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shiller126_ANDREW HARNIKAFPGetty Images_trump g7 summit Andrew Harnik/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump Narrative and the Next Recession

So far, with his flashy lifestyle, the US president has been a resounding inspiration to many consumers and investors. But his personal narrative is unlikely to survive an economic downturn, because people pull back during such periods and reassess their views and the stories they find believable.

NEW HAVEN – US President Donald Trump concluded his remarks at the recent G7 summit by inviting the assembled leaders to hold next year’s meeting at his Doral country club near Miami, describing a fantasy-like world of “magnificent buildings” whose “ballrooms are among the biggest in Florida and the best.” It was yet another instance of Trump’s public narrative, which has been on a rising growth path for nearly a half-century.

One can observe this by searching Trump’s name in digital news sources, like Google Ngrams. His narrative has been slow to grow by contagion, but it has been growing for a long time, such that his domination of public discourse in the United States almost seems implausible.

Part of Trump’s genius has been to pursue for a lifetime the features that have sustained narrative contagion: showcasing glamor, surrounding himself with apparently adoring beautiful women, and maintaining the appearance of vast influence.

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  1. solana114_FADEL SENNAAFP via Getty Images_libyaprotestflag Fadel Senna/AFP via Getty Images

    Relieving Libya’s Agony

    Javier Solana

    The credibility of all external actors in the Libyan conflict is now at stake. The main domestic players will lower their maximalist pretensions only when their foreign supporters do the same, ending hypocrisy once and for all and making a sincere effort to find room for consensus.

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