Decision 2016 – Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s friendliest facial expression

Be honest, oh self-righteous extreme-centre European citizen, this is what you came here for! None other than the real-estate billionnaire turned reality TV star turned GOP presidential hopeful and his proposals that make you feel like you live on the greatest place on Earth. Trump’s life is all over so let’s not look at that or at his domestic policy proposals and move onto his plans on handling the US relations with the rest of the world, shall we?

On his well-known proposal to bar Muslims from entering the United States, he doesn’t quite explain how this would come to an end – if ever. He says he’d like this ban to stay in place until « we understand what’s going on » but if we really are to rely on that, we will be establishing a permanent basis on Jupiter’s moons before this policy ends (this, of course, in the apocalyptic scenario where Trump becomes POTUS and the rest of the world suddenly accelerates its investments into permanent settlements outside planet Earth). Makes me wonder what the EEAS press releases would look like and what kind of pressure the EU would be putting in the US to drop this proposal…beware the wrath of the European Parliament’s human rights sub-committe, oh Donald!

Trump thinks that toppling Saddam and Khaddafi has made Iraq and Libya much worse in terms of terrorist threats, which may sound surprising from a candidate with such hawkish views. This is where I’ll play my European prejudiced card and suspect that Donald Trump would have probably done the same thing in order to achieve greater popularity or to ensure a reelection. Why am I saying this? Because I’m a self-righteous European who feels like passing moral judgment on US presidential candidates, that’s why.

Trump really dislikes the nuclear deal with Iran as he thinks that it gives Tehran all the advantages while the US gets all the disadvantages and at one point, he even assumes that this deal is a unilateral alliance where the US is obliged to stand with Iran but Iran has free reign to attack the US. He also thinks that Hillary Clinton was the worst Secretary of State in the history of the US but that John Kerry might overtake her due to the Iran agreement, quite the statement. This would be a significant pain in the ass for Europe, as the EU, the UK, France and Germany have put quite a lot of effort into the deal with Iran.

Regarding ISIS, Trump has expressed support for Russia’s air raids, even adding that it’s best if Russia gets dragged down into a swamp rather than the US. I wonder how this would play with the GOP establishment, after all they want a POTUS who can deliver some blood and look tough before the rest of the world. For someone who thinks it was a mistake to bring down Khaddafi and Saddam, Trump doesn’t seem to think the same way regarding Assad, as his view is more in the line of let them all fight each other and then we get in and pick up the pieces.

As any prejudiced European will be glad to know, Trump is in favour of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection program and any exceptions would be decided on a case-by-case basis. Given the way Trump is displaying his credentials during the campaign, my prejudiced European mind tells me there would be very few exceptions and very little oversight and therefore I will exercise my right to fear that my alcohol-induced messages sent on a Friday night could one day end up in the Oval Office if Donald becomes POTUS.

Not to diverge from many in the GOP field, Trump also thinks the US is an almighty god that has the power to do everything at the same time – indeed, he thinks the best way to make North Korea drop its nuclear program is by isolating China and he thinks that the US can bring China to its knees faster than he fires someone on The Apprentice. He also thinks he can slap China on the face on trade issues and gain from it, conveniently forgetting that consumers in the US would not appreciate to pay higher prices for their Made in China electronics.

Trump tends to underestimate climate change and is also a stern believer in an American energy independence based on oil and gas exports with minimal environmental impact. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t have much love for the Paris agreement either. So, to those who live in areas most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, be afraid, be very afraid! And if you live in Flanders, in the Netherlands and in other areas of very low altitude or below sea level, be especially afraid and start taking rowing lessons.

However, a hypothetical Trump presidency would also usher in a new era of Washington – Moscow bromance, as Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump seem to have some fond appreciation for each other. Russia’s less friendly human rights record doesn’t seem to displease Trump and suspicions of Putin’s involvement in the intimidation, arrest and even assassination of journalists aren’t going to sour his view of Vladimir Vladimirovich – after all, the US also does some killings of its own.

For Trump’s score, I must say I was split between a 4 or a 5. In the end, I’ll give him 4.5, as I cannot imagine most of his proposals actually being applied, at least not in the way he is presenting them. Obama has showed us that the POTUS may decide who gets killed by a drone (and some in Pakistan and Afghanistan are so privileged they have even met this fate without being in the hit list) but other than that, the powers of the one sitting in the Oval Office are not that dictatorial or widespread as some candidates would make us believe. Sorry to disappoint you Donald, but you’re not THAT terrifying.

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