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Trump could be good for Europe It's time for the continent to look after itself

Protect yourself (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Protect yourself (Scott Olson/Getty Images)


January 9, 2024   6 mins

Europe should not be insouciant about the prospect of a second Trump term. As many have pointed out, he would be more radical than the first time round. Everything that has happened since 2020 will have confirmed Trump’s instinct that disregarding constitutional convention is a good strategy, while his victory would also probably mean the end of US support for Ukraine — and possibly the end of Nato. It would certainly mean a period of slash-and-burn economics that would, among other things, undermine any attempt to stop climate change.

There might, though, be some ways in which a Trump comeback would be salutary for Europe — and, especially, for the United Kingdom.

Our relationship with the United States has, in the last few decades, become an unhealthy one. We are like adult children who live with their parents, sulking and complaining but assuming that someone else will do the laundry. If Trump wins it will feel as if Dad has had a sex change and Mum has shacked up with a member of the Hell’s Angels. Perhaps we will finally decide it is time to get a flat of our own.

After all, it is high time to remind ourselves that American hegemony is a recent phenomenon. The United States has been the richest country in the world since the late 19th century, but at first its wealth had little effect on the politics and society of Europe, except in so far as the daughters of American tycoons brought generous dowries and a healthy dose of red blood into a few declining ducal families. The United States fought briefly in the First World War but retreated into isolationism afterwards. And though the Second World War turned American into a global power, it was not obvious even in 1945 that this new role would be sustained. At first, American military commitments were wound down and there were those — especially the southern Dixiecrats — who would have liked to withdraw from world affairs again. What prevented it was the Cold War.

This period, in which America’s special relation with Western Europe was established, was a peculiar one. First, the United States had a significant economic advantage. It had boomed during the war while many European countries had been destroyed: these are the conditions that gave us the Marshall Plan. Second, the United States faced an exceptional political threat. The Soviet Union was not just another great power; it was a state with ambitions to exercise influence in every corner of the globe, and one that attracted idealistic loyalty from people around the world (even if its own leaders were cynical). And so, Nato was born.

Conditions are changed now and the phrase “second Cold War” obscures more than it reveals. Russia is smaller than the Soviet Union. Countries that were allied with the USSR in the Warsaw Pact — indeed, countries that were once part of the Soviet Union itself — are now members of Nato. Russia seeks to exercise power not to export an ideology. And the nation is, of course, not popular in the West. The historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie reckoned that a quarter of his fellow students at the École Normale Supérieure in the late Forties were card-carrying members of the Communist Party, breathless in their admiration for Stalin. I should imagine that these days the number of normaliens who are, say, Zoroastrians is probably higher than the number who admire Vladimir Putin.

All of this means that Trump is perfectly reasonable in saying that the United States bears a disproportionate share of Nato’s military burden. It is hard to imagine the circumstances in which Putin’s military adventures could pose a direct threat to America. By contrast, it is easy to imagine how they might threaten Poland or Lithuania, and easy too to imagine how threats to those countries would destabilise Britain and France — if only by pushing vast numbers of refugees west. So, it would not necessarily be a bad thing if the North Atlantic Treaty Organization were to be replaced by some purely European body. That alliance could focus on containing Russia — no longer a priority for the US. It would also mean that Europe would not be caught up in American military adventures. It’s worth remembering that the only Nato member to have invoked Article 5 of the organisation’s constitution — which says that an attack on one will be treated as an attack on all — was the USA itself, after 9/11.

It is also worth remembering that America became a global power in order to fight communism rather than to defend democracy. In Western Europe, the two pursuits went hand-in-hand, but in Latin America or Asia, fighting communism often meant allying with brutally undemocratic regimes. And while the US gave plenty of aid to countries with Left-wing governments in Europe, at home, in the Fifties, democratic Leftists were often treated as though they were communists. Far from intervening abroad in the name of democracy, the United States often became more democratic as a result of its foreign interventions. Civil rights for African Americans were partly a product of the Cold War. The racial integration of the army, during and after the Korean War, was arguably more important than the Brown v. Board of Education judgement; subsequently, America’s desire to be recognised as a racially just society owed much to the need to command global support against the Soviet Union.

This has implications for how Europe should treat Trump. There is no natural reason why America should be, as Biden recently put it, a “beacon of democracy”. We should recognise that the United States, like any nation, may simply be guided by its interests. Trump’s America First rhetoric should remind us that it is high time to start dealing with the US in the same way that we deal with China or Russia, working with them when it suits us and defending our own interests when necessary. Europeans need to regain some of the hard-headedness that used to define our attitudes to America.

For the first 30 years after the Second World War, our political leaders recognised that the United States was a necessary ally, but they felt little emotional attachment to the country. Harold Macmillan told Richard Crossman that the British should be to the Americans what the Greeks had been to the Romans: both classicists, each regarded the Greece of Homer and Thucydides as a much greater civilisation than the Rome of Julius Caesar. Macmillan did not bother to visit his mother’s birthplace, in Indiana, until it suited British foreign policy to do so, in 1956. He would have cringed with embarrassment had he seen the gushing excitement with which Blair or Cameron treated each visit to Camp David, as though they were schoolgirls with a crush rather than prime ministers of an independent country.

It’s as if we forget, sometimes, that in the Special Relationship-era America owed as much to us as we do to them — if not more. To a remarkably large extent, post-war American foreign policy was made by Europeans. Influential figures such as Zbigniew Brzezinski (National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981) and Madeleine Albright (Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001) were born in, respectively, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Henry Kissinger did not come to the United States until he was a teenager and never lost his thick German accent. I cannot help suspecting that the late Dr Kissinger never actually liked America much — he even preferred soccer to the game that Americans call football. He rarely moved much outside the narrow band on the east coast that stretched from Cambridge, Massachusetts in the north to Washington DC in the south; Texas or the Midwest probably seemed as foreign to him as China. He never stood for election and seems to have regarded the vulgarity of American politics with distaste — though, significantly, this did not prevent him from talking to Trump.

Kissinger perhaps embodied the attitude we should now adopt towards the United States, in that he did not consider it to be a representative of a higher morality. Kissinger knew that, at least for the foreseeable future, the United States would be the most powerful country in the world. He knew that, in at least some respects, its role in the world was a benign one. But the place that he cared about most was Europe. He was fascinated by men such as Bismarck who served monarchs and could, therefore, plan their diplomatic policy over long periods — undisturbed by the convulsions of electoral politics. The 20th-century leader whom he most admired was Charles de Gaulle, the man who took France out of Nato’s combined command structures in 1966.

