After the US election: Europe is anxiously waiting

Mother Jones published a funny article back in September about Trump’s hectic first day in office. On the basis of his election promises, the author compiled a to-do list of 21 items. Here are a few that would, directly or indirectly, have an impact on the European Union. He would call the heads of major companies who are moving operations overseas to inform them that they’ll face 35% tariffs. He would “contact countries and say … ‘Folks, we love protecting you, we want to continue to protect you but you’re not living up to the bargain’… They’re not paying what they’re supposed to be paying—which is very little, by the way.” He would immediately “withdraw from TPP.” He would also suspend the Syrian refugee resettlement program.

And this is just the first day. To come are many, even more important items, like his promised suspension of all ongoing free trade negotiations, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is described on the website of the European Commission as an “ambitious and balanced” agreement that would “boost Europe’s influence in the world.”

Then there’s Trump’s unbounded admiration of President Putin, the strong leader whom he compared favorably to our own weak President Obama. And there’s the matter of Russian involvement in the presidential race. Just today Russia’s deputy foreign minister said that during the campaign the Russian government had been in touch with members of Trump’s campaign staff. There is panic in Ukraine, with people writing tweets like “tell me I’m sleeping and this is a terrible nightmare!” Poland’s president already fired off a letter to Trump, urging him to keep Washington’s promise to deploy troops on NATO’s eastern flank.

Photo: Mark Murrmann, Richard Dew/AP, Ti Kirkpatrick/CNP/ZUMA

Photo: Mark Murrmann, Richard Dew/AP, Ti Kirkpatrick/CNP/ZUMA

There is apprehension across Europe, even as the customary congratulations are being sent to the American president-elect. I especially loved the message coming from Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Prolin. In addition to “wishing the new president well,” he “pledge[d] to pray that God enlightens him and supports him in the service of his country … in the service of well-being and peace in the world.” It seems that the European Union’s leading politicians share Cardinal Prolin’s hope for Trump’s enlightenment.

The president of the European Union, Martin Schulz, was not optimistic. He said that he “must respect the future president of the United States [and] hopes that we will find a slot to cooperate.” He added that “it will be hard, harder than with previous administrations but he is the freely elected president.” Just a slot?

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, doesn’t want to engage in a guessing game about Trump’s future policies. “We would like to know how things will proceed with global trade policy. We would like to know what intentions [Trump] has regarding the [NATO] alliance. We must know what climate policies he intends to pursue. This must be cleared up in the next few months.”

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker wrote a joint congratulatory letter to Trump yesterday in which they felt it necessary to stress the strategic partnership between the European Union and the United States, which is “rooted in our shared values of freedom, human rights, democracy and a belief in the market economy.” The letter went on: “only by cooperating closely can the EU and the US continue to make a difference when dealing with unprecedented challenges such as Da’esh, the threats to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, climate change and migration.” At the end of the letter they extended an invitation for Trump “to visit Europe for an EU-US Summit at your earliest convenience.” This meeting would allow them “to chart the course of our relations for the next four years.”

There is widespread fear that under Trump’s guidance the United States will retreat to a modern version of “splendid isolation.” Even though with globalization this is well-nigh impossible, many of Trump’s promises to Americans have touched on this theme. Trump said that his “foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people, and American security, above all else. That will be the foundation of every decision that I will make. America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.” Susan Dunn, a political commentator, noted that it was most unfortunate that Trump chose to use “the noxious slogan, ‘America First,’ the name of the isolationist, defeatist, anti-Semitic national organization that urged the United States to appease Adolf Hitler.” Trump’s reference to “America First” was not wasted on European leaders. Tusk immediately fired back: “I do not believe that any country today can be great in isolation. But I do believe that America and Europe can, should and will work together. It is in our common interest. We have to recognize that this will take major efforts from both sides.”

The fact is that we have no idea what the foreign policy of a Trump presidency will be. I doubt that he himself has a clue. On that funny to-do list published by Mother Jones the last item was “learn the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas.” In his victory speech Trumped vowed to “get along with all other nations willing to get along with us.” But, as Dalibor Rohac, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said, “getting along” is not a foreign policy. Moreover, such careless phrasing opens the possibility of getting along with powers like Russia and China, two countries that have in the last year struck a threatening pose against their neighbors.

