Does Donald Trump know about trade
Donald Trump's four years as US President, which are now drawing to a close, have changed the world. How deep the rift is in American society was once again made clear by the so-called storm on the Capitol in Washington. But what is left of Trump?
The NDR Info weekly commentary from Gordon Repinski, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of ThePioneer.
Donald Trump's term of office as US President ends next Wednesday. Four years end without any historical point of comparison. Four years in which the political culture in the United States has changed like never before, in which the division of society has become more visible than ever. But it was also an experiment with a central question: What can a populist change, effect, destroy if he is suddenly the most powerful man on earth?
The good news at the end: The worst disasters did not materialize. The Trumpists' provocative game with the unpredictable regime in Tehran a year ago was probably the most dangerous moment of the presidency. The killing of the Iranian general Soleimani could have led to an uncontrolled conflagration in the Middle East, with unforeseeable consequences for the people in the region, for the flow of refugees to Europe and for the global economy.
Traces of residual sanity in the White House
The fact that this conflict, like others, did not come about was due to holding forces in the Trump administration, which prevented the worst. Trump has exchanged them again and again. In the end, traces of residual sanity in the White House and Trump's disinterest in foreign policy meant that the world was spared the damage of a great war. The clean-up work is now limited to the largely disempowered international organizations: the UN, the World Trade Organization and NATO need a fresh start. He will come.
In international relations, Trump has not only done stupid things. The tough attitude towards China, for example, was correct. The ignorance of the rules of international trade on the part of Beijing has been a problem for years that, in view of the large Chinese market, has not been addressed by Europe. It is true that Trump changed the tone here. Had he relied on an existing legal framework like the World Trade Organization, the world community could even have made progress here. The attempt is pending - and Trump's successor Joe Biden may be included in the program for the next four years.
Low point of the tenure: The storm on the Capitol
As much as the foreign policy damage of the years remained manageable, the domestic policy became visible in its magnitude for everyone on January 6th. The storm of Trump supporters on the Capitol, cheered on by the President and many Republicans themselves, has become the low point of the tenure and recent US history. It marks the moment when the president of the oldest democracy in the world undermines its own system.
The storm on the Capitol was shameful, terrifying, and dangerous. Those who enjoy the proud aura of the Washington D.C. Capitol once seen with my own eyes knows that an attack on this building is an attack on democracy. How it could hardly be bigger and more symbolic.
But the day does not mark the moment when American democracy was damaged. It marks the day on which the damage became visible. The march of violent Trump supporters is the result of weeks of destructive rhetoric by the Republicans after the November election defeat, who spoke of stolen votes like the Trump clan itself. It is the result of years of propaganda by its own president, which challenged democratic values and incited its own people against its institutions.
You don't play with democracy
The fact that the consequences were so visible should also bring good things in the end. It lets Trump leave office lonely. Not as a deceived martyr, as he would have liked. The Republicans, who long covered him and supported him, are increasingly distancing themselves from him. They do it spineless and opportunistically, just as they followed him before. But it opens the door of reconciliation a crack. Now it is up to the Democrats, to the soon-to-be President Joe Biden, to stretch out their hand.
The experiment of the Trump years failed. America is worse off than before, economically, globally, socially, culturally. It could be our luck in Europe that it failed so crashingly in the end. A pandemic will not be defeated by populism, the proof has been given. And if a sentence were needed to formulate the Trump years as a lesson for us in Europe, it would be: You don't play with democracy.
Editor's note: Dear reader, the separation of opinion and information is particularly important to us. Opinion contributions like this comment reflect the author's personal point of view. Comments can and should take a clear position. You can trigger approval or objection and in this way stimulate discussion. In this way, comments are deliberately different from reports that provide information about a situation and are intended to present different perspectives as balanced as possible.
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NDR Info | Comment | 01/17/2021 | 09:25 am
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