Here Are Three Big Tests of the Donald Trump Approach to Public Policy

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It occurs to me that we now have three tests of Donald Trump’s barstool approach to public policy:

Immigration. Trump hasn’t done much on the policy side to reduce illegal immigration, but he has stepped up the pace of high-profile raids. He’s also blustered a lot and pissed off just about the entire nation of Mexico. Will this be effective in scaring Latin Americans away from crossing the border into El Norte?

Qatar. The US has been unhappy with Qatar’s support for terrorist groups for several years. Now Trump has decided to turn this into a highly public battle. Will Qatar respond positively to this?

NATO. Every American president has pressed our NATO allies to spend more on defense, with only sporadic success. Trump has decided to up the ante by implicitly threatening to leave NATO if they don’t. Will this finally get them to commit to higher defense budgets?

All of us overeducated types are sure that Trump’s approach will make things worse, not better. That’s certainly what I think. In a year or two, these three issues should give us a pretty good idea of whether we’re right.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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