Sonntag, 26. Januar 2020

Donald Trump gebührt Dank Donald Trump: Der Mann, der Europa vereinigt

America first: Trump zwingt die europäischen Staaten dazu, endlich zusammenzuarbeiten
The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
America first: Trump zwingt die europäischen Staaten dazu, endlich zusammenzuarbeiten

No U.S. President in recent memory has done more to strengthen Europe's willingness to work together than Donald Trump.

George W. Bush was famous for campaigning, back in his first presidential campaign in 2000, with the now (in)famous argument that he was "a uniter, not a divider." (In retrospect, that may have been the first presidential "fake news" effort.) In the real world, Bush's comforting slogan turned out the exact opposite: The former Governor of Texas pursued an agenda that was very divisive domestically.

Stephan-Götz Richter

And as if that wasn't bad enough, Bush managed to top this in the international arena. There, his performance proved explosively divisive. His completely unnecessary Iraq War, in particular, caused long-time allies of the United States to part company with the West's leading power.

To cover that up, Bush and his team started to refer to his much smaller war-making cabal, which most prominently included the U.S.'s eternal sidekick, UK, as an "Alliance of the Willing."

While Donald Trump did not exactly use those same words, there are plenty of occasions where Donald, as candidate and U.S. President, mouthed words to the same effect, including during his Inaugural Speech in January 2017.

Trump's performance

Trump's record in office, however, makes an even bigger mockery of the "uniter" claim on the domestic front than was the case for Bush Jr. From his first day in office onward, the new President has poured acid over the slogan.

Trump's baseline reflex seems to be to ridicule the Democrats and any other political force that does not volunteer to be completely submissive to him.

The difference internationally

As it happens, the same is true on the international front, regarding the U.S. traditional "Western" allies. Where nations parted company from George W. Bush over Iraq, he was always trying to woo them.

In contrast, Trump heaps most foreign nations with a near-constant barrage of outright scorn. Europe, and Germany in particular, seems to be just one notch short of Iran on Mr. Trump's list of rogue nations. (Apparently, Trump is seeking to balance that out by his sick admiration of Suck-up-Arabia, formerly "Saudi" Arabia, and of buttering up China's Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago).

Yet, there is good news to be reported - and for this Donald Trump definitely deserves credit. His many distastefully uninformed speeches and actions have had a salutary effect on Europe.

The EU is probably the world's biggest beneficiary of Trump's many "trumpist" (i.e., blatantly ignorant) moves. Individual EU nations are happy as well.

Look back just a year ago - and the entire European edifice was expected to be sacrificed on the altar of populism. Then, the shock of the Trump election happened.

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