Because of Trump’s far too friendly comments on Vladimir Putin and Russia many commentators believe that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are the most vulnerable to Russian influence and expansion if the United States does indeed retreat from its political, economic, and military participation in Europe. Trump’s national security adviser was once asked rhetorically, “Do we want NATO to go on for another half-century?” His answer was “I don’t know.” Given such careless and irresponsible utterances coming from Trump’s closest associates, it’s no wonder that there is such nervousness in Europe, whose security depends largely on the military power of the United States.

Viktor Orbán welcomes a more isolationist American foreign policy. And he continues waging his own version of an isolationist war against Brussels, arguing for country over Union. János Lázár only today announced that the Hungarian government will continue its battle with Brussels over the compulsory quotas even though the opposition refused to support its proposed amendments to the constitution. One is inclined to agree with Tamás Bauer, a keen observer of politics, that “Orbán wants more than Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. He doesn’t want to take his country out of the Union but he wants to destroy it.”

November 10, 2016
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Joe Simon
Guest

The US is an oligarchy, even Bernie Sanders confirmed that. So we have an oligarch as president. Why are people surprised at Trump`s election.

Member

America First may be an old slogan, but it does not have to mean isolation. Leaders of all countries are elected to represent their respective countries interest as being the most important issue.
Doesn’t China, or France as only two examples puts their interest above else?
P.S. Doesn’t the little viktor bellows day and night that he is fighting for the interest of Hungary, which he refers to, as if it was his personal property? As much as he, his family and friends and the Fidesz plunder, it will be his very soon.

Guest

Uh oh. If that’s Mr. Trump’s office desktop now well he might call his White House ‘efficiency’ experts to smooth the way…😎 For with every successful chief executive they know it is incumbent upon them to know how to manage that ‘in’ box. It can fill up quickly. ‘Fail to plan, plan to fail’. A mantra that needs to be heeded.

And I think our Russian experts should offer to have a chat or a few with Donald. If only to note that sometime somewhere or some place ‘ the Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!’ And it is their talking with Trump that will help them gauge their potential ‘travel’ plans coming with heavy baggage. At this point, they’ve already had free tix to a part of Ukraine and the Crimea. Vlad always goes for discounts. He’s a man of values.

Istvan
Guest
I think it fairly obvious that the President elect Trump believes China is currently my country’s number one threat. Keith Kellogg (Retired Lt General) an adviser to Trump has made more than a few tough comments about China/North Korean ties. Donald J. Trump said he would favor a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the United States during a discussion back in January with with members of the editorial board of The New York Times. But I am not sure he understood that a tariff at that level would come close to an economic act of war. His basic foreign policy strategy seems to be to make nice with Russia and put economic and military pressure on China. He seems not overly interested in our defense treaty agreements in Asia similarly to Europe. To what extent he will abandon Central Europe will be determined by whether he orders the lifting of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of the Crimea relatively early in his administration. It’s not clear to me in the least what Trump wants in trade from Russia for his abandoning the defense of Ukrainian rights over Crimea. But this statement by Trump indicates that in July… Read more »
webber
Guest
Member

“I am honestly not sure Trump knows where Hungary is on a map.”

Next to Melania … 🙂

Guest

Re: ‘make nice with Russia… put pressure on China’

Looks it. Wondering if the strategy Trump wants is a tag team of Vlad and him keeping an eye on China over there in that regional area. China and Russia are pals but they don’t kiss all the time in their relationship. There are tensions there between them that Trump probably thinks can be exacerbated.

Member

Trumps tells all in a 1990 Playboy interview:

“Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand. ”

“I predict he will be overthrown, because he has shown extraordinary weakness. Suddenly, for the first time ever, there are coal-miner strikes and brush fires everywhere–which will all ultimately lead to a violent revolution. Yet Gorbachev is getting credit for being a wonderful leader–and we should continue giving him credit, because he’s destroying the Soviet Union.”

http://www.playboy.com/articles/playboy-interview-donald-trump-1990

Member

” [Q] What would be some of President Trump’s longer-term views of the future?
[A] I think of the future, but I refuse to paint it. Anything can happen. But I often think of nuclear war.”

