The elections in the USA also affect Europe


Post photo: US flag | © Pixabay

I can only write about the United States these days with great inner compassion. The corona virus has so far claimed over 105 lives there; 000 million men and women became unemployed and often lost health insurance as a result. And then died on May 40, 25.5.2020 George floyd by brutal police violence in Minneapolis. Of all places, in wonderful Minneapolis in the US state of Minnesota, the land of 10 lakes on the upper reaches of the Mississippi. After attending school for a year in the 000s and many visits since then, the city has become my second home.  

One police officer's act of violence was enough to send the entire country into turmoil. This shows how thin the layer of racism and violence still lies in American society. In 2019, there were 1 police killings across the United States. And as if the country wasn't already shaken enough, there is an erratic president who, despite Corona and its consequences and despite police violence, which is not just a problem in Minneapolis, is having a "fight" with Twitter because there (finally ) the veracity of a Trump tweet was questioned.  

America presents itself as a deeply divided country that is governed by the old recipes of white conservatives. A New York Times headline on May 31.5.2020, 31.5.2020 read: “In Days of Discord, a President Fans the Flames.” On May 75, 50, the New York Times reported that there were protests in at least XNUMX cities in the United States; a day later, protests against police violence had spread to all XNUMX states in the United States. The mostly self-made posters read “Justice for black lives”, “Without justice there is no peace”, “Fight racism – Fight fascism”… And the president talked about “mob” and criticized the governors for not being “tough” enough – - not being “tough” enough. In the meantime he wants to use the military against the demonstrators. Trump cannot or does not want to understand what the root causes of all this are. America urgently needs a conciliator at the top and has a booster. It is becoming increasingly clear how valuable Barack Obama was for the country.

On November 3rd d. J. is elected in the USA. Citizens must then decide how their country and society should develop over the next four years. You should be cautious about giving advice from outside. But the result of the American elections will also have an impact on Europe and our country. Trump's most recent foreign policy "great deed" was the announcement of his withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO). How many withdrawals from an international organization was this? The USA withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, to which 197 countries are members. Then the withdrawal from the INF Treaty on the disarmament of medium-range nuclear missiles, the withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran and the termination of the Open Skies Agreement. What's next?

Initially, Trump's foreign policy appeared ambiguous. There were the show-like meetings with Vladimir Putin and with the North Korean Kim Jong Un. In Washington, some were already babbling about the Nobel Peace Prize. But what has become of all this? It quickly became apparent that the erratic president didn't believe in all the virtues of successful foreign policy: patience, perseverance, diplomatic skills and close cooperation with allies. Kurt Kister Headed a comment in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on May 24.5.2020, 2.6.2020: “Trump prefers to terminate agreements than to improve them”. The commentary includes the term “aggressive isolationism” and a description of current American foreign policy: “The current administration in Washington appears to have just as little interest in good relations with Moscow or Beijing as it does in friendly relations with Berlin or Paris. This attitude of global equidistance has gotten worse every year since Trump took office.” For the Trump administration, it seems to me, foreign policy is not about looking at what is happening in the world; Rather, foreign policy has become a function of American domestic policy. For example, Trump can announce sharp reactions to police violence and Chinese plans to control Hong Kong in one day. A few days later, however, threatened military action against the demonstrators for “Black Lives Matter” in their own country. "Trump declares war on America," reported the Süddeutsche Zeitung on June XNUMX, XNUMX.

The voters will also decide on the goals and type of American foreign policy on November 3.11.2020rd, 1948, and Europe must prepare for two possible outcomes. Should Trump be voted out, a change of direction cannot be achieved simply by pressing a button. The basic mutual trust that is so necessary in foreign policy has been permanently damaged after four years with Trump. The USA could become a member of the WHO again, which they co-founded in XNUMX. But everyone will ask, how long will the Americans stay there? What happens after the next presidential election? Trump had apparently hoped that the withdrawal of the United States would suddenly remedy shortcomings in the respective international organization. But someone who runs away is no longer a competent conversation partner for those who remain. With each further retreat, the US finds itself playing the role of troublemaker on the edge of the sandbox. A new president who wants to bring his country back into the international community must also reckon with this weakened position. He is greeted with suspicion.

And what if Donald J. Trump re-elected as President of the United States on November 3, 2020? The historian and Pulitzer Prize winner Heather Ann Thompson ventures a glimpse into the future: "I think we really do live in a time when things will become even more tense before they become more peaceful." Pessimism also comes from a statement by the columnist Michelle goldberg. She wrote in The New York Times on 29.5.2020/XNUMX/XNUMX: "No one knows how bad things will get, only what is certain is that in the Trump era, events that seem like a nightmare one day are almost normal the next. “ The details of such developments can be found in the book by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt "How democracies die".  

What remains for Europe? The Chancellor's insight: “Europe must take its fate into its own hands!” is more relevant than ever. If Trump is re-elected on November 3.11.2020, XNUMX, he will – freed from the burden of having to face the voters again – “turn” back to the EU, of which he does not think much. He will demand more money for the military, more imports of American goods and rail against the Russian gas pipeline. He becomes his friend Boris Johnson support in the final phase of the Brexit negotiations and serve as a role model for the Eurosceptics and skeptics. Four more years of Trump would be too long to simply sit out. Therefore, the "strong" in the EU must show even more leadership and an even greater will to solve problems together in the areas of economic and financial policy, in the social, in art and culture and above all in bringing young people in Europe together. The future fields of action will be the same as before: The Balkans, the Near and Middle East and Africa.

I'm attaching two pictures to this post that show wonderful Minneapolis from a better side.

Photos: Hans Mueller

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