Well, no one saw this coming. (Least of all myself; indeed, I said two years ago that it would never happen.) So, why would the Forum invite the man who most incarnates everything it’s aligned against, and why would he accept that invitation?
The answer to the first question is the easier one. The World Economic Forum always invites the sitting US president, as a matter of course. There will have been a long series of groveling letters from Klaus Schwab, the Forum’s head, to anybody and everybody he could think of in Trump’s orbit. And certainly he will have promised to protect Trump from any kind of visible protests or tough questions. Davos might ostensibly be about shared values, and “improving the state of the world”, and other high-minded platitudes, but ultimately it’s about power, and the US president is the most powerful person in the world. Of course he’s going to be invited.
The answer to the second question is more interesting. There are a few reasons why Trump might want to accept the Forum’s invitation.
Firstly, and most importantly, the visit is logistically possible, in a way that it normally isn’t. Historically, Davos has coincided with the president’s State of the Union address in Washington, but this year it doesn’t: the Forum runs from January 23-26, while SOTU doesn’t happen until January 30.
Secondly, if Trump goes, that means that his lieutenants – Steven Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, Jared Kushner, and the like – can also attend, as part of his entourage. They will have lots of meetings they’ve been invited to and would like to take, but Davos is the spiritual home of globalist cucks, which means they weren’t able to accept any invitations unless and until Trump said yes. So it’s worth assuming that they were encouraging his RSVP.
On the other side of the White House ideological spectrum, the anti-Davos Bannonites, chiefly Stephen Miller, will have relished the opportunity for Trump to deliver a robust unilateralist rebuke to everything Davos stands for, much as he did at the UN General Assembly. For once, the globalists are going to have to sit and listen as Trump lays down some hard truths – and they’re not even going to have any direct opportunity to respond.
Then there’s the diplomatic considerations. It’s not easy for Trump to meet other heads of state: either he has to visit them, or they have to visit him, and neither is easy, in terms of logistics and optics. Organizing a meeting between Trump and Theresa May, for instance, will be much easier if she can simply drop by his hotel suite in Davos, rather than her making a formal visit to Washington or facing down public opposition to inviting him to London. The same goes for most other European leaders, as well as the likes of Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad bin Salman. Expect the roster of confirmed heads of state attending Davos to rise in the next couple of weeks: Trump’s presence alone is reason enough for them to attend.
So, now that Trump’s confirmed, how is that going to change the rest of the Forum?
The plutocrats and CEOs will continue to mutter privately against Trump but say little against him in public: that’ll be the same as last year. It was always naive to expect Davos to be the home of any kind of Resistance; instead, it’s going to ratify itself as part of the Capitulation.
Meanwhile, the central bankers and finance ministers, who used to rule the roost, will find themselves increasingly marginalized: they’re simply not important any more. With Trump’s arrival, politics will definitively have defeated economics, to the point at which the World Economic Forum should probably start trying to think up a new name. I’m sure Stephen Miller would be happy to make a few suggestions.