THE RECENT OPINION OF FOREIGN LEADERS AND MEDIA ON TRUMP: THE IMPACT OF CORROSIVE POLITICS ABROAD

By  Harry C. Blaney III

There are many ways of examining the impact Trump has already made on our allies and our adversaries and rogue leaders abroad. The question Americans must ask is what does this attitude mean for American respect and leadership abroad in a Donald Trump presidency? An insight can be gained by reading the following quotes from foreign media and  leaders.

To start here at home, I think that Colin Powell,  who served as Secretary of State under Republican President George W. Bush, has said it all about Donald Trump in his recent endorsement of Secretary Hillary Clinton:

“He insults us every day,”…“He has insulted America in one way almost every day,” .. “He has insulted Latino Americans. He has insulted African-Americans. He has insulted women. He has insulted his own party. He has insulted our allies around the world one by one by one. He has insulted veterans.” – Independent

This is from a Republican with the widest experience in national security and diplomacy.

But the impact abroad, as we have seen in earlier posts and in our own media, has been considerable and to the harm of American influence and respect around the world. As we reach the final stage of our presidential campaign, it is worth a new close look at what others, who in their own countries or organizations have responsibility for leading their societies and not least working with America to solve common challenges and risks, think of our candidates.

The most key region that we have worked with and depend on most for our common defense and economic cooperation has been Europe. It is also the place where the idiocy of Trump has been most recognized and displayed, covered in the media and reflected in leaders statements and in polls.

Here are some excerpts from recent foreign Media :

THE FINANCIAL TIMES (UK) ENDORSED HILLARY CLINTON:

“This is a moment for the renewal of American leadership. One candidate has the credentials. Mrs Clinton has served as first lady, senator for New York and US secretary of state. Mr Trump deals in denigration not diplomacy. He has abused allies, threatening to remove east Asia’s nuclear umbrella, sideline Nato and unleash trade wars. Mr Trump casts himself in the role of a western strongman to stand alongside the likes of Mr Putin… Mr Trump has a thin skin and a questionable temperament. For all his many years as a reality TV host, he is simply not ready for prime time. Yet Mrs Clinton has much to prove. To many American voters, Mrs Clinton’s decades of public service mean little. She epitomises a remote, self-serving establishment. Her campaign has lacked inspiration… But she is manifestly more competent than Mr Trump whose braggadocio, divisiveness and meanness are on daily display. Despite her faults, Mrs Clinton is eminently qualified to be the first woman elected to the White House. She has the Financial Times’ endorsement.” Financial Times

THE ECONOMIST (UK) – America’s best hope; Why we would cast our hypothetical vote for Hillary Clinton:

“A QUARTER of Americans born since 1980 believe that democracy is a bad form of government, many more than did so 20 years ago. If the two main parties had set about designing a contest to feed the doubts of young voters, they could not have done better than this year’s presidential campaign. The vote, on November 8th, is now in sight, yet many Americans would willingly undergo the exercise all over again—with two new candidates. Of course that is not on offer: the next president will be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

The choice is not hard. The campaign has provided daily evidence that Mr Trump would be a terrible president. He has exploited America’s simmering racial tensions. His experience, temperament and character make him horribly unsuited to being the head of state of the nation that the rest of the democratic world looks to for leadership, the commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful armed forces and the person who controls America’s nuclear deterrent.

That alone would stop us from casting a vote, if we had one, for Mr Trump. As it happens, he has a set of policies to go with his personality. A Trump government would cut taxes for the richest while imposing trade protection that would raise prices for the poorest. We disagree with him on the environment, immigration, America’s role in the world and other things besides. His ideas on revenue and spending are an affront to statistics. We would sooner have endorsed Richard Nixon—even had we known how he would later come to grief.

Our vote, then, goes to Hillary Clinton. Those who reject her simply because she is a Clinton, and because they detest the Clinton machine, are not paying attention to the turpitude of the alternative. Although, by itself, that is not much of an endorsement, we go further. Mrs Clinton is a better candidate than she seems and better suited to cope with the awful, broken state of Washington politics than her critics will admit. She also deserves to prevail on her own merits.

Like Mr Trump, Mrs Clinton has ideas we disagree with. Her tax plan is fiddly. Her opposition to the trade deal with Asia that she once championed is disheartening. The scale of these defects, though, is measured in tiny increments compared with what Mr Trump proposes. On plenty of other questions her policies are those of the pragmatic centre of the Democratic Party. She wants to lock up fewer non-violent offenders, expand the provision of early education and introduce paid parental leave. She wants to continue Barack Obama’s efforts to slow global warming. In Britain her ideological home would be the mainstream of the Conservative Party; in Germany she would be a Christian Democrat.

