Donald Trump is clearly screwed right now

Election campaign in the USA"Consequences for the Republican Party are fatal"

Christiane Kaess: I am now speaking to Christian Hacke, he is a political scientist and now on the phone. Good afternoon, Mr. Hacke!

Christian Hacke: Greetings, Ms. Kaess!

Kaess: Mr. Hacke, Trump has already said that he will not change. Was this assumption that he would moderate his style as a presidential candidate, was this assumption naive?

Hoe: Yeah, obviously. Many actually expected it. I would honestly say that sometimes I believed that maybe it would also be more sensible. But he's becoming more and more radical, that's clear. I think we see three levels: one time he generally stayed with his failures against the Mexicans and the like. The second stage, I thought, that was the decisive factor when he attacked this Muslim veteran couple and then above all the young woman with the baby, that was among all - so unimaginably characterless. And now we have the third stage. I would say that this is already heading in the direction of fantasies of omnipotence that we have already seen and heard from him so far, but I wouldn't rule out such populist upheaval fantasies here either, so maybe he has a radicalization of the population in mind. I don't think that's just spontaneous. It's all very calculated and therefore all the more dangerous.

"The number of followers is dwindling"

Kaess: Do you also believe, Mr. Hacke, that Trump will also be advised in this direction?

Hoe: That is difficult to say. That is difficult to say. But behind this, of course, is the question of whether he is standing alone with these views of lack of character, including racism and many other things, whether he is a bizarre personality alone, who then perhaps can no longer be taken out of circulation , politically, because everything is so advanced with the Republicans, or, and that actually worries me, whether he stands for a large part - how big, we don't know, but certainly for a considerable part of the American population, who also perceive, let's say, shifts in the realities of society as reality, that is, that he is exemplary for many here. And that should scare you even more.

Kaess: But Mr. Hacke, that is exactly the question, because Trump still has a lot of supporters, even if he is currently falling a little behind in the polls or is falling further behind. His style is popular. And how can that be explained?

Hoe: I am now no longer sure, Ms. Kaess, whether that will still matter. In any case, the number of followers is dwindling, I think so.

"We still have a lot of surprises to expect"

Kaess: But there are still very many.

Hoe: But there will still be a great many, these hardcore supporters, and that really is a dangerous development that probably or hopefully has no future within the Republican Party. But of course a lot is conceivable now. First, that it all goes through, that he remains the candidate until the election campaign. Then the only thing left for the Republicans to do is to be ashamed of others. The second, that the attempts to take him out of circulation are successful, to stop. That is very problematic, very difficult, also bureaucratic and legal. Third, that he will resign voluntarily, and fourth, that he will found a new party. We still have three months to campaign. America is the land of unlimited possibilities, as this election campaign shows in a fatal way. And there is still a lot in here. We still have a lot of surprises in store. And of course, what was also reflected in Mr Kößler's report from Washington - of course, this call for armed violence is unimaginable. There has probably been something like that in American history, where there were lively election campaigns, where corruption, nepotism, fornication were accused - none of that is anything compared to this.

Kaess: Yes. But Mr Hacke, I would like to come back to this point. Even if he resigns as a candidate or if he does not become president, these supporters of Trump, they will stay. So this electorate is there. So what will happen to the Republicans, will they split up?

Hoe: That is the tough question. He's broken up the Republicans quite a bit, and he's now broken up the establishment and changed the following too. He's not just typically Republican in his positions. So the consequences for the Republican Party are fatal. Don't just be ashamed of others, that's the least of what happens there. The party is almost impossible to vote at the moment, it must be said, for many Americans. Still, many will. And then of course the question is whether the previous party system, with the arrival of Trump, this populist form of politics, we are now familiar with in Europe too. And in Europe we have found that such people then found their own parties, thus picking up on this wave of dissatisfaction with the establishment. And I would not rule out that this calculation is also behind it for him. That he is looking for some sort of exit, whether voted out or found a new party. So the potential for voters, the dangers of these people, what you have indicated, there are not two or three that exist. American society, that is the crucial point, has changed in the last ten years of decline, the greater gap between rich and poor, dissatisfaction with the establishment, everything we know has changed.

"Racism has risen again under the black president"

Kaess: But Mr. Hacke, then we also have to ask the question, what has this political elite in the USA done wrong, that it is so hated by part of the population?

Hoe: I don't think there is a quick answer. In any case, racism has risen again under the black president, that is undoubtedly the case. We see that clearly, and it is also a representative of a newly increased racism that is not Ku Klux Klan-like, but shimmers through everywhere in a mean way, one must say. Second, America is in economic decline. This can also be seen clearly. The role of a global role model has also suffered, which also frustrates many. Then of course there is also the fact that the elites in Washington are perceived as a clique, some of which only enrich themselves and no longer serve the people. These are, I would say, certain elements of plutocracy, the dependence on the money of the members of the House of Representatives, the senators who are practically only employed to finance their own election campaigns or to finance big industry. They depend on it. This plutocratic character is obvious. So, there is tremendous reason to be dissatisfied. That's one thing. The other thing, of course, is whether that's a reason to choose a man like Trump. But the common man who just wants to get rid of this frustration, that's what we've been discussing these months, they just came across Trump, and now the question is, do they back away or say we will continue to follow him. And that's a dangerous question.

Kaess: Says political scientist Christian Hacke. Thank you for talking to us this afternoon, Mr. Hacke!

Hoe: Thank you, Ms. Kaess!

Statements by our interlocutors reflect their own views. Deutschlandfunk does not adopt the statements of its interlocutors in interviews and discussions as its own.