Of course, De Gaulle was not really the naïve souverainiste that he pretended to be: he knew that there were times when France had depended on American support — his ostentatious bad manners were designed to conceal this, and to promote a strong French self-image. He also understood, however regretfully, that a degree of European integration was inevitable. Today’s European politicians should therefore make him their model. They should regard the United States — however terrible its leaders or political system — with a wary respect. But they should also look to one another for the defence of their own continent, regardless of the results of this year’s elections.


Richard Vinen is Professor of History at King’s College, London. His book Second City: Birmingham and the Forging of Modern Britain is out now.


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Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
6 months ago

Oh, my goodness… what a world he sees in this kaleidoscope of modern Main Stream Media based Liberalism. The opening got my neck hair up and they never came down

””Everything that has happened since 2020 will have confirmed Trump’s instinct that disregarding constitutional convention is a good strategy,”

To reduce this to the absurdity it deserves, it would read

”Everything that has happened since 2020 will have confirmed Trump is really ‘Orange Man Bad”’

But it goes down hill from there, or at least mills about at that level – I will not bother to mine that rich source above, for all the snippets of incorrect, or agenda leaning lines, and quote them here – life is too short and they are randomly mixed in with pieces of truth and some reasonable thoughts, to produce a rather extraordinary essay.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago

For some reason when reading this essay, I’m reminded of the time Trump told the Germans to stop buying Russian gas, and the snide and condescending smirks on their faces. Weird I guess.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes, that observation hits the nail on the head of why Trump is so popular: he has a survival instinct that many politicians today simply lack. The working class have it too which is why many of them share an affinity with Trump.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

The working class doesn’t share an affinity with Trump they see him as a Christ-like persecuted savior because that’s what he tells them he is. He says he’s being victimized because he cares about them, and they buy into it, probably because of some deep-seated longing for the “good” father they never had. It’s quite sad to see sad people duped.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Part of me sometimes wonders if politics is nothing more than a Punch and Judy act and that we’re sheep voting on which wolf has the right to eat us.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s very easy to say that but what was the alterative? American LNG? Everyone knew it was a problem but everyone could have said that. Trump was not offering a solution.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

And former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder joining the Gazprom board of directors was a big coincidence. Yes, they could have bought American LNG. Or better yet, used their own coal instead.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

If they’d bought American LNG they’d be seeing the numbers they’re getting today. Coal, fair enough, but the people wouldn’t have liked that (it is still a democracy remember).

Nardo Flopsey
Nardo Flopsey
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I somehow missed that Gazprom connect to Schröder, thanks for the tip. The whole business with NordStream was extremely weird too. Especially considering that a brand new pipeline from Norway opened the very next day; what spectacular odds! And nothing happened to the Brotherhood and Yamal pipelines either. As mentioned in the hastily deleted tweet (“Thanks USA…”) from Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, who happens to be married to Anne Applebaum. Enjoy going down that rabbit hole…

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The alternative was Nuclear – probably similar to what France has. How asinine for the Germans to switch off their Nuclear stations making it more likely Putin could try and blackmail them and invade the remaining parts of Ukraine.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago

Yes that was silly. Especially for a country so gifted in engineering and education with such a history of fossil fuel shortages. German opposition to nuclear is one of those tragic flaws that create history books.

D Glover
D Glover
6 months ago

The Germans’ nerve was shaken by what happened at Fukushima. The reason that was irrelevant is that Japan sits at the juncture of three tectonic plates so it gets earthquakes and tsunamis. Germany is far from the edge of the European plate, so it doesn’t.
The Germans were daft to shut their reactors down because that put them in Putin’s pocket. Or was that what ‘Mutti’ Merkel intended?

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Also irrelevant because nobody died from Fukushima, the nuclear plant that is. But a few thousand died when the dam collapsed.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Merkels abominable legacy

Daniel P
Daniel P
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The Europeans have a way of being snide and of convincing themselves of their own sophistication.

American’s are rightly suspicious of those who put on sophisticated airs. Usually it is a cover for weakness.

Trump laid out for the German’s what was obvious to any American, that you do not put yourself at the mercy of a thug. Well, they are paying the price for it now.

And it was the “sophisticates” that have been pushing for Net Zero while the common man was pointing out the obvious implications to the economy and the livelihoods of the nations involved.

Never trust the mental masturbation’s of academics. They brought you free trade and Net Zero. They gave you the Wuhan lab and COVID. Academics have their uses, but you gotta keep them in their place.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
6 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Amen. The common person loves a leader who calls a spade a spade. The academic gushes when someone theorizes that the spade could be whatever you think it might be. Realpolitik thrives in the former.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
6 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Love this comment

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Churchill once said: “Experts should be kept on tap, but not on top.” America and the West have put the so-called ‘experts” on top of the decision-making tree, to the detriment of common sense.

Bo Harrison
Bo Harrison
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes- they all thought they were at a photo op, and were astonished when the Orange One went off script…

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago

Ah good, that most convincing of arguments “I will not bother to make any points”. All you’ve done is shoehorn in a crowd-pleasing thought stopping cliche.
The rest is “orange man not bad”. Think about that.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Yes, or maybe “orange man beside the point”.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago

The piece is Opinion, and labelled as such. Your remarks mix factual observation with opinion too, as in your hyperbolic claim that the third sentence has no validity beyond the childish caricature “Orange Man Bad”.
I found the essay “rather extraordinary” too, but in a far more positive sense. While they may be mainstream in some broad sense, Mr. Vinen’s expressed views are neither simplistically partisan nor cliched and shallow. His central argument concerning the volatile or perhaps “dysfunctional family” relationship between America and those who rely on her power and conditional protection seems valid and well-stated to me. He also has the fairness to use words like “perhaps” here and there. It is an essay in Montaigne’s original sense of an exploration or attempt, a well-written one too. But he doesn’t spend time and “ink” trying to appease those whose politics might be ridiculed, with equal justness–that is, very little–as “Orange Man Good”.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Indeed. It’s obvious that OP read the first line and jumped straight to the comments to complain.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
6 months ago

Trump’s tenure exemplifies perfectly why you should judge politicians purely on outcomes whilst ignoring the rhetoric both for and against. Who cares if he’s uncouth. He kept the peace and made life better for a lot of the people who elected him. He deserves a second term.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

He deserves to be sent to a remote island with only a gold toilet and a cell phone.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
6 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

. . . .or without either! He reminds me of Boris Johnson, apart from owning a comb.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Ha! A good laugh for that one.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Based on what? I don’t believe Trump made his money by trafficking in political influence, very much unlike most of the DC crowd. No one wonder he freaks them out. We can also compare his tenure with now on a host of issues – the economy, the border, new foreign wars, crime, etc. Even if Trump did not exist, there is no rational reason one can provide for wanting another round of Team Biden.

