Trump's first month

Method in the madness?  

Tuesday, February 21 15:00 UK / 10:00 EST

“Though this be madness,” Polonius says in an aside to the audience in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “yet there is method in’t”.

Donald Trump’s presidency has burst forth in a maelstrom of tweets, executive orders and controversy, not least over the chaotic implementation of his proposed ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries and the quick-fire resignation of Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser.

Does the administration’s whirlwind first month reveal an incoherent and ill-prepared team of outsiders struggling to get to grips with unfamiliar levers of power?

Or are we seeing the deliberate formation of a new and unorthodox political order driven by self-avowed agents of change determined to sweep away what they regard as an out-of-touch political elite in Washington and using unpredictability and rhetorical gesture to that end?

Is the aim of the Trump presidency to impose a radically conservative agenda that will dismantle the social programmes from education to welfare that have prevailed since FDR’s New Deal and to rewrite the international liberal order that has predominated since the end of the Second World War?

Or does it just want to free Americans and US businesses from the dead hand of overregulation, high taxes and the free-riding of allies?

Can the president deliver on his campaign promises that the economic nationalism of ‘America First’ will restore US manufacturing primacy and the middle-class jobs that once went with it?

Or are broader trends of technology, automation and global supply chains insurmountable? And what happens if the hopes of his base are crushed?

Will the permanent national security apparatus have the president’s ear when Trump is tested on foreign policy, whether in Ukraine, the Gulf, the South China Sea or on the Korean peninsula?

Or will he turn to his personal circle of loyal but inexperienced campaign-trail confidants?

What are the constitutional, congressional and community constraints on a determined president?

Or can decisiveness of decision-making tip into autocratic rule regardless of the separation of powers?


Join us on Tuesday, February 21 for answers to these questions and to put your own to three of Oxford Analytica’s expert advisors.