“The world has changed and so should US-Iranian relations, but Trump seems unable to move forward”, U.S Professor of Political Science told ILNA.
David Schultz who is a Hamline University Professor of Political Science believes that Trump thinks the US can push around other countries along, but has failed to realize that it cannot dictate to China, Russia, North Korea, or even Iran. In reality, Trump has not had much success in his foreign policy. He said in his exculsive with ILNA news agency that “One of the defining characteristics of Trump’s foreign policy has also simply been to reverse anything that Obama did, including the deal with Iran.”
Schultz teaches across a wide range of American politics classes including public policy and administration, campaigns and elections, and government ethics. You can read his full interview with ILNA as follows:
Q: Will Donald Trump defeat Joe Biden to win a second term in the White House?
A: If the US presidential election were held today, the polls suggest that Joe Biden would win the popular vote and the electoral vote and become president of the United States. However, a lot can happen between now and the November 3, 2020 Election. The US is still in the middle of the pandemic and it is unclear how that will affect voter turnout. There is a movement to get more people to vote by mail and it is not clear how many will do that.
Q: What problem does Donald Trump Face?
A: In reality there is one issue in this election and it is Donald Trump himself. Four years ago when he ran against Hillary Clinton both of them were unpopular but more people disliked her than him and benefitted by winning. In the 2018 midterm elections they were really a referendum on Trump and suburb female voters turned out to vote against him. If these female suburban voters turn out to vote against Trump again he will lose. For Trump to win his supporters need to come out in higher percentages than four years ago and Biden’s supporters have to have a low turnout.
The pandemic has affected how we hold the elections and it is impacting the economy which is hurting Trump; Trump himself, the economy, the pandemic, these are the real issues this year.
Q: What is the best way to reduce stress in the current situation?
A: This is a highly partisan and polarized election. Nothing can be done before November to reduce the stress. Biden is running as a more consensus or compromise candidate and he may have some domestic success in reducing US political tension.
Q: Does Donald Trump have a grand strategy?
A: I did an article assessing Trump’s foreign policy. Here is a link to it. https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/lasr/17/1/article-p11.xml. In general Trump has pursued a US foreign policy that hurts US interests. It is a policy that takes a very narrow and one-way vision of US interests, failing to realize there is a need to work with other countries to solve common or mutual concerns. Trump thinks the US can push around other countries along, but has failed to realize that it cannot dictate to China, Russia, North Korea, or even Iran. In reality, Trump has not had much success in his foreign policy.
One of the defining characteristics of Trump’s foreign policy has also simply been to reverse anything that Obama did, including the deal with Iran. In its place Trump has no viable alternative and when it comes to Iran he seems frozen in time back to 1979 (when the US and Iran had a hostage crisis). The world has changed and so should US-Iranian relations, but Trump seems unable to move forward.
Q: Why does Trump not lift sanctions to show friendship with the Iranian people?
A: As noted above, Trump is stuck back in time in 1979. He does not understand how the world has changed, how U.S and Iran potentially share interests in regional security, and how trade between the two countries would be beneficial to both. Unfortunately, I do not see Trump changing his views or policies even if he were to win a second term. A Biden presidency may bring back the nuclear deal but it still may take time to build trust between the two countries. We do not even have official diplomatic contact or embassies. We need to build cultural and other connections as a part of building trust.