Christopher
Christopher
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

To the contrary Trumps net worth is much less that before entering office. Unlike all others.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Based on the fact that I’m joking. But he deserves the shot because he has a gold-plated crapper and can’t stay off his phone, except during a riot at the Capitol.
Trump is on tape–admittedly before his presidency–talking about how financially involved he is with foreign governments. He’s credibly accused of trafficking in his influence and power during his presidency now, on a more serious scale even than anything the Republicans have desperately attempted to pin on Biden, unsuccessfully thus far, mostly through his troubled son. He had a scam university and scam charitable foundation, worse in kind if not scale than the Clinton Foundation. We’ll see if they can pin anything on DJT, but I just don’t see how you can say he’s not corrupt and all about himself at his core. He pretty much announces it himself. That’s kind of his “trick”. Corrupt in a different way the the DC norm? Sure, maybe.
What tends to freak people out here at the (un)herd is any real opposition to Trump, fair or not. Then they go into self-soothing sessions of wild downvoting and upvoting outrage.
The rational reason to settle for the mediocre and aged Biden again is that he is a decent and sane person, and has some good people around him. None of those things can rationally be said about Trump. Many of his supporters even admit how terrible he is as a person, which does matter in a world leader–a lot.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
6 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

He did the vaccine by December 2020, something the juvenile fact checkers assured us was impossible. And Covid killed twice as many in Biden’s first year as in Trump’s last year.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

No, he doesn’t deserve a second term, he deserves to go to Jail.

Danny D
Danny D
6 months ago

If Trump wins it will feel as if Dad has had a sex change and Mum has shacked up with a member of the Hell’s Angels. Perhaps we will finally decide it is time to get a flat of our own.

Brilliant! But I‘d argue dad had the sex change in 2016 and son didn‘t see the writing on the wall. 2024 mum‘s gonna go out to get a pack of smokes and we won‘t have money for the safety deposit on a new flat.
This would only be good for Europe if we had started to get our act together ten years ago.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
6 months ago
Reply to  Danny D

Very true Danny. While there is some truth is the essay regarding the UK & potentially NATO, I think the bigger issue is in what the essay misses.
Trump instinctively is a populist & prone to stunts.

This means we’re likely to see him behave like a bull in a China shop at the G7 & G20.
Will there be more stunts with other dictators, like last time.

The problem with people like Trump, as we’ve seen in London with Johnston, is that it takes some time to repair the damage long after they’ve gone.

j watson
j watson
6 months ago

Some further incentive for Europe to get it’s act together on collective defence no bad thing.
US does more than a trillion in trade with Europe and of course western values have been developed and sustained through the trans-atlantic axis for many decades now. So any America First will have limits. A reappraisal of the crucial importance of the western alliance (formal and informal) may also be prompted and address some of the complacency both sides of the Atlantic about it’s bedrock of common purpose, values and what each side must invest in the relationship.
Prediction -if Trump wins he’ll be a lame duck state-side within a year almost entirely fixated on revenge and staying out of prison when he has to step down in 29, and thus will inevitably think much more about foreign policy – as all Presidents do 2nd term – as his legacy. The notion he thus won’t get himself into some conflict and intervention somewhere that proves messy and complicated highly unlikely.

Peter B
Peter B
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Highly doubtful that Europe can get its act together on defence. This is something that requires consistent, long term planning and commitment on the equipment side and the ability to react fast and decisively on the operational side.
The European/EU responses in both the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Russian invasion of Ukraine do not persuade me that Europe has what it takes here. In the first case, the US had to come in to bail Europe out. In the second, the European response was cahotic. slow and confused – and Ukraine may well have gone under without decisive US support.
On the equipment side, modern military systems and supply chains are complex and often multinational. A lot of British companies are heavily involved in supplying components and subsystems to US military contractors. The idea that we can – or should – move to “European only” defence – is unrealistic. It takes a long time to substitute suppliers.
Of course, if Europe paid its way in defence (as Trump reminded them a few years ago), perhaps it wouldn’t feel quite as subservient to the US in defence matters ! You do get what you pay for.

j watson
j watson
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Isn’t the contention of the Article that it’s never really been forced to for 70yrs, and thus were it that might not be a bad thing?
I agree that the whole military procurement and contracts industry deeply interwoven, and of course welcomes some conflict to keep the order book healthy. The last 18mths have stimulated more thought about resilience and capacity. Trump though, and US interests, not entirely served by a big withdrawal for these reasons.
I agree too with the 2% minimum. I think we’d be there pan-Europe but for the current economic difficulties and by 2030 will be. The question of course is have we got that long? How it’s then all coordinated best a big question, but one that must be faced.
Putin will be still rooting for Trump whatever silver linings one might make of it. Chaos and discord in his interest and he’ll calculate that’s best served via Trump.

Peter B
Peter B
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I really don’t see the US pulling back from NATO – with or without Trump.
In fact, I think the influence of Trump in any of this is being hugely overstated. He makes a lot of noise, but did that much really change during his presidency ?

j watson
j watson
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I tend to agree to a point. However his impact on Ukraine could still be dire. He’s no fan of Zelensky as he didn’t help him with Hunter Biden allegations and Trump may well get this grievance entirely out of proportion in the geo-politics. His nonsense about solving the problem in 24hrs only poss if he withdraws all support for Ukraine too – sending an absolutely terrible message worldwide and probably splintering NATO. If he puts someone like Flynn in charge of NSA allies will all immediately get v jittery about what is being said to Putin and the Russians and what is and isn’t a secret. The issue was he had some decent Sec of State and NSA leads in first term and they moderated some of his nonsense. Indications are they may not be as much of a brake second time round.
I still think limits to what he can do/would do but he’d have sufficient power to make some really fundamental differences, some of which could be v much for the worse.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

What do you know about Gen Flynn that would cause you to make a remark like that.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

There is a documentary on PBS called ‘Micheal Flynn’s Holy War’ that everyone needs to see.

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Yes. As I recall, there were no invasions of foreign countries.

