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The Rubenstein Doctrine

If Donald Trump retakes the White House, it seems unlikely that our fragile democracy could withstand another four years of his lies, irrational behavior, and vendettas.
If Donald Trump retakes the White House, it seems unlikely that our fragile democracy could withstand another four years of his lies, irrational behavior, and vendettas. Photo: Robert Perry/Getty Images
William D. Cohan
August 6, 2023

I regularly get asked what elite Wall Streeters think about our current divisive political dynamic, and how they would like to see it fixed. Their answers are often of the Wall-Street-loves-gridlock variety, meaning that Wall Street prefers political inaction in Washington and preserving the status quo, rather than an executive and legislative branch sufficiently in sync to actually get things done. It’s terribly cynical, I know—and may not just be a Wall Street thing—but also probably explains why we have tended, in recent decades, to have a president of one party and a Congress of another party, ensuring that it is extremely difficult to accomplish anything. And very little does get done, notwithstanding President Joe Biden’s outstanding legislative record in his first two years in office.