Today, dictators all across the world are celebrating President Elect Donald Trump, and for good reason, writes Josh Adamson.
I’m scared. There are a lot of reasons why I’m scared, but for the sake of this article, I’m going to focus on why I’m scared for Democracy, United States’ Foreign Policy and the world in general. Today, dictators all across the world are celebrating, and for good reason.
Did you listen closely to President Elect Trump’s speech very early this morning? How closely? Do you remember the line “We will work hard to support our friends and all the global democracies”?
If you don’t remember it, don’t worry—you don’t have short-term memory loss. You don’t remember it because Trump didn’t say that. Instead he said: “We will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us”. Willing to get along with us. Meaning that it doesn’t matter what their form of government is, how much they value human rights or the rule of law, or even how many of their own citizens they have killed—the United States will be their friend as long as they want to be friends with us. We won’t support global Democracy anymore. The age of the United States being the biggest proponent of global democracy may very well be over.
Now, the most obvious country that Trump might wish to befriend is Russia
This worries me, it worries Eastern Europe and Europe in general and it should worry you. Trump has said that Putin is a better leader than the President of the United States, he has called on them to cyber attack Hillary Clinton (which they did), and he has many potential ties to Putin and the Kremlin.
As a Trump victory became assured, the Guardian reported that Russia moved a ship closer to Syria and will begin more bombing of Syria. A more assertive Russia has already materialized, and the citizens of Syria are paying the price. Furthermore, President Elect Trump didn’t know that Russia had already invaded the Ukraine: “He’s not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.”
The only thing is, Putin had already gone into Ukraine and annexed Crimea. He is clueless. Ukraine isn’t a part of NATO, but is a fledgling democracy that is under serious threat of Russian invasion. There is more to be worried about than just Ukraine and Syria. Look at Estonia, and the other Baltic States. Estonia is a NATO ally, meaning that if it were invaded the Untied States, and all the other countries in NATO, would be legally obligated to come to its defense. What does President Elect Trump think about NATO? He thinks that the United States shouldn’t come to the defense of its NATO allies if they aren’t contributing enough, and one of Trump’s biggest allies and someone likely to be a key advisor in a Trump Administration, Newt Gingrich, said he wouldn’t risk a war to defend Estonia and other Eastern European allies. All in all, a Trump administration is very concerning for countries in Eastern Europe worried about the increasingly aggressive Russia.
Russian aggression in Eastern Europe is just the tip of the iceberg
China will become get ever more aggressive in the South China Sea and make more territorial claims with a President Trump. The Middle East is set to be even more volatile. Israel will feel more empowered to continue building settlements and will continue to not pursue peace knowing that a President Trump will not push them into any Middle Peace deal.
I have heard the argument that Trump will be great for Israel; that he will repeal the Iran deal, but let me ask several questions that anyone who had this argument should ask themselves.
How can we reinstitute crippling sanctions without the support of Russia and China who have no motivation to do so, given the economic benefits and the fact that the deal is working? How will Iran not act more aggressive (and want nuclear weapons) and further destabilize the region and be a threat to Israel and our interests in the region when President Elect Trump has proposed giving their sworn enemy, Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons? How will President Trump prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons without a major military conflict that would result in American troops dying? Finally, how is a President who has a significant amount of Anti-Semitic supporters going to be good for Israel? Just some food for thought.
This brings up a very important issue, and one that really hasn’t been talked about. Donald Trump will have full control over our nation’s military and nuclear weapons on January 20th. This is a man who couldn’t handle his own Twitter account and had to have it taken away from him. How could he possibly be trusted to make key military decisions that could kill hundreds of millions of lives? This is a man that has said (not to pander to his base, but in a closed national security meeting): if we have nuclear weapons, why don’t we use them?
Now, the Trump supporters I have talked to seem wary of this side of Trump. Not one of them cited that they believed his judgment would be better than Hillary Clinton’s in this area, in fact several of them believed she would have been better in this respect. It is too late now.
Let me remind you whom President Elect Trump is, just to make sure the significance of his election sinks in. This is a man who has advocated for torture, and for killing terrorist’s families. Torture is explicitly against the constitution and killing a combatant’s family is very much against international law. This is a man who has no experience with the military or foreign policy. This is a man who ridiculed POWs and our military establishment. This is a man who criticized a war hero’s parents because of their religion. This is a man who doesn’t know what the nuclear triad is. This is a man who has advocated the use and spread of nuclear weapons. This is a man who doesn’t stand for NATO. This is a man who doesn’t stand for global democracy. This is a man who will be our next president. We should all be scared.