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Ukraine (like Yugoslavia before it) would not have fallen into such chaos without a great deal of prodding from the US & the Atlanticist portion of aNATO. The potential Ukraine deal of March 2022 was not scuppered by the Eastern or Southern European NATO states – it was the US & UK. Previously in Yugoslavia, US economic measures taken in the late 80s & early 90s were warned would cause collapse & disaster by various analysts (including from the CIA), but they ploughed on. These conflicts do not occur in isolation.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

What deal? Got a link?

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yes I do – straight from the mouth of one of the Ukrainian representatives from those talks.:

https://twitter.com/I_Katchanovski/status/1740231338546864453?s=20&fbclid=IwAR1EzqycHNpoYCjrSXroj-sRUh2hMyHd-grPt2ZeQPI3Ih3r5Y5OlwBzS14

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Thanks for that – that gave me enough to google a bit. This link (googled) is actually better – a bit more detailed. But to judge this we would need to know what the deal was, what they disagreed about, and why the deal was not made. Including from someone on the Ukrainian side.The Russian side clearly claims that there was a deal (english.pravda.eu has a headline saying “Putin wanted to establish peace and end war with Ukraine in 2022) But Chalyi is saying today that “Putin’s willingness to deviate from the initial proposal demonstrated a genuine effort to find a realistic compromise and achieve peace.” Considering that Ukraine is at war with Russia, Chalyi is clearly not speaking for Ukraine now, whatever role he may have had in 2022. An obvious interpretation (which we could judge if we had details of the proposed deal) is that Ukraine were considering a deal that meant quasi-submission to Russia because they thought they had no alternative, but preferred to fight as soon as other countries promised them enough military help to fight with. Which is not exactly what I would call unfair interference.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

The fascinating thing about Trump is that all respectable middle class people loathe him, yet I’ve never encountered anyone who knows anything about his policies, just as I’ve never met a remainer with even a superficial knowledge of the workings of the European Union. The underlying sentiment is the same in both cases: ‘how dare these uneducated oiks challenge their betters!’.

There needs to be a recognition that the elitist technocracy of the past thirty years has been a catastrophe for society’s useful people. We need these people who take care of our basic needs more than we need an increasingly parasitic graduate class telling us what pronouns to use whilst helping themselves to the lion’s share of the wealth.

Until Labour and the Democrats grasp this the groundswell that Trump represents will continue to grow.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

And meanwhile Trumpkins and Leavers are astute observers of policy and international relations, having not “over-educated themselves into stupidity”–or perhaps spent much time at all engaging in open discussion across sociopolitical lines? Your generalizations about some “respectable middle class” suggest to me that you haven’t spent much time or effort in real dialogue with those, of whatever class, who oppose Trump, or Brexit.
Your contempt for the “elites” or “parasitic betters”–whom you in fact consider to be your inferiors–is a form of reverse snobbery. It is also prejudiced and simplistic, a mirror image of your own complaints about the other side. It doesn’t make enough of an effort to practice the Golden Rule.
I agree that this popular groundswell–or Rabble’s Revolt (note my ironic tone here)–will continue to rise while so many of us merely talk past one another.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Your contempt for the “elites” or “parasitic betters”–whom you in fact consider to be your inferiors–is a form of reverse snobbery.
Perhaps it is snobbery. Perhaps it is having seen these people and their ideas in action, from the climate cult to fixation on race to medical experimentation on children to their membership in unelected bodies with grandiose dreams.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Taking the most extreme members of one side of the electorate and making them into a giant basket of deplorables you call “these people” is way too easy at a minimum.
Putting aside Trump’s own multitude of personal hatreds, he has blatant bigots and maniacs in his inner circle. Stephen Miller. MTG is about as out there as AOC, but Biden isn’t chummy with AOC. Biden is a moderate, and the hair-on-fire, burn-it-all-down “conservatives” that form the most zealous and incensed wing of the MAGA crowd hate moderates, or confuse them with left-wing extremists. Strange days.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Well said AJ. Another uptick didn’t register yet again. Hard not to feel a teeny bit suspicious!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Well said AJ. My uptick didn’t register. Don’t you hate it when that happens!!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I’m pretty sure that just reflects contrary votes that can occur during one’s reply or at the same time you vote. Sometimes a single uptick seems to raise the tally by more than one too.
What bothers me more is when a comment gets downvoted into oblivion, usually a 12-hour timeout, removing it from the active discussion in order to spare the prevailing or most heated sensibilities at UnHerd.

j watson
j watson
6 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Based on many of your previous missives HB I’m not in least surprised you fall for his schtick.
He’s no friend of the disenfranchised, the great unwashed, or working classes – whatever descriptor we may assign. He’s just grifting his way to power on their backs. Go and read up on how he’s not given a stuff about such people in his business dealings over 50yrs. He’s as much elite as anyone but what he knows is how to mug folks off for his own benefit.
I suspect you’d be prey for any Populist who created a suitable scapegoat that absolved you of really having to think through the complexity and problems we face with how modern capitalism generates difficulties (as well as benefits) we must overcome. And as a test what policies do you think he’s going to implement that make a fundamental difference?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

That’s the thing with Trump. He has always been within the elite but never as elite as he would have liked. The true elite have always viewed him as gauche and bawdy, a fake billionaire TV star who inherited most of his money and never wins but sues people into submission every time he loses.
The same applies to many of his supporters. Disappointed members of the middle class or privileged white working class who feel aggrieved that they don’t occupy the position they think they should.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Trump didn’t ‘inherit most of his money’, he inherited about $20 million, but is now worth at least a billion. Now you can argue that his return on investments wasn’t great..but he didn’t inherit most of his money.
As for his supporters, ‘disapointed members of the middle class’…I would say that they are outraged more than disappointed. Clinton’s NAFTA agreement tore the heart out of the Mid-West and elsewhere, decimating factories and with it millions of jobs. Despair and opioid availability created a perfect storm further decimating former manufacturing communities. To top it off, the Democrats are fully behind open borders which continues to eat away at opportunities that American had to make a decent wage. Trump supporters are just pissed off that leadership has been self-centered and uncaring about the American public at large. Hence ‘close the border’ before you toss Ukraine another $100 billion because the Europeans won’t cough it up….Yes – Americans are tired of financing European defense and wars. You might have that right. And it’s not isolationist to think so. It’s called being sane. Pissed & sane.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

He inherited 10 or 20 million early-1970s dollars, which would be worth about ten times that in today’s money. And a real-estate empire. Quite the head start, no?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Again I upticked you, AJ, and nothing registered it stayed at zero. What is going on?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Another subscriber downvoted me at the same time, cancelling it out.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

This is all true but Trump isn’t the answer.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I never believe in anything that people write about Trump – good or bad. I just observe what he did during his presidency in spite of all the negatives. Relative good economy, low inflation, low minority unemployment , no wars and getting NATO (apart from Canada) to spend more money on the military. Why would anyone in their right mind vote for Biden.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I don’t think one has to be an elite to not be offended by Trump’s manner of speaking. The awful insults, bullying, and just general nastiness towards those he doesn’t like, because they don’t like him. It’s so childish. One hopes children don’t emulate him.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Well said my dear Watson! Another uptick didn’t register, paranoia now setting in!!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Who knows what Trump represents except himself.