Guest

See my comment on the last thread!

Member

“[Q] You categorically don’t want to be President?
[A} I don’t want to be President. I’m one hundred percent sure. I’d change my mind only if I saw this country continue to go down the tubes.”

Istvan
Guest

Tappanch the Playboy interview is typical Trump thought, Gorbachev never destroyed the USSR as we knew it. The internal contradictions of a command economy that pretended to be a planned economy coupled with massive US military pressure destroyed it. Trump believes in human dynamics not in more complex drivers of history, the reality is there is a fusion of factors that have to be examined.

Where is a Republican the quality of President Eisenhower when we need it? A man raised in the military who could look back at it and warn our people of the danger of the military industrial complex. A man who could promote free markets yet recognize the need for social welfare in a society. Well today is Veterans Day here in the USA and I put on my dress uniform yet again for a dinner to honor our fallen and I pray for our future.

Member

Big investigative report about the Rogan [Orban’s propaganda minister] crime syndicate , save it because index.hu can disappear overnight too.

http://index.hu/belfold/2016/11/11/rogan_antal_titkos_talalkozoi_videon_kertesz_balazs_rogan-halozat/

Member

Rogan, Erik Banki & the RosAtom …

Member

Rogán [Orbán’s propaganda minister],
Szíjjártó [Orbán’s foreign minister],
Habony [Orbán’s media guru],
wholesale sellout of public-owned real estate in downtown Budapest,
bond for green card scheme,
the Georgian connection.

comment image

Jean P.
Guest

“. . . index.hu can disappear overnight too.”

Closing web archives is more efficient than burning books.

Member

But not so easy. Stay tuned…

comment image

giuseppe
Guest

Mr Prodi former president of the European Commission,former Premier in Italy (twice ousted not from Berlusconi but from his communist allies) in an article says that we should not panic.
Trump is just accellerating what is already happening : Europe must learn how to help defending itself with a common defense policy inside NATO , globalization is anyway coming to an end.
Trump was voted from impoverished mainly white working class people. The same in Europe is called “populism”.
Mr Prodi( supporter of strong ties with the UsA and EU ) was traditionally in favour of economical cooperation with Russia as a means of keeping national independence and helping Russia to become a morereliable country.

Ferenc
Guest

As 4! headlined an article: Our Globe could be the biggest loser from Trump’s presidency.
It seems the lowest in “interest of the American people and American security”, as seen by the man himself (so far). Hopefully he’s not thinking to be able to do without it………………..
http://444.hu/2016/11/11/a-bolygonk-lehet-a-legnagyobb-vesztese-trump-elnoksegenek

Ferenc
Guest

At 2016.Nov.08 was also voted about Carbon Tax in Washington State, here you can find the results: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/carbon-emissions-tax-initiative-732/

webber
Guest

OT – Orban’s friends planned a military coup and assassination in Montenegro (story below). I wonder what they might be planning for Orban if he dares to move out of Russia’s embrace?
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/11/serbia-deports-russians-suspected-of-plotting-montenegro-coup

pappp
Guest

Why would Orban want to move out of Russia’s embrace? He is happy and content there.

pappp
Guest
I think Democrats still have no idea what’s coming. It will be a somewhat similar fundamental rearrangement of power and ideology than what happened after Orban’s 2010 victory. (Corruption will probably less though.) The era starting with FDR (including court cases like Brown, Roe) is now over. This will in turn will affect the entire Western world. Trump isn’t just the issue, Congress is now ruled by a Republican Party that is extremist even lunatic by historical standards. This is constellation that happens relatively rarely (the two houses and the president by the same party and Trump will probably have a chance to influence the Supreme Court beyond replacing Scalia) and the Republicans have imagination and strategy. I think Obama will soon be an un-person: his “achievements” (anyway meager) will be gutted to the point of irrelevance and his legacy will be reduced to the enebling of the elevation of Trump and the Tea Party into a rare position of power (basically the Republicans are either Tea Party outright or have to be approved by Tea Party people). Of course the white working class will continue to lose out since Trump is about to unleash exactly the same forces that… Read more »
Guest

“. . . Congress is now ruled by a Republican Party that is extremist even lunatic by historical standards.”

