We are experiencing a torrid threat here in America to our values, to the very glue that holds our system of government together.
This writer began by being revolted by the candidate Trump’s amorality. Gradually I have become fearful of the consequences as President. I have written about “regime confusion”, “instutional anarchy”, a “fear freeze”, and “wrecking ball diplomacy”. Mostly my notes have been about foreign policy though the current harassment of the FED is no less egregious.
In all this the sheer strength of the US consumer, the scale of the home economy, and the momentum inherited from decades of being the world’s super trader still means this is the one market to be in.
But elsewhere the consequences of our disruptive and superficial carelessness are building a pattern. Most nations in Europe are facing economic decline in no way helped by the stop go US threats of trade and tariff sanctions. Their democratic systems are also threatened by the destabilising and polarised politics of populist demagogues – many spurred on by Trump’s strategic advisor Bannon and by Trump’s own inconsidered outbursts.
Throughout Europe the tinder box of immigration, terrorism, and racism has found a megaphone of hatred , harassment and now murder. In Germany where Walter Lubcke was killed, in Britain where Joe Cox was shot, in Poland where Pawel Adamowicz was murdered in January and in France far right parties have shredded traditional parties at the recent polls, and throughout the new eastern members of the EU, demagogues are strengthening their power base and preaching incendiary and zenophobic nationalism.
It is hard to see anything but an emperor without clothes in the lack of achievement in China, North korea, or Iran.
Being “disruptive” in such a context is not clever. It is to incite and to magnify extremism. That is why it is alarming to see so distinguished and professional a commentator as Britain’s Ambassador to the US so critical of the White House – ” a uniquely dysfunctional environment”.
Volatile and wreckless talk does not help when it comes from the leader of the free world – even one already written off as untrustworthy.
Have a good day. James.