Why Trump is causing concern in other countries

Apparently US leaders and diplomats have to work overtime to try and reassure foreign leaders about the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency. What is interesting is not that they are worried but what they are worried about.

“Most people said that he didn’t have the wit, wisdom or wealth to get very far in the primaries,” said Peter Mandelson, a member of the British Cabinet under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, as well as a former European commissioner for trade who remains in touch with many leaders. “And they’ve been wrong.”

Now, world leaders cop to being afraid of a Trump presidency, and they’re making preparations: scrambling to get deals done with the Obama administration while they still have the chance.

Leaders, members of their governments, even their aides are so spooked that they don’t want to say anything, and many privately admit that it’s because they think he’ll win, and a quote now could mean a vengeful President Trump going after them personally next year.

As we’re on the record, I’m rather hesitant to give you big headlines on this,” said Olli Rehn, the Finnish minister of economic affairs. “In Europe, we are concerned about the U.S. possibly turning toward a more isolationist orientation. That would not be good for United States, good for Europe, good for the world. We need the U.S. engaged in global affairs in a constructive, positive way.”

They’re not caught up in some gushy lament about what’s become of American politics, as Obama has sometimes framed the conversations when he’s talked about them publicly. They’re worried about what it means for them: for their arms deals, for their trade deals, for international funding and alliances that they depend on. [My emphasis-MS]

For these people, war is the engine that drives their economies and produces wealth for the oligarchies. But the ones paying for it in blood and suffering are ordinary people while that money could be much better spent improving their lives.


  1. says

    That would not be good for United States, good for Europe, good for the world.

    By which they mean “the oligarchy”

    The oligarchy will do fine. It’d take a full on revolution to weed them out and that’s not happening.

  2. MacTurk says

    It was all okay, until the last paragraph…..Which was simply doctrinaire bollocks.

    If anyone can honestly tell me how Finland fits the ridiculous characterisation of “For these people, war is the engine that drives their economies and produces wealth for the oligarchies. But the ones paying for it in blood and suffering are ordinary people while that money could be much better spent improving their lives”, I will probably have to kiss their feet.

    Given that Finland, along with the rest of the Scandinavian nations, regularly features at the top of every UN ranking when it comes to citizen welfare, education attainments, etc, it is clear that whoever wrote this nonsense is ignorant of reality outside the USA.

    Lots of European countries are worried about the, admittedly slim, possibility that the USA, in a fit of complete lunacy, might elect President Trump. Lots of European citizens are looking at the whole Trump phenomenon, and asking “How on earth is this buffoon considered to be serious presidential material?”

  3. mnb0 says

    “Which was simply doctrinaire bollocks.”
    Just like the IDiots from Seattle can’t write about biology without referring to an Intelligent Designer ManoS can’t write about economy and politics without referring to oligarchies.
    Just like the IDiots from Seattle carefully neglect all evidence and arguments against their IDiocy ManoS carefully neglects all evidence and arguments against his neo-Marxist oligarchy doctrine.
    For instance a couple of years ago he was loud mouthed about the Cypriotic bank crisis and how the “European oligarchy” handled it at the cost of the common Cypriot (while in reality especially Russian oligarchs were taxed -- but hey, never let an inconvenient fact become an obstacle).
    Nowadays his silence about Cyprus is deafening:


    Though to be fair he has remained silent about the continuing Greek disaster as well, even though it might be more worrying than an eventual President Trump:


  4. sonofrojblake says

    European governments fear a Trump presidency because he’s running on a platform of putting the interests of individual US citizens first. All candidates SAY they’ll do that, and other governments just nod and smile and anticipate -- correctly -- business as usual: open borders, free trade, and the US armed forces policing the world.

    What’s scaring the shit out of them is that Trump is calling bullshit on all that and talking closed borders, restricted trade and foreign policy isolationism -- screw everyone else and let’s get the US’s house in order, in other words. And worse -- he means it. Or does a good enough impression of meaning it that real life world leaders have started to believe him. If you don’t believe him, ask yourself why you consider yourself better qualified to judge than the people who work in national governments, people whose job it is to know this stuff.

    What amuses me is that lots of people on the left point to Trump and say “can you imagine that idiot’s finger on the nuclear button?”, as though that’s supposed to scare me. What scares me more is the realistic possibility that he’ll lock the button away in a cupboard and forget where he put the key. He’s not (at least to the eyes of someone watching from thousands of miles away) militarily belligerent. If anything, he’s worryingly opposite. Be careful what you wish for, eh?

    Meanwhile, my government’s Foreign Office has revised its travel advice for tourists -- y’know, the list of places that it’s dangerous for people to visit, like Somalia and the like. Mississippi and North Carolina are now the subject of special warnings due to the dangers LGBT tourists might encounter due to recent changes in the law. Well done, America, well done.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    Another reason European governments might justifiably fear a Trump presidency is, quite simply, that he’s better at it than they are and they know it. They’ve watched him systematically dismantle the carefully constructed systems that the Republican party put in place to prevent someone like him getting the nomination. They’ve watched him systematically destroy one opponent after another, starting most cruelly with the one everyone would, this time last year, have considered the heir presumptive to the nomination if not the presidency itself, Jeb Bush. They’ve watched him steamroller media commentators, take effective control of Fox News and do all of this while simultaneously and frequently doing and saying things which for any other politician would be career-ending gaffes, and just getting more and more popular. It’s perfectly rational to fear him -- apart from anything else, he’ll make them look weak and stupid, and that could lead to what a politician fears the most -- losing an election. But to whom? Could a Trump presidency catalyse a surge in right-wing reactionary politics in Europe? I hope not, but the conditions (economy on a knife edge, massive refugee crisis, UK voting on whether to leave the EU altogether) could be right.

    It’s the old curse: “may you live in interesting times”. My 47 years on the planet have been, in those terms and where I live, fairly dull, with arguably peak “interesting” happening on 9/11 and the following three or four months. 2016 is shaping up to be the most “interesting” of my life.

  6. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    “For these people, war is the engine that drives their economies and produces wealth for the oligarchies.”

    Does not compute. In Finland arms trading is almost zero, and has no real impact on national economy. And anyway, much of the industry is state-owned. No slice for the oligarchs.

    Even on European scale weapons are small fry when compared to the USA.

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