Now let us all praise “checks and balances”.

pappp
Guest

But these ARE the checks and balances (bicameral system, presidential veto, scotus interpreting the constitution etc.). If these powers all end up in the same hands then they can do whatever they want (amendment of the constitution is of course difficult but with a compliant scotus it’s not necessary). I’m not too optimistic. Very very significant changes will come in the years ahead (many will not be obvious to the average voters, even for educated people) and the Democrats anyway never resist so fiercely as the Republicans tend to do.

Member

I’d summarize my discomfort with PPP thus: although his/her observations are often shrewd, the only thing he/she offers is “they’re unbeatable unless you join them, tactically” (which also means morally); bully, plot, manipulate, lie, cheat, steal: become like them, but for a “good cause.”

This may be sincere and well-intentioned, but it’s a counsel to defect.

pappp
Guest
Stevan, I have been telling people here only to be cautious about Clinton and about the Hungarian left-wing. You misunderstand me. You absolutely don’t have to be bigoted, a racist, liar etc. to successfully compete for white working class voters. Look at how successful was Bernie Sanders against Clinton who practically owned the Democratic party with her cronies everywhere. This means that those voters could’ve been targeted by Clinton. The point is not whether Sanders could’ve defeated Trump but wether it was theoretically possible to talk to these people in Wisconsin, Ohio, PA etc. Even though this constituency propelled Sanders from nothing to become a real contender against Clinton, Clinton simply ignored those folks, taking them for granted. She did not offer anything to them and did not act as though she understood their -long held – griavances. She trusted her advisors that just by pure math (individually targeted marketing and whatnot) Latinos, Blacks en masse will flock to her even though she didn’t tell people how their lives could be better under her. (And let’s be honest, Obama’s 2012 victory in HO and FL were not too persuasive to begin with). What I am saying is nothing much more… Read more »
pappp
Guest
pappp
Guest

About the future of the Hungarian left-wing.

The picture shows Sándor Németh head of the Hit Gyülekezete, the evangelical Christian congregation which owns ATV, the last Hungarian TV station which is still somewhat open to left-wing opposition politicians.

http://gorillavideos.tumblr.com/image/153033904479

Guest

Thanks for that link – though it’s a bit horrifying …

President Pussygrabber (written by George R R Martin) and his team of crackpots – good night, America, sorry: USA!

PS:
I always found that slogan “Make America great again” funny – do Trump and his followers really think USA = America?
And re immigrants – yes only people whose family has been in “America” for more than x generations are ok!
Now should x be equal to 10 or should we consider x>=30?

Member
Yes, Trump could have been defeated. Yes, Bernie had a large appeal and following too (although probably not large enough: the Republicans would probably have successfully commied him down with the help of Trump’s rabble-rousing lies and slander). No, Trump’s abominations are not limited to justracism, not by a long shot. It’s an across-the-boards (and completely uninhibited and unresisted) appeal to the very basest in everybody on any issue that can stir up ire. Yes, decent politicians need to address the grievances of the poor, but Trump’s following was not just or even primarily the poor. Yes, the democratic opposition in the US (I am conscious that these are the same words we use in Orbanistan) needs charismatic leaders with principles, vision and a genuine sense and concern for the needs of the people (like Sanders), but the fact that half the populace rallied to the tea-party, alt-right and Trump toxin is a tragedy that cannot be laid at the doorstep of opposition incompetence. There is something much more sinister involved, and it has to do with the willingness to act (and speak) without principles or scruples — and a huge swathe of the electorate ready to rally to those… Read more »
pappp
Guest
Nobody needs to imitate Trump, be a racist and the like, but you need to have a strategy and values you believe in. My only suggestion is and has been what are listed in the second paragraph above, just do what any strategically thinking politician (or businessman or manager) would do. For example, I think I know (I may not actually know but at least I think I know) what to expect from Orban or Jobbik, I don’t know what to expect from the current bunch of leftist parties. Will they want to have a grand bargain with Fidesz and let Orban go as they did time and again? Will they protect Hungarians or expose them to capitalism in the name of teaching them about how the world works? Will they want to increase welfare spending on working age people when hard working individuals have minimal pensions? What can I expect from he left wing which makes my life better? Really, I don’t know. Unless there are clear values and messages (which then must be repeated ad nauseam to gain traction, staying on message with ironclad discipline) nothing will work. Since I as a rather well-read person don’t know the… Read more »
pappp
Guest