In one sense Mrs Clinton is revolutionary. She would be America’s first female president in the 240 years since independence. This is not a clinching reason to vote for her. But it would be a genuine achievement. In every other sense, however, Mrs Clinton is a self-confessed incrementalist. She believes in the power of small changes compounded over time to bring about larger ones. An inability to sound as if she is offering an overnight transformation is one of the things that makes her a bad campaigner. Presidential nominees are now expected to inspire. Mrs Clinton would have been better-suited to the first half-century of presidential campaigns, when the candidates did not even give public speeches.

However, a prosaic style combined with gradualism and hard work could make for a more successful presidency than her critics allow. In foreign policy, where the president’s power is greatest, Mrs Clinton would look out from the Resolute desk at a world that has inherited some of the risks of the cold war but not its stability. China’s rise and Russia’s decline call for both flexibility and toughness. International institutions, such as the UN, are weak; terrorism is transnational.

So judgment and experience are essential and, despite Republican attempts to tarnish her over an attack in Benghazi in 2012, Mrs Clinton possesses both. As a senator she did solid work on the armed-services committee; as secretary of state she pursued the president’s policies abroad ably. Her view of America has much in common with Mr Obama’s. She rightly argued for involvement early on in Syria. She has a more straightforward view of America’s capacity to do good; her former boss is more alert to the dangers of good intentions. The difference is of degree, though. Mrs Clinton helped lay the foundations for ending the embargo on Cuba, striking a nuclear deal with Iran and reaching agreement with China on global warming. A Clinton presidency would build on this.”The Economist

DER SPIEGEL – Germany’s most read conservative weekly magazine:

“An American reporter explains that the Trump campaign is built on a foundation of religious and racial lenses, rather than on the Constitution. His support from the alt-right, overt racial and religious undertones, and reluctance to conceded if he loses all go against the fabric of American society.”  – Der Spiegel

“[Trump adviser Sam Clovis] shares Trump’s view that American foreign policy needs to strictly prioritize national interests, not the handed-down alliances of the postwar period: ‘We’re not about to spill one drop of blood or spend one more dollar unless we know exactly what the outcome is going to be or at least have some notion of what the predictability is,’ Clovis has told a group of European diplomats and experts…

Jürgen Hardt, the trans-Atlantic coordinator for the German government, believes that ‘even a President Trump would not carelessly jeopardize solid relationships if he is elected.’ Berlin officials believe that Trump would back away from some of his most outrageous demands if he were elected. But they do think that he would focus on the question as to who should carry the future costs of the trans-Atlantic alliance. A Republican victory in the election could be expensive for Germany…”Der Spiegel

LE MONDE – An influential conservative French newspaper:

“There may soon come a time when US world cities have expanded still further and immigration has transformed the US into a country where ‘minorities’ are in the majority. Then the Democrats may be able to do without the working-class Midwest, as they have previously done without poor Southern whites. But that time is not now. This year it’s still too risky for the Clintons’ party to scold all those who react badly to the problems the Democrats created, and to suggest that they seek training or a new career, or relocate. Because, with Trump in the ring, the Democrats can no longer be certain that they are the sole electoral refuge for what remains of a working-class base. Clinton, the personification of a political elite which for over a quarter of a century has led the working-class world towards catastrophe, must therefore take account of people whose economic fate is threatened and who are terrified by the loss of social status. Her CV is unmatched, but in 2016 many Americans seem to want to ditch the whole system and use a stick of dynamite called Donald Trump to do it.”Le Monde

THE GUARDIAN – A British left leaning quality daily newspaper:

“A Trump defeat will be richly deserved. As we have noted previously, he is not a fit and proper person to serve in the White House. His behaviour during a long, raucous and often embarrassingly vulgar campaign made that abundantly plain.  Yet consigning “the Donald” to the rubbish bin of electoral history is easier than getting rid of Trumpism. This is likely to take a lot longer. Trump’s platform was based not on thought-through policies and careful analysis but on prejudice, grievance, ignorance and fear, spiced with opportunism.