Matt M
Matt M
6 months ago

On the contrary, if Trump gets in we should move Hell and high water to sign an FTA with the US. The EU is finished as a viable market – too old, too poor. The USA is re-industrialising. Like the Aussies, we could have a piece of the action if we play our cards right.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

They have no interest in that. Trump really doesn’t care about the UK. The US will suffer the same demographic fate as the EU especially if Trump succeeds in stopping immigration which is the only thing keeping the country young.

Carissa Pavlica
Carissa Pavlica
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Nobody wants to stop immigration. We want to know who is coming to the country and why. People emigrating should have a way to care for themselves. They should have relatives ready to pick up the slack. We have plenty of young people born in America who can’t afford to leave their parents’ basement. We don’t need more. No country needs that kind of immigration, and if a country is built in laws, then they should be followed. Controlled immigration is good for all countries.

Rob N
Rob N
6 months ago

Controlled minor immigration may be good for most countries but only when the newcomers mostly merge into the existing structure eg Huguenots, Ugandan Indians etc.
More than that and while it may boost the economy it is overall bad for the country, its culture and its lifestyle. What we are getting now will mean that Britain is no longer Britain in 10-15 years. It has already changed far too much.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

We used to live in Kensington, London in the mid-1990’s. When we go back we hardly recognize the city now. To see ‘real’ British life one needs to leave London and travel the countryside.

Eamonn Toland
Eamonn Toland
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Sounds like the Delhi students going for an English…. Goodness Gracious Me (TV series) – Wikipedia

Jae
Jae
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Trump will not “stop immigration”, nonsense, he didn’t when he was in office for four years. Legal immigration to the U.S. is robust as it was under Trump. But he will stop illegal immigration which is tearing apart the fabric of cities and states.

JOHN CAMPBELL
JOHN CAMPBELL
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

You are correct Matt to focus on the economic dimension, largely ignored in the article. To suggest that Europe should look after itself and that this would be a “good thing” begs some very significant questions: Would and could European states be willing to look after themselves when their economies are crippled by increasing welfare and health spending due to demographics, obesity and high levels of immigration? Poland is upping its defence spending in spectacular fashion, but that is only to be expected given its geography and history. Poland is the exception. Deindustrialisation has crippled defence industries, shells please! Can European politicians dominated by short-termist thinking deal with a threat that is long term. Sure Russia has its own demographic issues but it has shown ability to make and cope with hard choices imposed by a system few would describe as democratic. Putting it simply, is Europe too soft and decadent to handle a state like Russia?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I had responded to this comment saying that the Americans really wouldn’t be interested in that but it has been deleted. Trump is promising protectionism. Isn’t he saying he’ll apply 10% tariffs on all goods? Not really concordant with free trade, is it? The UK would have to give up a lot to get a FTA, congress really doesn’t have the appetite for it at all and the one thing Trump does is drive a hard bargain (and he’s very good at sensing weaknesses and desperation!)
I also noted that America is swirling the same demographic drain as the EU and its problems will worsen if Trump succeeds in ending immigration as promised as they are substantially inflating the lower half of the population pyramid at the moment.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Why would any want an insurrection, A man recorded asking a foreign country to find dirt on his enemies, A man recored asking an election official to to find votes for him, A man recored askiing an election official to not certify a vote, A man with documented proof taking money from foreign governments while POTUS?

Kathleen Burnett
Kathleen Burnett
6 months ago

Simply put, the luxury of American dominance is what has kept Europe divided. The world needs a united Europe. Not one cast in the mould of the EU, but one derived from the notion of civilisation. If Trump is the trigger, blast away!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago

100% agreed. This is based. People say the EU won’t work because of all the conflicting social histories etc. when we’ve been living under the American empire for the whole post-war era.
America subsidising NATO is not something it does as a favour to its friends on the continent. It is the price it pays to keep Europe in the liberal rules-based world order that so favours American interests.
Many of those who so hate the EU or whatever modern politics has become do not realise that actually they bristle against the American world order. If Trump makes it awkward for Europe to work with the US, our politics could catch onto this point.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
6 months ago

Indirectly, Europe is taking care of US energy, security, arms and construction corporations while impoverishing her economies in the process. The Democrats have succeeded the Bush and Cheney neocons to become the chief warmongers and Trump would have to take control of the entire GOP to steers the course around over multiple terms.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
6 months ago

