An Intelligence Squared Debate: Give Trump A Chance?
On the heels of a deeply polarized election, Donald Trump assumed office having won the Electoral College, 306 to 232, but having lost the popular vote by over 2.8 million voters.
His opponents argue that he gave voice and legitimacy to extremists, and that his unpredictable, autocratic style is a threat to both democratic ideals at home, and stability abroad.
But others, including critics, argue that Trump’s election represents the will of the American people, who--hungry for change--repudiated the status quo. In their view, we must find areas of common ground to work together, because obstructionism would only deepen the political divide, and a paralyzed government would benefit no one.
FOR THE MOTION:
Clive Crook is a Bloomberg View columnist and writes editorials on economics, finance and politics. Prior to this, he served as a senior editor at The Atlantic, and as the chief Washington commentator for Financial Times. He worked for more than 20 years at The Economist, as economics correspondent, Washington correspondent, economics editor, and deputy editor. In that last role he guided the magazine’s editorial line across its interests in business, politics, and international relations. He previously served as an official in the British finance ministry and the Government Economic Service.
Gayle Trotter is a columnist, political analyst and attorney who regularly appears on TV, most recently on Fox News Channel’s The Kelly File and MediaBuzz, contributes to The Hill, The Daily Caller, Townhall and other well-known political websites, and is a guest on radio shows across the country. Gayle served as vice president of the Kirkpatrick Society and is a co-founder of a law firm in the metro D.C. area. Gayle first attracted national media attention in 2013 with her testimony before the United States Judiciary Committee hearing on gun rights and gun violence in America. She received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Virginia, where she served as an editor of the international law journal.
AGAINST THE MOTION:
David Frum is a senior editor at The Atlantic. From 2001 to 2002, he served as speechwriter and special assistant to President George W. Bush and, from 2007 to 2008, he served as senior adviser to the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaigns. Frum is the author of eight books, including, most recently, the e-book Why Romney Lost and his first novel Patriots. His first book, Dead Right, was described by Frank Rich of the New York Times as the smartest book written from the inside about the American conservative movement and by the late William F. Buckley as the most refreshing ideological experience in a generation. His memoir of the Bush administration, The Right Man, was a #1 New York Times bestseller.
Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that focuses on improving the systems of democracy and justice. Waldman is a constitutional lawyer and writer, and is an expert on the presidency and American democracy. The Brennan Center is a leading national voice on voting rights, money in politics, criminal justice reform and constitutional law. Waldman has led the Center since 2005. Waldman was director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995-99, and special assistant to the president for policy coordination from 1993-95. He is the author of The Fight to Vote (2016) and The Second Amendment: A Biography (2014).