How does Trump compare to Richard Nixon

Donald Trump may be a brand, but President Trump ® is built on the foundations of his predecessors in the White House. In order to better understand his era and to be able to interpret his actions, historians look for parallels with the 44 presidents before him. What is the balance after almost three months in office?

Trump himself liked to remind you in the first days in the White House that he was with Andrew Jackson (President from 1829 to 1837). This parallel was drawn during the election campaign mainly from his environment by advisors such as Stephen Bannon. The 45th President hung a portrait of his predecessor in his office and recently visited Jackson's grave in Tennessee.

What the populists Trump and Jackson had in common as anti-establishment candidates was the rage rhetoric against corrupt elites ("business and corruption", Jackson insulted the political goings-on) and the promise to "return" power to the people.

There are certainly analogies when it comes to redemption: Jackson simply replaced the old elites with new ones, a coalition of East Coast businessmen, politicians from New York and those "radicals" among the Republicans who agitated against the central government. In Trump's closer circles of power, family members and representatives of the business and military elites dominate; the classic Republican cliques tend to play a minor role.

Change in political mechanics?

While the Jackson movement extended the right to vote (to white men without land ownership) and implemented new forms of co-determination such as the election instead of the appointment of judges, nothing similar is to be expected from the current government. The Trump rhetoric of "illegal votes" even points to stricter election conditions, which mainly affect minorities.

Jackson's role as a historical figure goes back not least to his founding of the Democrats, which completely changed the political mechanics that had been in effect until then. First of all, Trump has shifted the center of the Republicans ideologically in the direction of nationalism. Whether the party will stay there or whether this could result in a split will certainly not be clarified during this term of office.

In practice, however, Trump primarily stands for a preference for the economy at the expense of politics, most visibly so far in considerable deregulation. This school embodies from the recent past Ronald Reagan, the current pillar saint of the Republicans and preacher of the smallest possible state. Trump's announced tax reform with its relief for the wealthy goes in this direction, his controversial budget cuts even further than Reagan ever dared (which is why they are unenforceable).

Reagan, who ruled for two terms from 1981 to 1989, was, on the one hand, a radical: He weakened the state considerably, especially with the withdrawal of tax revenue. On the other hand, he was more flexible on issues such as immigration than Trump would ever be possible. Both have in common that they come from the entertainment industry and are willing to use their talents. "I have the largest theater in the world here," actor Reagan once said of the Oval Office. One sentence that could also come from Trump would be to replace "theater" with "reality show".

Reagan changed strategy early on

Both presidents were described as incapable early on in office, which gives Republicans hope. "Mr. Reagan has endured exactly the same wickedness, from the same and usual suspects," wrote Tammy Bruce, columnist for the Conservative, recently Washington Times.

Reagan's early change of strategy is interesting: He quickly approached the Democrats to find compromises - in the currently poisoned relationship between the camps, this is much more difficult. And the invasion of the mini-island of Grenada in 1983 not only diverted attention from a failed special mission in Lebanon, but slowly restored confidence in the country's military power after Vietnam - a development that resulted in the overestimation of the Iraqi invasion 20 Culminated years later. As much as Trump's opponents want to see him as a short-term phenomenon, US presidents often set processes in motion that will last for generations.