U.S. Presidential Election 2020 and Trump’s False Realism


  • Muhammad Ali Baig Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad


Trump, Realism, U.S. Presidential Election 2020, U.S. Foreign Policy, U.S. Domestic Politics


Trump’s ascent to power as the 45th President of the United States of America in 2016 was received as a shock by the international community, most importantly its European allies. However, it was welcomed by populist and right-leaning leaders such as the then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The latter was the first head of state to meet the President-Elect at the Trump Tower in New York City in November 2016. It was speculated that Trump would envisage a foreign policy pivoted upon Realist principles. Indeed, Trump administration’s second National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster asserted that Trump would articulate “Principled Realism.” However, “Trump’s False Realism” in the articulation and execution of U.S. foreign policy caused damage to the established balance of power and the hard-earned trust of allies besides jeopardizing his election win. This article attempts to analyse four major reasons that contributed to Trump’s loss of the U.S. Presidential Election 2020, of which three are domestic and one is foreign.