Trump ain’t the problem

In the run-up to the G20 meeting under Angela Merkel in Hamburg, U.S. President Donald Trump has come in for the usual round of massive criticism – much of it wholly unfounded.

The ostensibly conservative writer George F. Will wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post that Trump has a dangerous disability.

This comes after numerous previous claims by a motley crew totally unqualified to comment on his sanity that the President is deranged.

Such claims are worthless even when made by psychologists and psychiatrists because it is a cardinal rule that a diagnosis on mental health can only be given after personal sessions with the “patient” – which of course none of his critics has conducted.

It is certainly true that Trump in many ways seems very childish, but we knew that going in, as did his voters.

In office, he is not presidential in the conventional sense. Social media has given him the opportunity to act in a completely different way to previous generations of politicians when when he should to be concentrating more on substance.

Trump’s critics, however, need to ask themselves about their contribution to how we got here.

The latest example is Stephen Hawking, who claimed in an interview with the BBC that Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change will turn the Earth into Venus with temperatures of 250°C and raining sulphuric acid.

This is utter nonsense. As we wrote just days ago, we are all to blame for our unwillingness to curtail our lifestyle in any real sense, while the developing world, at least until recently, has been intent on copying western style-development based on fossil fuels, knowing full well that it exacerbates carbon emissions.

French president Emmanuel Macron echoes this view – his slogan “Make our Planet Great Again” is just a variation of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” which explicitly recognises that things have long since gone downhill.

Even so, European politicians who assert their moral superiority over Trump and the U.S. are out of order. For starters, it required Brexit for the European Union to even begin thinking about shaping up after it failed to fix either the economy and still cannot handle the migration crisis, as the continuing influx of refugees across the Mediterranean Sea shows.

Macron himself is a member of the French elite that has delivered a moribund and insolvent economy with a total combined debt of 250% of GDP – and that’s not counting the unfunded liabilities like pensions and health care.

Macron wants a new closer partnership with Germany to fix the EU’s problems, but the Germans are mortified that they are going to have to bailout France. Macron’s recent “state of the nation” speech quickly led to accusations of “Macron the Pharaoh” and a “monarchical drift.”

Angela Merkel has already announced that she is going to criticise Trump at the G20 for his stance on climate change, and yet she lobbied the European Union for higher emission levels on behalf of the German car industry, Germany’s emissions have not fallen at all for the last three years, and, like her predecessors, Merkel has been scrimping on NATO spending for years.

Trump is not the problem, but a symptom of a failed system which has angered millions of voters across the West – this anger is expressed all over the Internet and the Comment columns of the so-called mainstream media.

Among other things, such as the lousy economy and mass immigration, people are furious at the hypocrisy of an elite complaining about the likes of climate change and advocating diversity and equality while flying around the world in private planes, living in gated communities and sending their children to expensive schools and universities with a fast track to highly-paid jobs.

As long as that perception continues and the economy fails to perform, populism is likely to thrive. Things have quietened down a little bit compared to last year,  as we saw in the recent French presidential election, but there are still precious few signs of solutions to the West’s deeply entrenched problems.

Apart from anything else, solutions are hamstrung by one simple fact – as our post Show Me The Money points out, the West is in effect insolvent.

Most people have simply no understanding of how deep these problems really are – the paradox is that virtually alone among western politicians, Trump and his consigliere Bannon actually understand the West’s financial position – and yet the public clamour is for ever-more welfare spending and foreign aid.

America simply cannot afford it – and neither can most other Western countries.

The west is unravelling, and in the U.S. many families and friends are now split – often passionately – along party lines and for and against Trump.

But Trump is a symptom, not the cause – and he attacks with relish the people he holds responsible for the current state of Denmark, both at home and abroad. A strong case can be made that this is highly counter-productive, but as we have also pointed out, the U.S. has been complaining about NATO members not pulling their weight financially for decades – to no avail.

A Hillary Clinton victory would not have solved America’s problems. Her presidency would likely have seen just more of the same – and done nothing to reduce the resentment and rage among millions of voters.

Barely noticed among all the hysteria is that some of Trump’s policies are actually working. NATO countries are now looking to step up defence spending, and Syria, North Korea, China, Russia and Iran have been put on notice that America is back.

Conservatives have long been pointing out that liberals’ worst nightmare is a successful economy under Trump.

ESC hopes that all these politicians are successful – the last thing the West needs is yet more unravelling.

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