What would happen if Donald Trump remained in office for another four years? What consequences would his re-election have for Germany and the world? Rainer Rupp looks back on Trump’s presidency and ventures a preview of a possible extension of the “America first” era.
By Rainer Rupp.
If President Donald Trump succeeds in his re-election, not much will change in U.S. military and economic foreign policy; to the horror of the powerful neoliberal financial elites and their political and media water carriers in European and other U.S. vassal states. This parasitic class had placed its hopes in the Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden. For Biden, or his advisers and the political forces behind him, had promised the vassals that they would heal the transatlantic relations that Trump had so brutally trampled on so soon after taking office.
As “destroyer” of the allegedly so proven “liberal order” he had been insulted in all western states, above all however in Germany, also by chancellor Merkel, after he had taken the already far developed, shortly before signing favorite project of the transnational elite, i.e. TTIP, without a word and let it disappear into oblivion. TTIP stands for the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”, which was to be sold to the population as a harmless free trade and investment protection agreement in the form of an international treaty between the European Union and the USA. In reality, however, TTIP would have transferred jurisdiction over conflicts between the interests of transnational corporations and national laws passed by parliament from state courts to private “expert” courts set up by the corporations.
TTIP was nothing more than a coup attempt by the globalized elites to disempower national parliaments in economic and trade matters and to settle conflicts between companies and the state with their own private courts, at the expense of the taxpayers, of course, to whom the elites do not usually belong. No “reasonable person” could be against TTIP, was said at that time also in Germany the representatives of the elites, who already thought their sheep were safe. Even the demonstrations against TTIP, which with 250,000 participants were among the largest in our country, could not tempt the elites and the Merkel government under their control to change their minds. But then Trump was elected US President, and a few weeks after he took office, TTIP was off the table. For this the German population should have been genuinely grateful to President Trump and could have overlooked some of his character flaws. Instead, most of them bravely absorbed Trump’s defamation through the media spokesmen and parroted up to this day.
If Biden was elected, one could safely assume that the global elites will reopen the issue with TTIP and make a second attempt to disempower the democratic structures in our countries. A few days ago, in an interview with the Tagesspiegel am Sonntag on November 1, 2020, the errand boy of the German section of the TTIP elites, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, already outlined that he wants to create a new common basis of understanding between Germany and the USA after the US presidential elections on November 3:
„We will approach Washington with proposals soon after the election – and propose a transatlantic ‘New Deal’.
What is needed is a new common understanding of the global “rules of the game”, especially “in trade”. One can assume that Maas certainly did not want to address Trump with his overture, but Biden as the new man in the Oval Office.“
In general, the German elites hope that under a President Biden they will again have better access to the feeding troughs of the corrupt US financial system, on which their profit and prestige largely depend. Trump never wanted to be part of these neo-liberal-globalized elites who ignored the interests of their domestic population and exported millions of domestic jobs along with important technologies and know-how to low-wage countries for their personal profit maximization. As early as the 2016 election campaign, Trump had blamed these elites for unemployment, poverty and the neglection of vast industrial landscapes in the USA and vowed to bring jobs back to the USA. And he had already achieved considerable success with this in the last four years, although “experts” had thought it impossible. But with customs duties, import restrictions and diplomatic rumbling, Trump has nevertheless made it possible to stop and partially reverse neoliberal globalization. In addition, this development was further accelerated by Corona and the resulting disruptions in global supply chains.
His successes, for which especially the working US-American painters of all skin colors are grateful to him, have often brought the globally operating elites at home and abroad to white heat. Time and again they accused Trump that “his narrow world view”, his supposedly “unpredictable leadership style”, his “America First”, his “contempt for allies”, his “penchant for dictators” had permanently damaged the United States’ relations with the rest of the world. The absolute nightmare of these elites is four more years with Trump in the White House, especially since they have exhausted their ammunition to keep Trump small or possibly to drive him out of office, such as the Steele dossier and the Russiagate campaign or the impeachment.
Not only were these attempts to push Trump away all ineffective, but it has now been proven, and the public has understood this, that these were fictitious constructs. The Democratic Party leadership had secretly worked with the heads of the secret services appointed by Barack Obama, especially the FBI and CIA, and also the Department of Justice, and passed the ball to each other. The goal was to topple Trump or at least to make him incapable of action in important foreign policy areas, such as the good relations with Russia that he was striving for. That did not work. Therefore, in the event that President Trump is re-elected in the next four years, not much will change in the direction of U.S. foreign policy. However, he will be able to act without the heavy shackles described above. This means that it would be much harder for the media and the opposition, including the so-called Deep State in the secret services, to portray Trump as a Russian agent than during the last four years if he seeks a balance with Moscow. Or if Trump orders the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria, which he has already done twice in public, the Pentagon will have much greater problems to refuse this order again.
