The headline across the Drudge Report on March 7 says it. “Trump Shakes World Order.” It seems that representatives of America’s allies – people who normally stay out of our election politics – are complaining behind closed doors about the Republican front runner. Several anonymous sources told Reuters that the fears and concerns are mostly expressed by mid to low level people working in the trenches and range from curiosity to outright alarm.
Mr. Trump’s comments at issue are for the most part those that are perceived to be protectionist, xenophobic and anti-muslim. (“Unfortunate” was the word Reuters used to describe Trump’s rhetoric.) According to the reporting, the hand wringing is coming from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. The only countries specifically named aside from the public comments already known are India, Japan, South Korea and Mexico.
(Pardon the writer for this pause while we reflect how many call centers, direct trade industries, and other economic effects the United States going the least bit protectionist will impose on the world. Hmmm. Cars, computers, tea, guest workers, drugs….)
U.S. officials said it was highly unusual for foreign diplomats to express concern, even privately, about candidates in the midst of a presidential campaign. U.S. allies in particular usually don’t want to be seen as meddling in domestic politics, mindful that they will have to work with whoever wins.
Senior leaders in several countries — including Britain, Mexico, France, and Canada — have already made public comments criticizing Trump’s positions. German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel branded him a threat to peace and prosperity in an interview published on Sunday.
What Donald Trump really is is a threat to the status quo. He wants to “Make America Great Again.” That resonates with the voters. It also translates into promising the people the return of jobs shipped overseas, higher tariffs on foreign goods, limiting immigration, and sealing off the southern border that is aiding and abetting Mexico in ways that most Americans despise. Such moves would not be enriching to other nations.
One of the great fears expressed by many of the people sourced is the number of trade deals and treaties which took years to broker (many of which undermine national sovereignty for everyone. The prime example in recent memory being the Trans Pacific Partnership) being simply ripped up. The greater likelihood is for a push for renegotiation in order to shore up U.S. sovereignty, but even that isn’t desired by many factions on the international stage.
In addition to the world order being whacked by Trump, some of the most stalwart monetary supporters of the Republican Party, the Koch Brothers, have publicly announced that they will be sitting out the rest of the primary season.
“We have no plans to get involved in the primary,” said James Davis, spokesman for Freedom Partners, the Koch brothers’ political umbrella group. He would not elaborate on what the brothers’ strategy would be for the Nov. 8 election to succeed Democratic President Barack Obama.
Three sources close to the Kochs said the brothers made the decision because they were concerned that spending millions of dollars attacking Trump would be money wasted, since they had not yet seen any attack on Trump stick.
There was also mention that past candidates supported by David and Charles Koch, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, did not do so well.
The Kochs, like the hedge fund managers who are backing Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz (two different people), do no want Donald Trump in the White House any more than the Europeans do. (They are rumored to be the most alarmed.) Too much is at stake for all of them with the concept of protectionism and the reality of tightened monetary policy on the horizon. The reality, though, is that the American people who aren’t invested in the establishment candidates are sick and tired of being sold out by the people who are supposed to represent them. That factoid hasn’t quite sunk in.