President Trump at a rally in Orlando, Florida. Photo: YouTube.

US President Donald Trump recently announced at a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, that he would be running for a second term. He promised to continue “making America great again” with all his effort, strength and soul and assured the audience that he would never let the people down.

The entirety of the United States was taken by surprise when Trump bested Hillary Clinton in 2016 to become the president. Since then, neither Democrats nor Republicans have found a way to handle Trump’s atypical policies. The mainstream US media are having a hard time catching up with Trump’s “Twitter fingers.” Policies undertaken under his predecessor Barack Obama have been almost completely subverted by Trump, who started trade conflicts on his road to putting “America First.” The Sino-US trade war has also gotten America’s allies treading carefully.

In terms of hard power, the United States is still leading the world. However, its soft power has almost run out. With the international community getting sick of Trump’s antics, will we see another season of Trump running the White House?

According to a Fox poll, former US vice-president Joe Biden, one of the Democratic contenders for the 2020 election, is 10 points ahead of Trump. While polls are important, they are not decisive. In the previous election Clinton was ahead of Trump in the polls, and we all know how the election turned out in the end. There is still a long way to go before next year’s election. Trump is undoubtedly more charismatic than Biden, and the way he releases policy announcements via Twitter definitely stimulates public interest and public opinion. In terms of generating buzz, Biden is still lagging behind.

Compared with previous presidents, Trump’s obsession with the White House is like no other. The rally on June 18 was Trump’s 550th since he announced his presidential campaign four years ago. As for his re-election efforts, he began raising funds just five months into his presidency.

Trump has been committed to placing “America First.” In terms of domestic affairs, he has altered Obamacare and immigration policies and implemented large-scale tax cuts (which Clinton ridiculed as an impossible task). His policies are controversial but they also solidify the foundation of his public support.

The US president is very proud of his achievements. With the stock market upbeat, employment at an all-time high and consistent spending power among the people, the US Federal Reserve has to obey Trump’s will in order to maintain the stability of the stock market and to be prepared for trade wars.

However, Trump’s re-election may not be good news for the United States. After all, he has changed the political structure in the US profoundly. The key is to let the US bear a negative image of protectionism and unilateralism. With the Sino-US trade war at a stalemate, allies are dispersing and the key elements backing the United States’ status as a global superpower are slowly diminishing.

A “second season” of the Trump Show may end on a bad note.

This article was first published on and was translated by Kamaran Malik.

Zhang Jingwei is a senior researcher at the Charhar Institute as well as a researcher at the Chongyang Institute for financial studies at the Renmin University of China.

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