It might be worth revisiting the one occasion when the EU decided they could militarily intervene without US assistance.
As tensions in the former Yugoslavia became apparent, in a rather typical bit of over-reach and self-aggrandisement, the EU decided it would step in – and grandly announced it didn’t require NATO. The then Chairman of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, in 1991, proclaimed that this was “the hour of Europe, not the hour of the Americans – if one problem can be solved by the Europeans, it is the Yugoslav problem.”
If one had to point to an episode that showed the gross ineptitude of EU military/peacekeeping efforts then their handling of the Balkans crisis would be it. It is now taught in military and political academies worldwide as a case study in how not to manage such a conflict.
The EU insisted they would solve the problem to show that they were now a player on the world stage, the Americans were delighted not to get embroiled in another European engagement due to public sentiment at home and happily stepped back to allow the EU to resolve the conflict. And this, through their lack of any integrated command structure or defined policy, then paved the way for the Balkans crisis and the genocide (who honestly thinks the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ in any way sanitised the act) of 150, 000 people and the displacement and misery of untold others.
Brussels similarly bungled in Kosovo in 1999, then again with the 2014 annexation of Crimea, blustering and making threatening noises which forced the aggressive but painfully thin-skinned Putin to act decisively to avoid losing face domestically.
I was no great Trump supporter but when it comes to NATO and the defence of Europe he rather had a point. The EU may wish to have its own army and its own nuclear shield, but it’s bombastic fantasy – and makes the US and UK’s nuclear capability, and the cover they offer the rest of Europe – through NATO – more important than ever. Much as Macron might like to kid himself otherwise. (Who, in any European country, would look to France to act in solidarity if a “lesser” member state was threatened, rather than act in its own self-interest?)
Given how the EU relies on the US to protect them, it seems rather self-defeating how often EU leaders denigrated the grudge-bearer-in-chief, Trump – and NATO (by refusing to pay anything like their fair share).
Did it never occur to the leaders of European NATO member states that if you keep insulting the man under whose umbrella you’re sheltering, you shouldn’t be too surprised if he walks off leaving you at the mercy of the weather?
Trump did not abandon Europe, but it would seem – given his refusal to inform NATO allies of his plans for Afghanistan – that Sleepy Joe’s regime did not view any EU nation (individually or as a bloc) as an ally worthy of note.
One of the great lies told of Brexit was that it would please Putin – but if Ursula von der Leyen and others get their way and manage to field an EU army then it would be all of Putin’s Christmases come at once. Anything that undermines or destabilises NATO would be playing right into his hands.
The solution to the West’s collective defence strategy is unchanged – as Trump, all his predecessors and anyone with their eyes open, has long recognised. Leaders of European nations need to divvy up and pay their fair share to support NATO. Instead they seem to prefer the self-aggrandising pomp of forming “their own” EU army. If a Euro Army ever came into being, we already know what Brussels’ common defence policy priorities are – we’ve seen the paperwork and budgets. Spending billions to build a shiny new headquarters, to house yet more wretched bureaucrats, and with all the strategic effectiveness of the Maginot line.
Perhaps I’m being cynical but I have the suspicion that an EU army is just another item on the checklist so that Brussels can bolster its imperial pretensions. Not a real, effective fighting force, so much as a vanity project, a decorative show of pomp – decked out in suitably gaudy, faux-Prussian dress uniforms to parade outside the institution’s buildings with as much grandeur and ceremony as possible – to allow the preening panjandrums of the Berlaymont to feel even more self-important (if such a thing were possible).
It is NATO that has kept the peace in Europe since the war – not the EU. Indeed you could make the case that NATO has kept the peace despite, rather than because of, the EU. Lord Owen, once a committed Europhile and an acknowledged geopolitical and defence expert, made the point that the idea of the EU guaranteeing European security is “not merely laughable but downright dangerous. Even half-believing it to be true would be a threat to our security”.
The apparatchiks of the EU were the first to bleat and moan about AUKUS as a new anglophone strategic axis, but once again it was their arrogance and intransigence that brought us to it.

Pedro the Exile
Pedro the Exile
6 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Great post-thanks

Barry Stokes
Barry Stokes
6 months ago

Excellent post. Many thanks.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
6 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Great post. It is one thing to say that Europe should look after its own security. It is another to say that it knows how to do so.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
6 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Excellent analysis. Americans will only interested in their own interests. If these coincide with the interests of others, that is nice to have. But never a goal in itself. Donald Trump first visit to the continent was to Poland. He was promoting the Three Seas Initiative for constructing north-south gaspipelines that could transport American LNG. In Poland there is large LNG installation. These north-south pipelines would make the former Soviet satellites independent from the old east-west pipelines and make them independent from Germany/Brussels. The Nordstream pipeline project was named the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact 2.0 as it took away the leverage these states had over Germany/Brussels because of the Russian gas transport via their territories. Any construction of north-south infrastructure (Southstream-project) has been prevented by Brussels and NATO as it would mean more independence for these states. Ultimately, in order to kick Germany back into submissive position the Americans bombed the Northstream pipeline thereby forcing the Germans to buy American LNG at an elevated price. If you do not wish to contribute to NATO, then we are going to make you pay more your energy. Trump said it nicely, Biden just bombed his way into an optimal position. The Brussels court is just as relevant as the Versailles court on July 15th, 1789. The number of prostitutes a.ka. lobbyists may be the only difference.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago

Maybe the US bombed Nordstream, and maybe it didn’t, but the fact that the bombing happened is in my view an extremely good thing, as it stopped Germany buying Russian gas.

Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
6 months ago

Good article. Balanced. Decoupling is needed – not just from China.

Steven Targett
Steven Targett
6 months ago

Apart from Poland there is not one European country pulling its weight militarily. The UK is currently failing in all 3 services. Admittedly Russia isn’t exactly the military behemoth it claimed but it is investing heavily in defence.

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago

 The end of NATO would be no bad thing for Europe or the World. It’s members necessarily outsource the major part of their foreign policy to the US who in tern are now almost completely neoconservative in their outlook. It’s an organisation that now relies entirely on massively expensive, but almost certainly useless, systems provided by a few rentier corporations and relies on a military doctrine (of air superiority) that it now cannot hope to exercise. It’s a busted flush and no longer fit for purpose even if Europe were ‘paying it’s way’.

Whether a bloviating, narcissistic, gutless windbag like Trump would ever dare to do anything about any of this though, is extremely unlikely. He had all sorts of opportunities and incentives to ‘drain the swamp’ and never failed to fail to take them. His appointments were usually poor (John Bolton, Mike Pompeo) and he failed to stand-up for those who he occasionallu got right (Michael Flynn, probably Scott Atlas). He failed to challenge the Russiagate BS & had all sorts of chances to declassify material that would have brought the entire shoddy edifice down.

Nothing significant will change under Trump.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

OMG! Michael Flynn, the Christian Nationalist Michael Flynn, who is scheming in the backrooms as we speak?

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Yes him. He of the ‘Lock Her Up’ chant. Back in the early 2010s as head of the DIA he called out Obama’s murderously cynical Syrian machinations, predicting it would lead to something like ISIS, which it duly did. For that reason alone he stands above almost everyone else in the US foreign policy establishment. That’s why they hated him that’s why they smeared him & brought him down with the bogus lying to the FBI claims. He’s not a great man by any means, but in that field of tosspots he’s a giant.

