In a world where Trump fetishizes dictators, we find that US relations with our [former] closest allies are unsettlingly strained. Trump has managed to agitate nearly every ally we have at some point or another, but perhaps none more strategically devastating than our alliance with Europe.
After the second world war, the world order as we know it came into being. Strong ties developed between western Europe and the US as a result of acquiescence to our superior cohesive power. Eastern Europe was enveloped by the Soviets; Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East were somewhat more of a pacthwork of allegiances between the US and the Soviets. After the dissolution of the Soviet empire, many found an opportunity to turn to the freer and more prosperous west; for eastern European countries, often that meant gaining membership to NATO. To sum it up, we’ve spent nearly seventy years fostering strong alliances with Europe economically, socially, and, crucially, ideologically. In less than three years, Trump has sabotaged it to a harrowing degree.
Not only does Trump’s sabotage of this vital relationship hurt Americans, it serves as a massive political boon for Putin, whose primary goal since long before Trump’s presidency has been to undermine US hegemony and return to a Russia that in many ways resembles the former Soviet empire.
Now, it seems as though we’ve reached a new nadir – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wants to “reset” Trump’s relationship with the EU. Politico reports the following: “However, the fact that the U.S. and its European counterparts, traditionally the closest of Western allies, would need to figure each other out at all is itself an admission that ties have become increasingly tense since Trump took office in 2017 … [US Ambassador Gordon Sondland:] ‘It’s probably time to turn a fresh page, and quickly find out where we can find common ground,’ …. ‘We want to reset the relationship and I hope these meetings will be the catalyst to do that.’”
The article points out that Trump may be willing to do this because EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Counsel President Donald Tusk are soon leaving their posts. They’ve notably not ceded to Trump in the past; something Trump did not take kindly to and, in my view, added fuel to Trump’s deconstructionist fire. If Trump thinks new leadership will be willing to give in to him, I think he’s sadly mistaken.
Trump serving his ego in favor of Americans has been devastating. This is another reminder that he must be voted out and that you must do everything you can to help alleviate voter suppression. America depends on it; the world depends on it.