Trump is about to take over as U.S. president. One year ago, reporters used to write articles calling Trump’s abrupt rise as a political force the “American Spring.” Trump’s formally taking over as president nowadays is evidently the continuation of the “American Spring.” As everybody knows, the continuation of the “Arab Spring” was division and chaos. Can the continuation of the “American Spring” avoid the same fate?
Trump’s sudden rise was due to the despair of America’s white working class toward the distribution of the economy. He is a big businessman, he approves of gambling, he has admitted to fraudulent insolvency multiple times, he evades taxes, he’s been married three times, there’s a lot of news of him in connection with the pursuit of pleasure and entertainment, and in addition he continuously explodes into foul language. A good number of conservative voters voted for him — in the context of despair it is evident, oh, how the standards of today’s “conservative” have declined! In the course of the election, Trump unceasingly issued forth language that humiliated minority ethnic groups, immigrants from abroad, political opponents, and so on. Yet after he won the election, on the contrary, he called for unity, as though the scars of the society he had cut apart with his own hands could be healed without any medicine! Even so, before he takes over as president, Trump is persisting in sending out veritable witch hunts to severely punish people he doesn’t like, make rash statements about diplomacy he’s not familiar with, unscrupulously find fault with businesses he isn’t fond of and completely defy the constitutional system of governance over which President Obama has not yet relinquished his post; the force of his counterattacks and their aftermath will without doubt be formidable.
First, Trump doesn’t understand the complicated nature of the international situation. He has consistently thought that other countries are profiting at the expense of the U.S., but he hasn’t realized that the expenses of the U.S. are just small odds and ends, kept low because the U.S. profits even more at the expense of other countries. World peace is built on a mighty balance of power; if you pull on one hair of it, you move the entire body. For example, some people are saying now that Trump should “form an alliance with Russia to control China.” The problem is that there are actually no disputes over sovereignty between Russia and China. Russia, Japan and Ukraine conversely have friction over sovereign rights, and thus there exists military tension between Russia and the European allies of the United States. If the United States forms an alliance with Russia, we will have to wait and see whether or not it will be able to “control China,” but an immediate effect will be the loss of faith in the main allies of the East and West.
In regard to using Taiwan to haggle prices with Beijing, the result is Beijing’s tacit consent to North Korea to develop nuclear warheads and intercontinental missiles directed against the United States. At the same time, China is strengthening everyday military presence in the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. cannot take on the first, while the latter increases the United States’ military expenses for patrolling the Western Pacific Ocean. Beijing will not compromise, and still the United States has hugely increased its risk. Trump’s habit of saying whatever he pleases does not reflect his ability to transcend national powers, but rather his lack of understanding regarding the closely-interlocked international situation.
Even so, Trump’s “Twitter Nation” has already made Europe and Japan extremely unsettled. The international reputation of the U.S. has already been hurt; every country’s congress is deciding its foreign relationships based on its own regional government, in order to avoid suddenly being betrayed by the United States and ending up without any allies. Recently, Malaysia and the Philippines have quickly been pulling closer in their relationships with Beijing, and I believe Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea and so on will all follow suit. Trump’s abrupt rise as a political force was due to the withering of the American economy and the downward slide of its national power, but with Trump’s censure of the politics and economy of every country in the world, it’s as though he is depending on his mouth to be able to “turn the world inside out” — the first and second situations are obviously in conflict. If Trump’s mission is to scramble for profit from every country in the world and give priority to the U.S. in directing all resources inward toward it, then he has no other choice but to abandon the status of leader of the world alliance and pay less attention to the affairs of others. This is the direction of development that the sliding U.S. national power cannot avoid.
Trump will very quickly realize that he is surrounded by the framework of an insufficient national force, and that he has no power to direct other countries. Worse, he has underestimated Russia’s capability, belittling Russian President Putin’s craftiness concerning international governments. The United States has frequently broken up other countries, seeing it as a method for controlling them. Now, however, America has encountered Russia using a path through its own people to govern it. Trump is seen as beneficial to Russia’s method of breaking up the U.S., a shield for Russia’s actions; Russia will wait until he causes ruptures in American politics, then plunge a knife in deeply. Just like that, Trump will not only cause greater division in the United States, but his administration’s very legality will become one big question mark. U.S. political infighting will never see peaceful days, the U.S. will have absolutely no power to attend to the international situation, and world order will have to be totally reconstructed.
It’s just like when recently Russia, Iran, Turkey and Assad’s government in Syria united to reconstruct order in Syria and obtained diplomatic recognition from the United Nations; this process happened completely without the participation of the United States. An omen of the forthcoming tremendous change in the world order!
The author is a senior media personnel. Xu Zongmao’s photographs and articles are available on Facebook.