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20 January 2021

The New Statesman on the Trump era

The best of our US coverage from the past four years, featuring Gary Younge, Emily Tamkin, Timothy Snyder, Jeremy Cliffe and Sarah Churchwell. 

By New Statesman

Four years ago Donald Trump delivered an inaugural address as dark as it was angry. In it he vowed to transfer the power from Washington, DC to “you, the American people”, stopping what he described as “American carnage”. In the presidential term that followed, Trump started numerous trade wars; implemented draconian immigration policies; was literally laughed at by world leaders while speaking at the United Nations; had Black Lives Matter supporters tear gassed; flaunted precedent and norms by using the White House for his political campaigning and his business properties for public work; and oversaw 400,000 American deaths from Covid-19.

We may not know the real story of the Trump administration – its impact now and on the US’s political trajectory – until four more years have passed. But as Trump’s term comes to a close, we look back on the stories the New Statesman published while it was unfolding.

American civil war (2021)

By Gary Younge

Donald Trump is a product of the US’s racial, nationalist and xenophobic pathologies, not the originator of them. They long preceded him and will long outlast him.

Why Trump isn’t a facist (2021)

By Richard J Evans

The storming of the Capitol on 6 January was not a coup. But American democracy is still in danger.

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The struggle for American’s soul (2020)

By John Gray

Why Donald Trump was a symptom rather than the cause of the nation’s discontents and the forces he has unlocked are here to stay.

What Trump wants now (2020)

By Thomas Meaney

How misguided fears of a presidential coup exposed the hysterical thinking of the liberal Resistance. 

The links between Trumpism and George W Bush go far beyond a contested election (2020)

By Emily Tamkin

Why the effects of the 2000 presidential election are still being felt, 20 years on.

America’s Test (2020)

By Jeremy Cliffe

With Donald Trump claiming to have won the US election even before all the votes had been counted, an extraordinary contest left the republic more divided than ever.

Can Joe Biden defeat Donald Trump? (2020)

By Emily Tamkin 

A profile of the Democratic presidential hopeful and veteran insider. Will he set the US on the path to renewal?

America and the politics of pain (2020)

By Timothy Snyder

Gravely ill in hospital with sepsis, our writer had a revelation on how Donald Trump transformed the US’s inequalities into a suicidal tribalism.

Liberalism will remain vulnerable unless it can speak to our need for emotional storytelling (2020)

By Jeremy Cliffe

A Joe Biden win should not be mistaken for a restoration of some temporarily disrupted order.

The divided heart of the GOP (2020)

By Nick Burns

What will American conservatism look like after Trump?

Trump’s hubris in the face of Covid-19 is pure Americana (2020)

By Emily Tamkin

Pretending things are fine when they are not is the American way.

The return of American facism (2020)

By Sarah Churchwell

How a legacy of violent nationalism haunts the republic in the age of Trump.

How it feels to be a Muslim in Trump’s America (2018)

By Mehdi Hasan

On worrying for the safety of his ten-year-old daughter.

Who is to blame for Donald Trump’s victory (2016)

By Helen Lewis

A narrative that attributes Trump’s triumph to the “working class” forgets the role of racism, sexism and the right-wing media.

Donald Trump and the age of rage (2016)

By Ed Smith

What the rise of Trump tells us about our failing politics.

What would a Trump presidency mean for the rest of the world? (2016)

By Brendan Simms

It would be wrong to hope that either domestic or international checks and balances will constrain Trump abroad. Geopolitically, the result would be unpredictable – at best.