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tv   To the Point  Deutsche Welle  July 9, 2020 9:30pm-10:01pm CEST

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what is the sound of a tree not for the sound of biodiversity tourists or community development food and water. the united nations development program is listening and working with communities to protect forests for the future we want if you're hearing what we're hearing find out more. with coronas searching in the u.s. president trump claims 99 percent of all cases are totally harmless this despite record infection rates and more covert deaths than in any other country in the world america's struggle with the virus threatens to spiral out of control the president used his independence day speech to heap praise on his own crisis management but it seems that many americans don't quite see it that way with the economy in freefall and society deeply polarized a record 69 percent say the country is on the wrong track trump's approval rate has
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plunged with elections just 4 months away corona in the usa trumps downfall. on. that's our topic today on to the point of a very warm welcome and here are the guests who will answer that question it's a pleasure to welcome down hamilton he's a professor for political science at johns hopkins university school of advanced international studies he's also currently a robert fellow in berlin and he says pandemic recession systemic racism all made worse by president trump it is a combustible brew and it's a pleasure to welcome ask you kind of chick he is chief europe the chorus a correspondent for. politico and his view the pandemic is trumps waterloo the main
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question now is not if he will lose but rather by how much. and we're very glad to house or ryan nelsen on the program she is program director at k.c. r.w. a radio station based here in berlin partners with american public radio and she says donald trump's performance regarding cofield 1000 may not matter because recessions lead to reelection losers. so that you use a trump is looking at certain defeat and the situation in your own home state of arizona would certainly seem to bear you out it is a western sun belt state john mccain territory yet apparently it is now in play no longer a sure bet for the republican party so what's going on well i think people are realizing that what trump has done over the past several months just hasn't worked it's no longer
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a theoretical question when the local hospital is running out of intensive care beds when people you know in your family or in your group of friends is has been hit with coronavirus or is dying of it or has died it's really starting to hit people home i think in a way that it has to now and you're also seeing obviously the economic effects which are quite dramatic in a place like arizona for example which relies on a lot of tourism from elsewhere in the country they're really feeling it and at the beginning things seemed to be going fairly well and because they opened up too early on the advice of the president and others they're now really really suffering it's become one of the red zones in the united states for soraya you say it's mainly the economy that counts but it seems that older voters and suburban residents in states. like arizona have lost trust in the president because
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of his lack of leadership during the corona period wouldn't losing their support be pretty critical for his election chances well there's no doubt there's a lot of disappointment there but when you where you look at the surveys and you look at the questions and when the question is asked about who can lead americans out of this this economic crisis that we're in that's whether it's caused by the pandemic or or whatever else people still have more faith i mean the numbers are much closer between biden and and trump at that point so there still is i mean i think george i'm sorry james carville said it best when he talked about it's the economy stupid i think that rule still applies and if you look at history if you look at recessions it's recessions that create losers doesn't mean that the president won't lose but i think the recession really more of a driving factor and we will come back to the state of the economy a little bit later but let me ask dan about your opening statement you talked about
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a combustible brew exactly what do you mean by that and how combustible do you see a potential for ongoing social unrest absolutely it's really not an exaggeration to say it's the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse it really is all together crises one after another you have the pandemic which is out of control you have on top of a century you know rare century one in a century recession. probably depression you have massive social unrest now going on because of systemic racism it's the thing is matts when you see who's being affected it's disproportionately affecting people of color. and that is a disaster bated plus the recession also affects people of color more. all of this is coming together and all these protests and uprisings one sees that's not going
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to go away. and all 3 of those have been made worse by donald trump and the types of policies he's pursued so i really do think. all of this will be with us for some time it's not something where we're going to get over it any time soon we'll talk about that a bit later as well but before we continue let us take a look at how the different elements of that combustible brew blend together. the usa is in its 4th year under donald trump. for many americans his presidency stands for racism and social injustice longstanding problems that have intensified during the corona crisis millions of americans have no health insurance no apartment and no job despite improving slightly the unemployment rate is still the highest it's been since world war 2 the patriotic festivities on the 4th of july can't distract from these issues. and i don't really see much to celebrate in
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america right now i'm not seeing what i believe this country stands for these past few years and pressure on donald trump is increasing in many polls he's approximately 10 percent behind his democratic challenger joe biden many americans are dissatisfied angry or afraid only 17 percent are still proud of their country as people is with the only thing trying to be a good president i really do and i mean you don't want more for this country and 90 days and obama did in 8 years. 4 months until the next elections and the country is more divided than ever before is america now paying the price for trump's presidency. so as we heard they're both the virus itself and the economic aftereffects of the lockdown have taken the harshest toll on those who are already vulnerable dan mentioned as well the death rate for
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african-americans is almost twice that for white americans african-americans have also been among the 1st to lose their jobs sariah why is that. that's a good question i mean a lot of it has to do with what is available to people of color versus and black communities in particular i mean they just don't there it's the haves and the have nots and health insurance plays a big big. role also contributing factors to what makes corona virus more virulent and some than others that's something that the scientists have talked about but and also you know they're just on a lower i mean they the socio economic reality is that you have richer white people richer suburban people than you do you know blacks are still tend to live in inner cities and those places so there is a definite description discrepancy and divide there. dan does that mean in a way that this terrible toll we've seen in the u.s.
