(*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)
Not to worry: the Biden years ahead will be no less challenging for the European Union and the Trans-Atlantic relations than the Trump years just past!
Can you believe it: at this time four years ago, in November 2016, the world had sort-of ended according to many doomsayers for the European Union.
A reality TV star and real estate magnate, the unpredictable Donald Trump, had somehow just gotten elected President of the United States of America.
And despite all pretense to the contrary, everybody on the Eurasian side of the Atlantic Ocean knows that not just European peace, security, stability, and prosperity but also the entire world order as we know it depends greatly on the United States of America. More specifically, on Washington, DC, including on who sits in the Oval Office of the White House.
Now that it has become quite certain that Donald Trump has lost the 2020 US presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s Vice President, that what-the-heck-is-going-to-happen-now-and-what-are-we-going-to-do moment for the good people of the EU and their *even better* ruling elites seems like forever ago.
The Trump Presidency did end up having a whole bunch of twists and turns in international politics. Yet, it didn’t bring about any kind of apocalypse, and certainly not one that would have wrecked European security, stability, and prosperity.
(That’s not counting the coronavirus pandemic – even the wildest conspiracy theorists haven’t blamed it on Trump – maybe because many of them happen to be Trump fans; or because it seems to have been the decisive factor for his loss of the US Presidency.)
The reasons the EU and Trans-Atlantic relations as a whole didn’t exactly experience an Armageddon under Trump are manifold:
First, conceited as he might be, Trump hasn’t turned out to be as crazy as many doomsayers feared 4 years back that he would prove to be.
Second, for all the ugly bipartisan bickering, American democracy has proven its resilience and worthiness, with the US Congress categorically stepping in to fill in a whole bunch of foreign policy voids left by Trump’s flaws as chief executive.
Third, so has the American society; while it might seem counter-intuitive at a first glance, it, too, has proven its relative cohesion – despite all the unreasonable “culture wars” that it seems to be embroiled in. Although its deterioration in that regard indeed seems to be increasingly spiraling out of control.
Fourth, the EU itself is also way more durable and sustainable – both in terms of its common institutions and as a collection of member states with shared interests – than its haters love to portray it.
And, fifth, last but not least, there just didn’t happen to be any really major crisis in world politics: Putin didn’t send in the Russian armored divisions to overwhelm Ukraine or to cross through Belarus and then push through the Suwalki Gap and seize the Baltics in a 1940-style operation; Xi didn’t try to capture Taiwan; a reportedly hedonistic Kim Jong-un didn’t deem it wise to try just for the heck of it to nuke Guam, Hawaii, Alaska or those liberal, progressive, partly rainy Nancy Pelosi-loving states further down America’s West Coast; India and Pakistan didn’t nuke each other in a regional MAD scenario; Iran didn’t go all-out nuclear; Erdogan didn’t attempt to resurrect the Ottoman Empire and proclaim himself sultan and caliph, at least not officially; and so on, and so forth…
(Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here)
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