1985, Trump acquired the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, for $10 million, $7 million for the real estate and $3 million for the furnishings. His initial offer of $28 million had been rejected, and he was able to obtain the property for the lower price after a real-estate market "slump". The home was built in the 1920s by heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post. After her death, her heirs unsuccessfully tried to donate the property to the government before putting it up for sale. In addition to using a wing of the estate as a home, Trump turned Mar-a-Lago into a private club. In order to join, prospective members had to pay an initiation fee and annual dues. The initiation fee was $100,000 until 2016; it was doubled to $200,000 in January 2017.
Even in the so-called golden age of TV, Mr. Trump hasn’t just dominated water-cooler conversation; he’s sucked the water right out, making all other entertainment from N.F.L. games to awards shows pale in comparison. “The Russia probe, Kavanaugh, Avenatti, Rosenstein, Cohen, Flynn, Papadopoulos — we’re a wildly creative community, but this is peak TV,” said Warren Littlefield, who oversaw NBC Entertainment in the era of “Friends” and “The West Wing.” (He says “The Apprentice,” a ratings juggernaut, killed quality scripted TV in 2004, when it got the coveted 9 p.m. slot on Thursdays, a move made by his successor, Jeff Zucker, now president of CNN.)
Of course, don’t furl the flag or shut down those offshore accounts or start writing the complete history of American decline quite yet. After all, the United States still looms “lone” on an ever more chaotic planet. Its wealth remains stunning, its economic clout something to behold, its tycoons the envy of the Earth, and its military beyond compare when it comes to how much and how destructively, even if not how successfully. Still, make no mistake about it, Donald Trump is a harbinger, however bizarre, of a new American century in which this country will indeed no longer be (with a bow to Muhammad Ali) “the Greatest” or, for all but a shrinking crew, exceptional.
Although Trump's early campaign filing is extraordinarily unusual, aspects of a "permanent campaign" are not entirely unprecedented in American politics. Such a phenomenon had a presence in the White House at least as early as the presidency of Bill Clinton. Under the advice of Sidney Blumenthal, Clinton's staff continued to engage in campaign methodology once in office, using polling for assistance in making decisions.