From the European side of the Atlantic it is easy to laugh at Donald Trump. In the U.K. people look at Trump and shake their heads in despair. Many in the U.K. see Trump as a xenophobic, racist manipulative liar. The truth is that if Trump had uttered his hate-filled rhetoric here in the U.K. he would be much more likely to be locked up that to be winning Republican party primaries. Many in the U.K. cannot believe that Trump, a man who has never held an elected office, could soon be the leader of the free world.
As Trump’s presidential campaign gathers pace he begins to look unstoppable and as a result the rest of the world looks on aghast. Trump looks more like he is auditioning for a role as a pantomime villain rather than U.S. president.
Some of the British loathing for Trump come from lies he told the Scottish government when seeking permission to build his Aberdeenshire golf resort. Trump promised that his plans would lead to a $1 billion investment in the Scottish economy and would create 6,000 jobs. According to the Independent the promised investment failed to materialise and only around 150 jobs were created. As a result some members of the Scottish parliament want to ban Trump from Scotland.
Earlier this week the Mirror slammed Trump for controversial comments he made on Good Morning Britain in which he attacked Muslims in the wake of the atrocities in Brussels. Piers Morgan, a friend of Trump, was also slammed for giving Trump U.K. airtime. Viewers flooded ITV with complaints about Trumps interview with this response typical.
“Donald Trump does not speak for us, shame on you for giving him air time!!! A new low GMB. It’s worrying to know that ITV have given Donald Trump airtime.”
The Telegraphsums up the feelings of many British people towards Trump. They describe Trump as “a pantomime villain” who will ultimately make it much more difficult to fight Islamic extremism. U.K. prime minister David Cameron and the leaders of all the major U.K. political parties have condemned Trump’s poisonous rhetoric, it seems to be the only thing that the leaders agree on. Even those on the extreme right of British politics condemn Trump.
“Trump’s stupidity, his inexcusable inability to distinguish between Muslims and radical Islamists will allow some useful idiots in the West to revert to type, crying foul at every possible opportunity and making it harder to keep up the struggle against genuine terrorists.”
So Toxic are Trump’s remarks that the Washington Post reports that Islamic State are using them in a video talking about the atrocities in Brussels. Trump’s comments are used to encourage Muslims to believe that they are oppressed by the west. In short Trump has become a recruiting Sergeant for terrorist groups.
The Huffington Post points out that American elections are not decided on the strength of foreign policy but state that the world looks on in horror as Trump seems to be steamrollering the opposition for the GOP nomination. Make no mistake many in Europe are increasingly alienated by U.S. foreign policy, many see the U.S. casting itself in the role of the world’s policeman. Whilst many in Europe are uncomfortable with that prospect they tolerate it. The real fear is that an America led by Donald Trump would cease to fulfil that role and instead become the “school bully,” a role that trump is already very familiar with. The Huff Post sums up Europe’s views of Trump extremely well.
“Trump personifies the worst version of America in relation to the wider world: our tendency toward selfish exploitation and indulgence, our geographic and cultural ignorance, our bull-in-a-china-shop style of intervention. Trump the candidate is scary enough; Trump in the Oval Office would be far worse.”
The real worry for Europe is that Trump in the oval office would actually try to implement the policies he talks of. Trump preys on fear, he seems to be able to make some people to think that hatred of anything he sees as “un-american” is laudable and sensible. Can you imagine Trump in a spat with Vladimir Putin? Can you imagine the danger that Trump would put the world in?
The truth is that the world is holding its breath and praying that America comes to its senses and does not let Trump anywhere near the oval office. Far from making America great again there is every chance that Trump would turn the U.S. into a pariah state.
[Photo by Wilfredo Lee/AP]