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is not really donald trump's fault after all. well he didn't cause the pandemic it started in china and spread you know throughout the world but you can see many other countries have gotten ahold of it many other countries have had wise leadership to try to communicate the extent of the challenge that we're facing. present trumpets on the opposite he's he's he's willfully ignoring it is really nothing more to say he's he's he's no implementing rules will force schools either to open. or deport international students for instance he's doing everything he can to sort of force the economy to get back on track even though we're still in the 1st wave of the pandemic in germany one talks about maybe a 2nd wave coming where we have never reached the end of the 1st wave in the states and it keeps rolling across the country with unbelievable impact so he didn't cause
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it but it's been exacerbated so if i understand down correctly matthew you he would be saying essentially that trumps lack of leadership or poor crisis management exacerbated structural vulnerabilities would you agree with that well i don't think any question and this is why i think it's going to come down to his management of the crisis on election day the economy i think is one aspect of that but there are counter examples and i think this is going to be a big problem for trump to explain why the richest country in the world has the highest death rate of any country and ignored a lot of the signs early on and you know did not take the steps it could have taken like many countries in europe did but not only if you look to new zealand australia and others who took the danger seriously and he did exactly the. the opposite now he's paying the price for that strategy and i think people are waking up to it because you can't ignore the fact that a lot of people are dying that there are
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a lot of coffins rolling by and you know this is going to be really difficult for him to recover from one quick question on that lack of management a symbolic piece that many people are focused on trying not wearing a mask he's often blamed for setting a bad example by not doing so but if you look at the culture in your state for example arizona one day to have been the case that many people there would not have wanted to wear a mask either that sort of freedom loving culture that we know from the us doesn't that make it harder to get people to follow the rules no matter who's in the white house absolutely but that's exactly why leadership is very important at a time like this and if he had early on suggested to people that they wear a mask and show his willingness to wear a mask it would have had a huge impact and i heard today from a minister here in germany who said that in managing the crisis here it was crucial
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that. early on stop shaking people's hands and show that you know she was taking these rules seriously and then you had an acceptance in the population for you know these restrictions and because of kind of the liberty loving american mentality would be more difficult there there's no doubt but i think that trump would have had an easier time in convincing people from arizona than barack obama would have for example but i think that presumes though that everyone accepts that this virus is actually a virus and that it's a pandemic and that there's a medical reason to do this i mean in the end the mask has become perhaps the most political symbol at the moment and wearing it or not wearing it isn't about protecting yourself or protecting others from the virus but it's about where you stand on the political spectrum exactly so let's talk about that a minute because political polarization. it seems to encompass everything that happens in the united states and it also in compass is the virus views of how
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dangerous this virus is to some extent depend on people's political party affiliation which is seems surprising i think to many outside america. what's going on there and what role the media play in that. well there's no doubt in america that the media play a big role in that whether you know you believe the side that toward the years toward trump that it's the fake media or the left media or whatever that's causing it or whether you look at the other side that it's you know fox news in particular that's sort of drawing this debate away from science or from from rational you know sort of approach that you see in other countries including germany so the media is definitely playing a role in that but it's also the fact that the pandemic while the numbers are escalating at a very alarming rate the death and the deaths are high it's still not enough i mean i really do think that the tipping point may come if we god forbid have a new york scenario going on in arizona or or in some of these other states that
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are there pivotal to the election this fall if you start seeing refrigerator trucks taking away coffins or something like that then maybe people will start to actually wake up and say well this isn't a political debate and this in fact is something that we should be paying attention to because the health of everybody in the country is at stake i just don't see the at least i mean i'm sitting here in germany and again my what i'm reading and when i'm consuming is how i'm you know coming to this conclusion but i just don't get the sense that americans take this all that seriously yet despite the overwhelming and staggering numbers that we see down let me take us back to the question of the political consequences for donald trump also in the context of political polarization in the united states we are seeing really record high levels of mistrust in political leaders generally. and in the other political party so in the beginning of the program we heard