Oblivious to paradox, irony, history or facts, Trumpism projects a distorted vision of American greatness… As general concepts, Trumpism makes an enemy of the “other”, equates nationality with homogeneity, calls honest critics liars and seeks to threaten, jail or harm opponents… Trumpism admires the domestic authoritarianism and international bullying of dictatorships in Russia and China… Trumpism appeals to the worst in people, cynically exploiting and fanning the anger, grievances and prejudices of the economically disadvantaged, the embittered, uneducated and plain ignorant… Fear is the common enemy, but fear is Trumpism’s friend. This phenomenon is not confined to America.

For good or bad, this clock cannot be turned back. Closed borders and closed minds, crude nationalism, trade barriers, xenophobia, religious, racial and sexual discrimination – these are old mistakes and old hatreds that, while still in evidence everywhere, belong to times past. The world is moving forward, not back. In the end, Trumpism and all its ghastly incarnations, dwelling in fear and darkness, will, like Trump himself, be exorcised.”The Guardian

“Some have argued that Trump’s presidential campaign is damaging his brand. But that’s only true if his goal was to return to being a real estate developer/reality TV host after the election.

Imagine a Trump Party that first makes significant inroads in 2018 in congress, and then runs a presidential candidate in 2020 – could this third party candidate restrict Hillary Clinton to just one term? Both Rutherford Hayes and Lyndon Johnson declined to seek renomination. Could a Trump Party make it so difficult for her to govern that she simply throws in the towel?” The Guardian

THE TELEGRAPH – A far right British newspaperpaper:

“The Democrats could have learned from the UK. Crowning any leader without opposition is never a wise thing to do, as Labour found out in 2010. Having been denied the crown once before – in 1994, when Labour leader John Smith died, only to be replaced by Tony Blair – Gordon Brown wasn’t going to allow the same thing to happen again…

Far too late in the day, Labour learned its lesson. Never again will it allow a leadership contest to take place with a solitary candidate (although that is a moot point for the foreseeable future, given its deteriorating poll ratings under Jeremy Corbyn, a deterioration the party may very well find it cannot reverse once he has retired to his Islington allotment).


I
f Clinton wins – and I very much hope she does – I fear she will become the first one-term president since her husband defeated George H.W. Bush in 1992. By 2020, of course, the Republicans will, we hope, have recovered from its temporary summer insanity and will nominate someone who is actually capable of entering the Oval Office without offending half the nation and all of the world. The Telegraph


VIEWS OF LEADERS ABROAD:

FIRST THE OUTLIERS FAVORING TRUMP:

Yes, there are leaders who favor Trump and they probably include Vladimir Putin, as reflected in the statements of his followers and the reported US intelligence indicating Russian hacking is directed at the Democrats as is much of the government controlled media with a bias towards Trump and putting down Clinton:

Vladimir Putin – “’Trump’s a colorful person. And well, isn’t he colorful? Colorful. I didn’t make any other kind of characterization about him. But here’s where I will pay close attention, and where I exactly welcome and where on the contrary I don’t see anything bad: Mr Trump has declared that he’s ready for the full restoration of Russian-American relations. Is there anything bad there? We all welcome this, don’t you?’” – The Guardian

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Russian politician loyal to Putin – “Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it’s war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere.”

“He (Trump) won’t care about Syria, Libya and Iraq and why an earth should America interfere in these countries? And Ukraine. Who needs Ukraine?…Trump will have a brilliant chance to make relations more peaceful … He’s the only one who can do this,”- Vladimir Zhirinovsky 10/12/2016 – Reuters

“Trump’s statements have been widely reported in the Russian media, which has portrayed Trump as a lonely fighter against a corrupt establishment. (The Russian newscaster Dmitry Kiselev went so far as to argue that Trump should fear assassination at the hands of this establishment.) If, as expected, Trump loses the election, it will simply reinforce the Kremlin’s message that elites, not the electorate, decide who wins the U.S. presidency.

Beyond his domestic audience, Putin is engaged in a battle for the hearts and minds of foreign citizens, some of whom turn to the Kremlin-backed RT (formerly Russia Today) as an alternative to CNN or BBC. Allegations of electoral malfeasance in the United States undermine confidence in the Western model of governance. Add to that Trump’s portrait of an unsafe country in an even more unsafe world, and you have a message in perfect conformity with an authoritarian worldview.