Saul D
Saul D
6 months ago

The nagging question I have is “What does Europe offer America now?” and so why should America care about Europe as anything other than another collection of foreign countries among many?
Europe, prior to WWII had the industrial and technological chops to matter. Post WWII America rose to full prominence, but helped its European friends because it needed allies and skills in the Cold War and the US war against communism.
But once the financial pickings from the collapse of the Soviet Union were exhausted, and with Europe and the US offshoring industry to the East why should America continue to care about a Europe that is protectionist yet needy? The US underwrites NATO yet it’s forced to troupe along to EU green policies and tech policies and scoldings. If the US is looking at investment and funding, the slow regression of EU GDP relative to the US starts to make the rest of the world more interesting. And as focus turns to competition with China, particularly in Asia, don’t US eyes start turning away from doddery-old-desperate-Europe?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

All correct of course. But when the US eyes turn towards China (and now Russia) will they find Europe in the same camp? And see that now its friends are Canada (ha!), Britain (ha!), Japan and Australia (okay they’re kind of useful).
Ask what Europe offers America by all means but with NATO out of the equation Europe will have to ask what the US offers it. China offers it a massive market for now and Russia offers it cheap fossil fuels.
This will require a foundational redrawing of the geopolitical lines but with US and NATO elsewhere Europe may have to accept an enlarged Russia.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago

Why is it that the only acceptable way to discuss Donald Trump is through the medium of apoplectic gibbering? Yes, all the appalling vulgarities with which he is accused are true, but his presidency was not the disaster we are meant to believe. He embarked on no wars and brokered the Abraham Accords – a Middle East peace deal (receiving next to no credit from the main news outlets for the latter). .The first paragraph of this article is unfortunately written in the standard style – “Orange Man Bad.”

James Kirk
James Kirk
6 months ago

I hope Trump succeeds. He’ll only have one term and he can’t do as much damage as 4 years of Democrats have done to both their own country and the world. What I’d ask is if they withdraw as world policeman, no longer spend $7-800 billion on Defence, printed money, how do they employ the big defence industry, all those servicemen and women? They have 9 million veterans from their global adventures, better treated than ours but not much. Defence is moving to unmanned and AI. Surveillance is from Space. I can see red and blue seceding from the Union. There’s either a Depression or war looming. It’s looking like China can’t afford not to fight a war if only to reclaim their lost command economy and Trump with a new isolationist policy won’t take that bait.

Daniel P
Daniel P
6 months ago

There are ALWAYS one or two hegemonic powers.

Rome, China, Egypt, Britain, France, Spain, The Russian Empire, The Soviet Union, The US. There is always at least one major power that dominates the world. More often, there are two that are in competition.

The rest of the world will align with one of them out of self preservation. Those who try to play both sides usually end up crushed between them.

No single European nation has the ability to stand up to either the US, China or Russia alone.

Despite the EU, Europe lacks the cohesion, cultural, economic or political, to form a single power block capable of resisting either the US, Russia or China. It lacks the military power that would be required and it no longer has the economy or wealth to build and maintain such a military even if the populace of Europe was willing to pay for it or serve in it.

Therefore, Europe needs to decide which of the modern hegemonic powers best represent its interests, the US, China or Russia. Though, one could argue that Russia is increasingly in an alliance or is even a dependent of China.

Europe may decide which of these powers is dominant but it will not be able to just sit in the middle and try to play both sides. That has never worked for any nation not itself super powerful. Ultimately they end up being fought over with neither side willing to concede it to the other and the loser more often than not willing to destroy it rather than allow the other side to have it.

Europeans can be as condescending as they like, but int he end, they lack the tools to not have a major power sponsor and they are gonna need to pick.

Liakoura
Liakoura
6 months ago

“The 20th-century leader whom he [Kissinger] most admired was Charles de Gaulle, the man who took France out of Nato’s combined command structures in 1966.”
Then during much of May 1968, Paris was engulfed in the worst rioting since the Popular Front era of the 1930s, while the rest of France was at a standstill, and in April 1969 de Gaulle resigned after losing a constitutional referendum in which he proposed more decentralisation.
Strange leader to admire.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
6 months ago

Well, I’ll agree that it certainly is past time that our foreign policy was driven by our own national interest, rather than the desire of our leaders to look good in their own, international social circles.

0 0
0 0
6 months ago

Not bad advice. Shouldering the burden of defence is fine as long as we get to decide who our friends and enemies actually are. Rather than having totally unnecessary conflict with Russia foisted upon us by Washington as has happened recently. Not to mention having to comply with artificial restrictions on our trade with China because it suits those who run the US. .

None of that will be easily wiped away of course. Washington will twist whatever arms it can as we see elsewhere in the world. But at least we could take people like Baerbock, Von der Leyen, etc. for what they are, carefully groomed fireign agents.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
6 months ago

“The historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie reckoned that a quarter of his fellow students at the École Normale Supérieure in the late Forties were card-carrying members of the Communist Party, breathless in their admiration for Stalin. I should imagine that these days the number of normaliens who are, say, Zoroastrians is probably higher than the number who admire Vladimir Putin.”
The corollary of this is that Putin must be the Messiah

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago

I’m not sure that holding up Kissinger as one’s moral beacon is the way to go, but let the author do the author. Meanwhile, That alliance could focus on containing Russia — no longer a priority for the US.
Or maybe the this new European alliance could just do business with Russia. Unless you enjoy paying more for US-provided LNG and oil. Cutting out a potential competitor may have political significance but it also carries costs for the citizenry.
Trump has this remarkable quality wherein people project what they think he is, or want him to be, on the without regard as to what he actually is. He’s a businessman. He’s not a doctrinaire political lifer. Some of his popularity is owed to NOT being the latter, yet the establishment crowd can’t see beyond its own self-importance and how virtually every political problem that exists is the work of oh-so-experienced people who’ve been on the scene for decades becoming wildly rich by selling the only thing they have – access.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Trump is the kind of person who sees the world solely through the needs of his ego: claiming he got the biggest ever election crowds, showing around top secret documents and cosying up to dictators just to prove how important he is. He is also the kind of person who accepts no rules and no limits, and who tries to overturn a valid election result because it is unthinkable to his ego that he could possibly lose. There is no knowing what he might do. Unlike most businessmen, he is not just unpredictable, but irrational – which is why people see him through the lens of their fears.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Right to the crux of why he introduces such chaos. Insightful post.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Exactly!! Well said.

Chuck Burns
Chuck Burns
6 months ago

Europe has been led to the brink of destruction by its Cultural Marxist Leftist Globalist politicians and bureaucrats. The same can be said about the United States. It is so obvious when one notes what the EU has done to Europe. One act sums up the situation and that is the US Neo-Con 2014 regime change in Ukraine and the way the European countries stupidly took actions to destroy their economy to support the US Neo-Cons. The USA Neo-Cons are not your friend! They will destroy all of Europe and then leave you like they left Afghanistan.
Germany should start the ball rolling by leaving the EU and forming a cheap energy alliance with Russia. Rebuild your economy, stop the out of control immigration. Wake up to the fact that the immigration is designed to destroy your culture and replace your indigenous populations.
There is nothing good to gain by continuing tto allow the un-elected bureaucrats and Globalists of the EU to dictate your destruction.
Learn one thing from Trump. America First! Use that same concept for your individual countries, Germany First, France First, Italy First, et.al.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Burns

Isn’t that the cry of Fascism?

