Trump will reopen questions that the establishment considers closed. Voters would like stricter enforcement of the laws against illegal immigration. This policy is favoured by citizens of all ethnic backgrounds, including Hispanics; but not by the Washington technocrats, who think less of public order than what immigration contributes to the bottom line of big businesses.
Likewise on war and peace: Americans are disgusted by the inept use of military force over the past two presidential administrations, which have yielded only chaos and gains for Islamist extremism. Hillary Clinton has the worst record of any US politician: she voted for George W Bush’s Iraq war as a senator and as secretary of state was the driving power behind Obama’s intervention in Libya.
Trump is no isolationist. He is not looking to abrogate treaties with Japan or America’s Nato allies. But he has raised a question that the public has long been asking, namely, whether America carries too much of the burden for defending Europe and East Asia. Since the Cold War, the self-declared foreign policy experts have made so many catastrophic mistakes – involving themselves in endless Middle East conflicts while simultaneously antagonising Russia and depending on China to underwrite our debt – that they have forfeited the public’s trust. It’s no paradox to say Trump may strengthen the old alliances by forcing them to mend their ways and justify themselves anew.