We do not fully understand the rationale for Donald Trump’s overt statements of support forPutin. But it is his highly inaccurate portrayal of U.S. politics that has most played into the Kremlin’s designs. Regardless of the election outcome, Putin is one of the big winners of this presidential election.” – Washington Post

“The head of the Carnegie Moscow Center, Dmitri Trenin, believes that for the Kremlin, Trump could be a more comfortable dialogue partner than Clinton because he is at least potentially disposed to exchange opinions on issues that are important to Moscow. However, the expert notes that Clinton’s victory does not imply any catastrophe for the Kremlin: the Russian leaders know her well and have an idea of what her team and style of work are going to be.” – Russia Direct

“Russian President Vladimir Putin – unsmiling, forbidding – had the last, long word. He ridiculed journalists who suggest Russia is a threat and has sought to influence the US elections. “It’s nonsense that Donald Trump is the Russian favourite,” although he did add that he thought Mr Trump represents that part of US society that has tired of the elite that has been in power for decades.” – Financial Times, November 2, 2016

NIGEL FARAGE, Former UKIP Leader: “I cannot possibly tell you how you should vote in this election. But you know I get it, I get it. I’m hearing you. But I will say this, if I was an American citizen I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me. In fact, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton if she paid me,” – Huffington Post

CZECH PRESIDENT MILOS ZEMAN:
“I will not interfere with U.S. internal affairs, I am just saying that if I were an American citizen, I would vote for Donald Trump.”
Bloomberg

HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR ORBAN: – “I am not a Donald Trump campaigner. I never thought I would ever entertain the thought that, of the open options, he (Trump) would be better for Europe and for Hungary.  But I listened to the candidate and I must tell you he made three proposals to combat terrorism. And as a European I could have hardly articulated better what Europe needs.”: He supports  Trump’s proposals to create “the best intelligence-gathering organisation in the world.  The second thing, said this valiant American presidential candidate, is to abandon the policy of exporting democracy. I could not have said it more precisely.  If we keep prioritising democracy over stability in regions where we are unlikely to succeed with that, we will create instability, not democracy.”
Reuters

EGYPT’S ABDEL FATAH AL-SISSI: “There was, however, a notable difference in the way that Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton handled the strongman — one that reveals a substantive and important divide on foreign policy. Mr. Trump’s post-meeting statement heaped uncritical praise on Mr. Sissi, thanking him ‘and the Egyptian people for what they have done in defense of their country’ and promising to invite the coup-maker for an official visit to Washington.

In contrast, Ms. Clinton, while paying tribute to U.S.-Egyptian cooperation on counterterrorism, “emphasized the importance of respect for rule of law and human rights to Egypt’s future progress,” according to her statement. She also “raised concerns about prosecution of Egyptian human rights organizations and activists.” In other words, while Mr. Trump handed a pass to this deeply problematic U.S. ally, Ms. Clinton put him on notice that his abuses will not be ignored if she becomes president.”Washington Post

NETHERLAND’S GEERT WILDERS, head of an extreme right-wing racist Dutch Party:
“I hope [Donald Trump] will be the next US President. Good for America, good for Europe. We need brave leaders” Breibart

NORTH KOREAN STATE MEDIA : “Praising the likely Republican nominee as a ‘wise politician’ and ‘far-sighted presidential candidate .’: ‘In my personal opinion, there are many positive aspects to the Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies’, wrote Han Yong Mook, who introduced himself as a Chinese North Korean scholar.  “Trump said ‘he will not get involved in the war between the South and the North,’ isn’t this fortunate from North Koreans’ perspective?  Yes do it, now … Who knew that the slogan ‘Yankee Go Home’ would come true like this? The day when the ‘Yankee Go Home’ slogan becomes real would be the day of Korean Unification.”NK News

ZIMBABWE’S PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE:
“US lawmakers Chris Coons and Adam Schiff were visiting the southern African country to discuss wildlife trafficking when a request for a meeting with the interior minister turned into a sit down with the president.  According to Coons and Schiff, the discussion turned tense when Mugabe asked why the US insists on sanctioning Zimbabwe. The senators and their delegation listed reasons why the sanctions have remained in place—the US has sanctioned the country since 2002 after reports of election abuse and human rights violations.  After an awkward silence, Mugabe said, ‘Once [Trump] is your president, you’ll wish you’d been friendlier to me,'”  – QZ

FRANCE’S MARINE LE PEN : Ms. Le Pen, who heads up  France’s far right and fascist National Front, called Trump “a free man” and said if she could, she would vote for “anyone but Hillary Clinton,”.Politico

FRAUKE PETRY, German anti-immigration and facist Alternative for Germany party’s leader: [Petry] suggests that a Trump presidency would be an opportunity for lower US-Russian tensions. Petry also believes Germany should have a more “balanced approach” towards Russia. – Washington Post