The Trump election is the last (actually the one after the last) warning to the left-wing and the mainstream to get their act together asap before they are swept away in many places.

In 1929 there was the Great Depression and while the world came out of it people remained angry. 10 years later WWII stared. Today we are 8 years after the Great Recession and while I don’t foresee another WW people are still extremely frustrated even though on paper we may be at or even over the 2007 economic levels. The current mainstream either faces this situation or will go extinct or totally irrelevant very soon. It seems to me that they are unable to be self-critical and change.

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/09/democrats-trump-and-the-ongoing-dangerous-refusal-to-learn-the-lesson-of-brexit/

webber
Guest

Clinton won the popular vote.

pappp
Guest

True, but because she had “excess voters” in California and on the East Coast and it is also irrelevant in the US. So this is no consolation and should not divert us from the grim reality. It’s the same thing with excess urban Democratic voters vs. rural and suburban districts which almost always lean Republicans. It’s a structural issue for the Democrats.

aida
Guest

But the historical and unchallenged system does not rate the popular vote.

papp
Guest
Mihal
Guest

It’s the stupidity of the average Joe to think that the (extreme) right is going to do anything for them and to think they have to blame the “left” for their problems, when in fact it’s the left that they have to thank all their social security for. You can see it in Hungary where there is as good as nothing left of the social security there was thanks to Fidesz.
In the US the stupidity is even more laughable where 30% of the Latinos, Afro-Americans and women have voted for Trump.

Istvan
Guest

Not all on the left in the USA are taking this election result we’ll see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/11/10/not-my-president-thousand-protest-trump-in-rallies-across-the-u-s/

There could be a real blood bath at the inauguration events between Trump supports and protestors if this keeps up.

webber
Guest

You’d have to look very, very hard to find any Trump supporters in Portland, Oregon, where protests have been most extreme.

aida
Guest

I have been listening to some very interesting discussions about the Trump election. Trump has managed to take to pieces the Republican Party without having any outside funding. He also took apart the Democrats. The latter is in for some massive infighting especially because of the centrist dominance of moneybags. Apparently any other of the potential candidates would have beaten Trump. Yet they managed to pick a dud, because it was her turn. She was so useless she could not even beat Trump. This is a summary of some of what I heard.
My own input is that I look forward with fascination to what the future with Trump will be like. I make no forecast.

Ferenc
Guest

From me no forecast either, just listing the possibilities:

1.Trump will do everything he promised/told/wrote during his campaign
2.Trump will not do anything he promised/told/wrote during his campaign
3.Trump will do some and not do some other things he promised/told/wrote during his campaign

What do I expect to be the possible results of these possibilities:

1.a complete disaster for USA, so he’ll never ever will be elected again (if not kicked out of the White House before the end of his term)
2.well that would be a positive turn-around, at the same moment I’m wondering what instead he would do….. One thing for sure most of the people who voted for him will be terribly disappointed and I fear the worst could come out of that
3.depending on which will and which will not, somewhere between a small disaster for USA and average disappointment for the people who voted for him, what I fear in this case is what could be the reactions of his most fanatic (probably extreme right-wing) supporters, well I can only hope and pray for nothing seriously bad to happen……..

Ferenc
Guest

correction of possible result #2:

2.well that would be a positive turn-around, at the same moment I would be holding ny breath for what instead he would do….. One thing for sure most of the people who voted for him will be terribly disappointed and I fear the worst could come out of that

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