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a sound bite or 2 from president trump's independence day speech he's used that speech and other recent public appearances to really blast the left blaming them for example for the black lives matter protest saying that they're trying to tear down america's historical culture and so on when you look at his election campaign strategy is he now has he decided to play entirely to his base and can he win on that basis. you know the polarization of which you were just discussing i think. especially if say for a german audience to understand our political parties the united states really kind of big tents they don't have the same sort of programatic platforms that have any meaning for a european context and within each party there is a vicious civil war going on so the polarization is not sort of between right and left it's actually between lots of different kinds of groups within the democratic party right now particularly given the social unrest the progressive sort of
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element of the democrats put huge pressure on joe biden to go for more left that he can they did their candidates didn't win the nomination process but they are having a party by lizabeth war and they're talking about bernie sanders being a big fight right now. and so biden's being pushed in that direction he's trying to hold sort of the mainstream. you're seeing pieces of the trump coalition republican coalition start to break away you see a number of governors now who had gone along with opening up things governor florida you know was celebrating the well back for business and now they're all shutting down again is this pandemic reaches them in the recession reaches their toll even jellicoe us which had been really supporting trump for a lot of different reasons are starting to break away. parts of his base with him and that will be really important in a number of these battleground states which one has to understand in the american
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system really is very important you don't win public opinion race you have to win 50 different states and those electoral votes so a state like arizona or pennsylvania will be really critical are wisconsin. message the trump administration as we've talked about has long pushed for a quicker reopening of the economy now it's pushing hard for quicker reopening of the schools. does that make sense given current conditions in the us. well there's a lot of debate about that even in europe and as trumpeting pointed out yesterday they're opening schools across europe so there's no reason for the u.s. not to do so i think you know this is a question where the scientists have to weigh in as the politicians i don't think it is one of his craziest ideas to be honest to suggest that schools reopened i'm not sure that threatening to pull funding from them if they don't is is the wisest course but coming back to what dan was saying you know it does seem to be
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a tactic maybe to pull back in some of this this republican coalition that has supported him in the past in particular the suburban moms who have been crucial for him so far they were crucial in 2016 sort of semi wealthy or well off republicans living in the suburbs generally supported him in 2016 and if you loses them especially women who don't like him personally they don't like a lot of his policies but you know they stay still supported him he's going to have difficulty if he can't win that group again. you said in your opening statement the economy is the thing that could do him in but in fact the job numbers for june didn't look too bad in fact trump called them spectacular news and he said the economy is quote unquote roaring back you say the economy could bring him down and so well i'd like to know it could also help him when i mean if because right
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now there were there was a bank rate survey i think it was not too long ago that showed 45 percent of those people surveyed americans surveyed so their finances are the same which to me was surprising considering what's been going on the economy if if he does if they'll say that that trend upward if the recession doesn't get worse then i think that's a benefit to him you know come election time because only you know it get worse. i mean it seems like it can't get better if the situation with corona virus is going to force more shutdowns if you end up with with more of a crisis that we're seeing now and right now everything is exponentially going up in terms of the 1st wave which as dan mentioned isn't over yet so i don't i have a hard time seeing it getting better but i don't understand the stock market these days frankly i don't understand you know go up and vacillate the way it does in the world and that seems to be a driver of you know elections i think the difficulty is the only has 3 you have
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months and it's very unlikely that things are going to improve markedly over the next 3 and a half months and you know certainly if you look at the infection rates not just you know in the southwest but across the country i mean there's no sign that this is slowing down some people say this isn't the 1st wave this is a a forest fire and like a forest fire just going to continue to burn there's not going to be a 2nd fire you're going to have flare ups here and there but that the problem is now so big that there is no hope of bringing it under control in the same way that say you know germany managed it which of course is one reason that besides applauding his own crisis management the president also has repeatedly tried to point the finger at other countries and one country in particular for causing the ravages of corona in his 1st election campaign rally a few weeks ago he referred to corona as kung flu here's a reminder of where he puts the blame we got hit. by the virus that came from china