CHINESE SUPPORT: Trump has many supporters in China. “There are also some Chinese people who want him to win because of the American hype surrounding him. They think Trump is “unreliable,” but that he is more likely to be unreliable to America and the West, and, even if this is inconvenient for China, China will not be the first to be inconvenienced.” – Huanqiu


COMMENTS ON TRUMP AND CLINTON FROM LEADERS ABROAD: Looking at individual leaders abroad, there are clear cries of alarm over the possibility that Trump might become president.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY:

Asked if she would repeat criticism of Mr Trump’s policies on muslims, voiced when she was Home Secretary, Mrs May said: ‘I take a simple view about the way in which I like to see campaigns being conducted; I like them to be conducted in a calm and measured way with proper consideration of the issues.”

Speaking during her trip to India the Prime Minister added: “As to the result of the election, that’s up to the American people and we’ll know that very soon.” – Telegraph

LABOUR PARTY LEADER JEREMY CORBYN: 

Jeremy Corbyn invites Donald Trump for tea and a chat in his local mosque. The Labour leader said he’d like to “help” a hypothetical President Donald, and would invite him to discuss “culture and diversity” in Finsbury Park if he was Prime.

Jeremy Corbyn extended an invitation to Donald Trump tonight, saying if he won the US election, he’d invite him to discuss “culture and diversity” in his local mosque. Mr Corbyn was asked what he’d do if the Donald won the US election and he was elected Prime Minister, during a Labour party leadership debate in Birmingham.

Asked if he would be friendly to President Trump, he raised laughter from the audience, saying: “What I would do is try and help him.” He went on: “I would invite him to come to Finsbury Park, in my constituency, and we could go to a lovely building just around the corner, and we can talk about culture, diversity and history over a cup of tea in the Mosque.”Mirror

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PARTY LEADER TIM FARRON:

Mr Farron said: “Donald Trump is not just mad and bad but he’s also dangerous. Why would you wish him luck? … I have never seen anyone so unworthy of the office of the presidency in history…He is a nasty misogynist and woefully under prepared for the immense responsibility that comes with sitting in the Oval Office…I am worried that millions of people will vote for him this week. The party of Abraham Lincoln is now the party of Donald Trump.” – Daily Mail

SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER NICOLA STURGEON: 

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has thrown political tradition aside to make her support for Hillary Clinton clear for all to see.

The popular leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party says in a Sunday Mail column that she “fervently hopes” Clinton will best Republican rival Donald Trump in Tuesday’s U.S. presidential vote.

Sturgeon says Clinton would be “a great president” and that the election of a woman leader in the U.S. would “also mark the shattering of the glass ceiling in terms of equality for women.”

Sturgeon also says Clinton, although not perfect, would be a great role model for women throughout the world. Global News


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL:
One of the most searing statement comes from the NATO Secretary general who make a  rebuttal against Trump. Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, said the alliance will defend all allies, a response to Mr. Trump’s earlier suggests that the U.S. would examine how much allies spend on defense before coming to their aid.

Stoltenberg said: “We don’t say: If you don’t pay, we won’t protect you,”….“After years of decline in defense spending there is now an increase in defense spending among European allies,” “But this is not something that was caused by the U.S. election campaign.” – Wall Street Journal

GERMAN OFFICIALS IN THE PAST MONTH OR SO:

GERMANY’S  FOREIGN MINISTER FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER:
An early criticism, from the German Foreign Minister Steinmeier criticizes nationalist leaders, as “they make politics with fear.” Steinmeier added the same applies to Germany’s own nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, supporters of Britain’s exit from the EU and to “the hate preachers, like Donald Trump at the moment in the USA,”  calling Trump a hate preacher.  – DW

An internal analysis by the Finance Ministry in Berlin reportedly argues that a Trump victory would mean “a shrinking gross domestic product, fewer jobs and higher unemployment” — developments which would negatively impact German exporters. Trump’s economic ideas, furthermore, “aren’t feasible,” violate international or US law and could not “provide the foundation for a realistic economic policy.”

The US German Embassy reports also address Trump’s personal attacks on Merkel.  Trump called his opponent “America’s Angela Merkel,” as if a comparison with the German Chancellor qualified as an insult.”Der Spiegel

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We welcome your comments which can be posted here.

Visit our regularly up-dated Race to the White House section covering quotes, foreign affairs statements and policies of the presidential campaign candidates and parties.

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