USA

Trump is leaving — what’s left?

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On January 20 at 12 noon local time, Donald Trump’s presidential term expired. Two weeks after storming the Capitol, he left the White House with the lowest popularity rating of his political career. He did not attend the inauguration of his successor. As a number of observers write, one would like to simply erase the chapter on Trump’s presidency from memory. Others, on the contrary, point out that this should by no means be done.





Donald’s nightmare

Even his closest associates have turned their backs on Trump, writes La Stampa:

“Neither his loyal deputy Mike Pence nor, for now, the head of the Republican minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, will be present when Trump leaves the White House. … In addition, McConnell yesterday blamed Donald Trump for the January 6 attack on Congress for the first time: he said extremists were hoodwinked and the president and other powerful individuals were engaged in incitement. This is a clear sign that times have changed and that Trump’s future is not going to be rosy. And Mitch’s words make it clear exactly how he will vote on impeachment in the Senate. A total nightmare for The Donald, who probably saw in his dreams a pompous farewell ceremony with all the military honors. Trump will not attend Biden’s swearing-in ceremony — apparently to preserve the myth of his ‘stolen victory.’”

Time to start making sense of what happened

The events surrounding Trump’s departure are forcing the U.S. to experience firsthand what it itself has repeatedly provoked abroad, political scientist Adam Paar notes in his article in Nepszava:

“In the wake of the attack on Congress, former U.S. presidents, and even more so their national security advisers, have had the opportunity to reflect on the fact that in the past they themselves have often pitted citizens of other countries against legally elected parliaments and governments. … Donald Trump has [similarly] destabilized his own country. … Such reflections raise the question of how much credibility and legitimacy democratic institutions really have. … The Biden administration will have to work hard to erase those January days from popular memory.”

Alarming warning — and for Europe

Cleaning up the aftermath of the Trump administration is not just a task for the U.S., Jyllands-Posten emphasizes:

“Many of the trends that Trump has become the embodiment of are already evident here in Europe: extreme politicization, mistrust-building, outrageous lies, and so on. There is no reason to believe that with Trump gone, all of this will disappear in the blink of an eye. We must pull ourselves together and mobilize all our goodwill if we do not want to see a similar turn in Europe. The Trump era should serve as a wake-up call for us — and make us all roll up our sleeves.”

Addict-like withdrawal

The Helsingin Sanomat newspaper wonders whether society will ever be able to rid itself of “Trump syndrome”:

“As if after everything that has happened there won’t be a feeling of emptiness left behind. The main paradox of the Trump presidency coming to an end is perhaps that a huge number of people may have hated Trump, but they have followed his every move. This unhealthy addiction began in the summer of 2015-right after Trump announced his presidential candidacy at his Trump Tower. Since then, all U.S. politics, the country itself, and indeed the world, have essentially centered around a single man. … The mystery of this man and the excitement surrounding his personality had an effect on people comparable to the effect that cocaine has on the pleasure center in the brain: you want more and more.”





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