‘The end of western civilization’? Trump, Clinton, and the 2016 presidential election

In a new article from The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, author and former Director of the Center for Culture and Security at the Institute of World Politics, Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon, gives a frank assessment of the state of US politics and finds a cause for concern.

Publishing within IJFA, the official publication of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR), she describes a presidential campaign that ‘unfolds embarrassingly’ before an increasingly troubled global populace, and reminds readers that though Trump may be the campaign’s worst spectacle, Hillary Clinton too has left many questions unanswered, both to the public, and the FBI.

Dr. Pilon goes on to suggest that both candidates are in fact the product of an immense "civilizational angst", the result of years of undelivered promises sold under the "vacuous" mantra of "change". She states that though both Clinton and Trump claim to be able to deliver a better future, in fact their campaigns are not "about the message". She depicts their politics instead as being based on a ‘virulent form of know nothingism’ that is close to nihilism. 

She describes a "mercenary media" that is "subversively misleading" the public, and academics that sit back and "opine in academese". However, they are not the only ones to whom Dr. Pilon attributes blame. The threat of global jihadism has in her view altered the "rational calculus", and the perceived weakness of Obama has left worried US citizens vulnerable to Trump’s perpetual vow to "make America great again".

Dr. Pilon’s article offers a unique perspective on modern US politics, providing rational explanations for what is arguably the most irrational election campaign in recent American history.

The Unbearable Lightness of America's 2016 Presidential Campaign
Juliana Geran Pilon
The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

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