The results of the American presidential elections of November was the main topic of the event “How the White House was won” held on the 1st of December at Ludovika. The roundtable discussion in the organisation of the Antall József Knowledge Centre featured experts such as Jeffrey D. Gordon former Pentagon spokesman, Elizabeth Wahl journalist, Michael Weiss senior editor at The Daily Beast and Zsolt Németh chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Dr. János Bóka, vice-dean of the Faculty of International and European Studies, as the moderator of the event highlighted the fact that the elections reflected the fragmentation of the American society, while this major political event also forecasts the politics of the next US government.
The experts of the discussion agreed that the victory of Donald J. Trump came as a surprise. According to Elisabeth Wahl, very few had expected the victory of Trump and the public surveys were completely misleading, therefore the result was shocking for most of the people. The journalist also highlighted the two major faults of mainstream media: first of all, too much emphasis was laid on Trump, while the exact problems of the voters living in different districts didn’t get enough attention.
The invited guests mentioned the staggering statements, such as the one of Donald J. Trump about Muslims. Mr Gordon emphasised that the further spreading of radical Islam as an ideology should be prevented and according to his analysis Trump is aware of this.
Another conclusion of the discussion was that “security” will be more explicitly present in the foreign politics of the USA. According to Zsolt Németh, the Trump administration will select more carefully in which cases they will intervene or not. The situation of Ukraine was also analysed, Mr Gordon argued that Europe should play a more active role in this issue, which would also be expected by Trump. Zsolt Németh added that European countries can’t continue to live in the shadows of America enjoying its protection.
Besides Ukraine, politics towards Russia were another key point of the discussions. As the former spokesman of the Pentagon said, Trump will conduct international affairs in a strict manner, demanding more respect. However, Ms Wahl reflected that Trump didn’t addressed Mr Putin directly with this message. As one of the final conclusions, Mr Németh noted that the main question is whether the Trump administration will find the adequate way of political dialogue.