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
6 months ago

And no mention of the very large elephant in the room of Geo Political, economic and Military power

CHINA

Jae
Jae
6 months ago

I don’t think Americans will care a whit if the European teenager leaves the house. The U.S. has shed enough blood, sweat and tears for the ungrateful, arrogant know it alls.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Jae

Ugly Americanism 101.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago

Trump is not the player disregarding the Constitution. It is difficult to take anyone seriously who posits Trump as the problem at this point. Around the world it is those who claim Trump is the problem who are flooding their nations with nonsensical immigration policies. Who used Covid as an excuse to jail in place, censor and arrest their own citizens. Who start pointless wars.

Jae
Jae
6 months ago

As I’ve said in other articles, I do hope Unherd ups its game with articles. It seems as if as soon as I subscribed, the quality went downhill. Not that they’ll miss me, I’m on a very generous offer and the Unherd team was very helpful and professional, but I was hoping for more than some of the drivel I’ve read today.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Jae

You actually got some help! How did you manage to do that?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Contact their customer support via email, Clare. They mightn’t be ready or able to fix all that isn’t working for you but they will be courteous, and informative about most things you ask.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago

The underpinnings of this idiotic essay are that unregulated massive immigration is good, green energy works, censorship and election interferencecare great, and there is a climate catastrophe that requires impoverishment and self immolation. In other words,just another echo chamber derivative load.

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
6 months ago

I agree with the basic thrust – Europe needs to take care of its own business.
However, the canard that Trump wants to destroy the Constitution is a miracle of Projection on behalf of the Left. The Biden/Obama presidencies already shredded the Constitution by ignoring the legislature and simply failing to carry out what the Constitution demands, e.g. to protect the American people, secure the border, prosecute crime, and provide equal access under the law. The entire edifice of identity politics is unconstitutional.
Trump upheld the Constitution as President and will do so again.
Secondly, US power in the last 100 years has been as a benevolent friend to peace and prosperity. The error in analysis is that the US supports ‘democracy’ as though democracy alone provides peace. Hitler was elected by a democracy. Democracy implies balance of power. When there is no balance, then democracy is simply a tool of oppression. The Left in America has no interest in balance, but in censorship. America under Trump would restore free speech and national sovereignty.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

Rubbish. America under Trump will be a dictatorship he has promised that.

Richard Rolfe
Richard Rolfe
6 months ago

The conjunction of a Trump presidency with a Starmer PMship is worth thinking about. It’s hard to see any meeting of minds or policies. Starmer’s instinctive reaction will be to say “We must get closer to Europe”. Any excuse….

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
6 months ago
Reply to  Richard Rolfe

Europe is in trouble, the German economy is nosediving, and the Euro is in danger. It’s divided East from West and North from South and ramifications of that will play out over the next 2 years.
If Starmer has a working majority, which is certainly not guaranteed, the EU is not going to be an attractive bedfellow.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
6 months ago

Good analysis of the US/ Europe relationship, and yes, we need to stand on our own and fight our own corner.
Sadly that can’t happen overnight as the military across European Countries has been run down to dangerously low levels.
If Trump wins and pulls the US out of NATO then the urgency will be great to re-arm.
The elephant in the room will be Germany, one is never sure which side they are on, Western Europe comes very much second in their book. You can never trust a Mercantilist !

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago

Trump will end the net zero madness.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

He won’t get the chance.

Mark Falcoff
Mark Falcoff
6 months ago

I am always surprised at the shock and horror of Europeans whenever an American president (not just Trump) expresses distaste for our European alliances. After all, General De Gaulle, whom many of us admire, wasn’t so much anti-American as wishing American hegemony would go away. Nothing personal, really. Isn’t this essentially what President Macron has been saying in coded language? Why shouldn’t we Americans take these people at their word, take our marbles, and go home to address our own very serious domestic problems?

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago

The world has been told for many years that former Pres. Trump was not be trusted with any levers of power. This, in spite of a very successful presidency of four years. In spite of the Russian dossier being confirmed as a hoax. In spite of all defamation and impeachments proven to be lies. In spite of Jan 6th having been proven as a set-up. In spite of all the fake news from the MSM. We now know the truth, President Trump is an exceptional leader and the only way back from the abyss for America is with Pres. Trump as President in 2024.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

You should come visit one day. I have a bridge you might be interested i buying.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

typical response from a snowflake. No facts, just smears. I would not even expect such a response from a ten year old.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

Your initial comment had zero facts, just opinionated assertions. Or point me to anything that contradicts that. And you responded with a heightened level of childishness and smears. Just what I’d expect from a zealous member of a cult of personality placing his hopes in a discord-sowing, destructive man as if he were some Ugly Messiah.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Exactly.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

It would take too much time and energy to counter all your misinformation, plus one knows it would be pointless.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

OMG! What planet are you on?

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
6 months ago

Good to see the penny drop. Europe is too important to be a satrap.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
6 months ago

“[H]e even preferred soccer to the game that Americans call football.”

Flips table over.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
6 months ago

Trump is a ludicrous buffoon and has zero chance of being re-elected. He may well be in jail though which would be awesome.

Juan Manuel Pérez Porrúa
Juan Manuel Pérez Porrúa
6 months ago

Would a second Trump Administration be at all good for Europe? I don’t know, maybe some benign neglect on the part of the United States is what “Europe” needs in order to let it to play at being Charles de Gaulle for four years, although I can’t figure out for what any other purpose. Don’t forget what the inimitable Robert Kagan said about the Europeans (and I would include the British and the Irish here): Europeans are sissies. That has nothing to do with the Unided States or which party or man occupies the Oval Office, but with European societies themselves.

Now, the more important question, a second Trump Administration would be good for the United States and for Americans.After all, both Trump and Biden are runing for President of the United States and not of Europe, and it is Americans not Europeans who have to make that decision. I’m skeptical, quite honestly. At best, Donald Trump would be no better than any other Republican who implemented a conservative policy program (mneaning the United States and Americans would do well) and refused to implement the terrible populistic policies (especially economic policies) the European right seems so puzzlingly very fond of (Gaullism, again). And the objections to the man himself are too obvious to dwell on.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
6 months ago

This article is a rant in the guise of a sober analysis. The author needs to go back to prophecy school when he starts predicting what people will or will not do years from now and what they’re thinking in the secret recesses of their hearts.