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. and we've made a lot of progress our strategy is moving along well. don't forget before the china plague came in who said china plague before they came in we had the best job numbers we've ever had we had the best economy we've ever had we're the best stock market we've ever had. now we opened we got to get it open because you know i said gotta get it open people need it you know people get sick from the other also it's not just from the virus they get sick from all of the other things that happened you know what i mean. is that blame game going to work in the u.s. seems to be working so far i mean it's it's amazing how much she is able to deflect by by doing that and there is no doubt that americans do feel. at least during this administration i've seen more of an isolationist sort of approach an america 1st i
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mean that resonates with people so i think him pointing to if he's pointing a finger at china or if he's pointing the finger elsewhere i i think that again is something that he benefits from but in the end what will it's really succeed you know with 3 half months as a smack points out so it's not much time and i know you've done a good deal of research on china some critics say trump if he succeeded anything it's in making china great again george packer a new yorker writer recently said that trump's america is becoming a failed state what's your impression when you look also at how european see the u.s. today well it's quite a spectacle i must say and i said all of these things a confluence of crises with the leadership that absent or has exacerbated them so it is on the other hand you know. it's counterintuitive perhaps to a european colleagues but if you look at the wave of social unrest in the united
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states that's cool. on the sheer anger at the system it racism that prevails in our country that really isn't addressed. i take some heart in that i mean it's a powerful powerful civil movement that is really shaking the country i don't know that such a bad thing frankly it's time we you know this is waking us up the pen to make is waking us up to some things and that's a cathartic time and i don't know that that's a weakness of the united states i think you could say it's a strength how it turns out i don't know but i've been heartened by the activism of a lot of people let me come back to our title which asks if corona is trumps downfall could we also put it another way that corona is perhaps revealing that trump has become america's downfall. well i'm maybe more optimistic. than that question i think that you know if anything america over the last few 100
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years is showing its ability to reinvent itself and to emerge from crises like this this isn't the 1st crisis as john bolton trumps former national security adviser said recently he's pretty optimistic about the country's. ability to heal after one trump term terms he's more skeptical and i think he's probably right about that so i let's say trump does lose in november what legacy does he leave to his successor . major clean up time i mean i just don't know how any president i mean how biden is going to be able to sort of undo or unravel everything that's that's been on ravel if you will over the past 4 years so i mean it's just it's i don't i cannot remember i mean any time that has ever been as chaotic as these last 4 years and i think that's the legacy that he will leave i mean just the destruction you
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know in his path on every front. down briefly if you would polarization really now in every branch of the government executive legislative and judicial. can really deal with that in those 1st 2 crucial years after the election if you went it's really important in our system to look at the other elections that will happen in november besides a presidential one. that the democrats also capture majority in the senate plus represent the house of representatives creates a democratic majority. barack obama has their lives 1st 2 years he didn't get much done so it's not a guarantee but i think joe biden will have to say we're not going back to something we're going to build something new thank you very much thanks to all of you for being with us and thanks to you out there for tuning in and seeing sound.
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of a member of. for
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. going up today don't miss our highlights. program on line d.w. dot com highlights. of you all with words. of where i come from you don't want to weigh from a call from today show. when i was 5 years old my father took me to his fancy and i
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was hooked on the spokesman's a sport that you loved soul enters your soul. fencing as a language and a good source for it is a conversation. must keep your opponents and understand the thinking. of the main to get close otherwise you can't score a. song like a tough interview really when. if you ink politicians or corporate c.e.o.'s you have to wait for the right moment just to get around that defensive scheme then make your outfit. yes i'm taking risks to get results. i've got alphas and i work at the w. a
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. a a a much. much. how. all we can be the generation that ends it good malaria must start so millions can live.
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this is. after the supreme court says federal prosecutors can see his tax returns. from. the public will probably not see those tax returns before the presidential election the court ruled that the president's immunity. is not only limited also coming to germany's security she.

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