In the past, the Pentagon has played on time and, with the help of the Democrats and their media, spread the narrative that only Russia would benefit from such a withdrawal from Syria. The fairy tale that Trump would probably be blackmailed by Moscow to take this step was also spread. This sneaky trick of the opponents of Trump’s foreign policy is unlikely to have any effect in the future.The neoliberal US elites and their vassals in Europe therefore see serious consequences for their global plans in four more Trump years. In their flagship media, the bimonthly Foreign Affairs magazine, author Eliot Cohen sees “the end of American power” if Trump is re-elected. The article is an example of the arrogance, hypocrisy and double standards that are so typical-not just of the ruling U.S. elites. It literally says:
„But beyond the realm of policy, a Trump victory would mark a sea change for the United States’ relationship with the rest of the world. It would signal to others that Washington has given up its aspirations for global leadership and abandoned any notion of moral purpose on the international stage. It would usher in a period of disorder and bristling conflict, as countries heed the law of the jungle and scramble to fend for themselves. And a second Trump term would confirm what many have begun to fear: that the shining city on a hill has grown dim and that American power is but a thing of the past.“
Trump’s first term in office provides a guide to what would probably follow in the second term. Under his leadership, the United States has distanced itself from a number of important international commitments, including the Paris Agreement, and reduced its relations with NATO allies. Under Trump, the United States has embarked on a course of confrontation with China and pursued an incoherent policy toward Russia: Trump wants good relations with Moscow, but his intentions have been thwarted by a deep-seated hostility to Russia on the part of Congress and the government bureaucracy (Deep State). In this regard, Trump will have greater room for maneuver in his second term, but the hostility of his government bureaucracy, which can undermine and torpedo the policies of any president, will not be so easily resolved. For there is one thing Trump cannot do, and that is fire the people who make up the Deep State in his government.
Shortly after taking office, Trump had already shut down many departments in the Foreign Ministry, for example, which he considered unimportant, and no longer filled open positions in other offices. Hundreds of positions in the Foreign Office are still unfilled today. At the same time, he was unable to fill many top positions in foreign and security policy with experienced people who shared his political views, including people from the Republican Party, most of whom did not want to serve a president whom they detested and despised, especially since they had to fear not finding a new job in the post-Trump era.
Thus Trump’s first term in office was marked for long stretches by administrative incompetence, exacerbated by widespread understaffing of important departments. In addition, established officials in many departments offered a kind of passive resistance to the policies of the new president and paralyzed the machinery. Thus Trump had to realize that foreign policy could not be controlled simply by Twitter messages from the White House. Eventually, Trump left foreign policy more and more to extremist ideologues and warmongers like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his former National Security Advisor John Bolton. He intervened only personally to prevent the Falcons from starting new wars at the last moment, such as against North Korea or Syria, which was then always chided as “unpresidential” by his opponents in politics and the media in the United States and Europe. Because a real US president must always be ready to wage new wars for the global elites in order to bring freedom, democracy, human rights and neoliberal markets to the world.
How and if Trump will ever get to grips with this problem of a partly understaffed, partly deliberately incompetent and recalcitrant bureaucracy in ministries and agencies like the CIA and agencies like the FBI in his second term of office is in the stars. But without the shackles discussed above, he will once again become more directly involved in the problem areas that are particularly close to his heart. As far as Europe is concerned, that would be NATO and the EU, and as far as Germany is concerned, he will devote himself particularly to his favorite topic, the enormous German balance of trade surplus with the United States. Penalties for the German car industry are likely to be on his agenda. At the same time, the German elites, first and foremost Chancellor Merkel and her government, cannot hope for Trump’s political benevolence, because in their haughty, condescending attitude they have sneered and mocked Trump at every opportunity, especially now, before the elections, where they have put their faith in Biden. And Trump has taken very good note of this. At an election rally last week he put Germany in line with Iran and China because all three wanted to “get rid of him.“
So if Trump causes special problems for the German export industry in his second term in office, then the injured parties can thank the simply straw-dumb policy of Chancellor Merkel and her no less clever SPD comrades. Trump will certainly also put on harder bandages against Berlin in the political and diplomatic field. Our Foreign Minister Maas can continue to dream of his “new transatlantic ‘New Deal'” with the USA, which he wants to propose to the US President after the elections. The situation is similar with NATO and the EU. In both organizations there was malice and contempt for Trump. Trump did not hide this either. Even the postponement of a high-ranking NATO conference, whose date was allegedly postponed from a time before the U.S. elections to the time immediately after because of the expectation of a Biden victory, will not necessarily win Trump over the NATO Europeans.
The aforementioned Foreign Affairs author Cohen accuses Trump of pursuing a naive and ultimately untenable form of isolationism with his policy of “America First”. For a second Trump’s term in office would mean the end of the U.S. leadership, the end of U.S. exceptionalism and the end of the many wars to spread the free U.S. market economy. One can only hope that Trump will be re-elected despite all his character flaws.
Thanks to the authors for the right to publish the article.
This article first appeared on November 03, 2020 on RT-Deutsch.
Picture source: Nicole Glass Photography / shutterstock
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