THE GLOBAL WOKERATI ARE TREMBLING BECAUSE TRUMP IS JUST WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS
With the shriek of elderly beldames leaping on the piano stool after spying a mouse in their petticoats, the Western liberal intelligentsia has finally spotted the likely result of this November’s U.S. presidential elections.
The results from the Iowa Republican caucus have exploded like thunder in every high-minded meeting place, and the reaction is always the same: sheer, gibbering funk.
In the editorial conferences of fine old U.S. and UK publications, the leader writers are having hysterics. In the cocktail parties of Davos, I am told, the global wokerati have been trembling so violently that you could hear the ice tinkling in their negronis.
In the senior common rooms of our universities, in the synod of the Church of England, in the Orwellian corridors of the BBC and among much of the UK establishment there has been a caterwauling orgy of nose-holding abhorrence.
No! they are saying. Not him — not that man again! Fie! La! Pah! Lawks a mercy and stap me vitals!
Yes, folks, the great orange dirigible is miraculously re-inflating across the Atlantic. The pachydermous human bouncy castle is rising again. Following his sweeping victory in Iowa, Donald Trump is now the overwhelming favorite to be the Republican nominee, and ahead in the polls to take the presidency.
The prospect has driven some people to the brink of virtue-signaling derangement.
According to The Economist: ‘Donald Trump poses the biggest threat to the world in 2024.’
Now, I love The Economist. But I wonder whether there is anyone on its staff who thinks they might be slightly over-egging it.
The biggest threat to the world? Trump?
If you look at the facts, you can actually make a case — and I may as well make it now — that a Trump presidency could be just what the world needs.
Let me stress that this is in no way to diminish the excellent qualities of Joe Biden, who has done many good things and who is a firm Atlanticist and friend to this country. Nor do I minimize Trump’s egregious error of January 6, 2021, and the riot that followed on Capitol Hill.
As I have said ever since, he should have accepted the voters’ decision with good grace. But in the end this must be a matter for the American people, and all the signs are that they do not believe that he should be debarred from holding office again — any more than some senior Democrats should be debarred from office after they roundly denounced the legitimacy of the very narrow election victories of George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.
The American people can see that none of Trump’s bluster, and none of the events — ugly though they were — actually affected the eventual outcome, and that power was transferred peacefully and in accordance with the Constitution from one administration to the next.
Reasonable people can see that Trump is not, actually, a would-be dictator, and they have come to resent what looks like legalistic ruses to axe him as a candidate. The more frenzied the effort to cancel him, the stronger he becomes. The more bitterly his enemies wage lawfare against him, the more unstoppable he seems to be.
Instead of hyperventilating and clutching our pearls, we need to look dispassionately at what happened in his last presidency as a guide to the future.
My thoughts, of course, go first to Ukraine.
It is the paramount struggle of our time, and we are still not doing enough to help that heroic nation. In the past two years Ukrainians have been laying down their lives, and bearing unimaginable hardship, in the cause of freedom — not just their own freedom, but the principles of freedom and democracy around the world.
They can, must and will win. That will mean patience and determination from their friends in the West — and so, yes, I am worried, frankly, by some of the defeatist nonsense I read, and I am alarmed by the thought that some members of the Republican Party seem to want to throw in the sponge, and consign a sovereign and democratic European country to darkness and tyranny.
And so yes, of course, given some of the views that are glibly ascribed to Donald Trump on this subject, I have been pondering deeply what a Trump victory might mean for the war. What can we deduce from the record?
Well, ask yourself first: which American president was the first to stand up for Ukraine, after Putin’s invasion of 2014?
Was it the great liberal internationalist Barack Obama? No sir-ree.
He did nothing to push Putin out of Ukraine, either from Crimea or the Donbas. Nor did the French, nor did the Germans, and nor, frankly, did the UK government of the day which decided — mystifyingly — to wash its hands of the matter and entrust the fate of the Ukrainians to the morally bankrupt ‘Normandy Format’.
It was Donald Trump who gave the Ukrainians those Javelin anti-tank weapons which — together with the UK NLAW missiles and other weapons — were so valuable to the Ukrainians in the battle for Kyiv; and it was at least partly thanks to that bold decision by Trump that the Ukrainians were able to stun the world and send Putin’s armies scuttling from the Ukrainian capital.
So, whatever they now say about President Trump, I cannot believe that he will want to go down in history as the president who abandoned a country that he has already signally helped to keep free.
To all his Ukraine-sceptic supporters in the Republican Party, I say: how can you possibly make America great again if you allow a Russian tyrant to inflict a total humiliation on the West?
Trump will certainly demand that the Europeans pay more for their own defense — but then that is long-standing U.S. (and indeed UK) policy.
I simply cannot believe that Trump will ditch the Ukrainians; on the contrary, having worked out, as he surely has, that there is no deal to be done with Putin, I reckon there is a good chance that he will double down and finish what he started — by giving them what they need to win.
If that is the case, then there is every chance, under Trump, that the West will be stronger, and the world more stable. Can you really say that the world feels safer now than it did when Trump was president?
Everywhere, you see the malevolence of Iran, and of hostile actors backed by Iran.
We see Putin raining Iranian missiles and drones on Ukrainian civilians. We have seen Hamas — trained and funded by Iran — launch the biggest massacre of Jewish people since the Holocaust. Now, we see the Houthis using Iranian missiles to disrupt global shipping.
I ask you, in all seriousness — do you think any of this would now be happening if Donald Trump had been president for the past four years?
It was Trump who suddenly staggered the world, at the beginning of 2020, by violently liquidating Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The diplomatic world had conniptions. But we didn’t hear much from Iran, for the rest of the Trump presidency, did we?
Or take Syria, where Bashar al-Assad — another client of Iran — poisoned his own people in 2013 with illegal chemical weapons.
What did America do, under Barack Obama? Nothing.
And what did Trump do, when Assad did it again, and used poison gas against his own people in 2018?
With UK support, Trump hit him so hard, and destroyed so many of his planes, that Assad never used chemical weapons again.
You could certainly argue, on this evidence, that what the world needs now is a U.S. leader whose willingness to use force and sheer unpredictability is a major deterrent to the enemies of the West. If so, that leader is Trump.
You could argue that, after the nightmare of Covid, and the expansion of the state across the West, the world now needs a U.S. president who is an enthusiastic exponent of free markets and capitalism. If so, that’s Trump.
You could argue that among the many things Brexit Britain should be doing is a proper free trade deal with a U.S. president who is actually interested in the subject. If so, Trump is your man.
It is quite incredible to listen to some of the sneering from European capitals. Madame Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, says that Trump is ‘a threat’ to Europe.
Remember that in 2008 the Eurozone and the U.S. had about the same GDP — even though the population of the Eurozone is much bigger.
The Eurozone was worth $14.2 trillion, the U.S. $14.8 trillion.
Fifteen years later the Eurozone is stagnant at $15 trillion — while the U.S. has rocketed ahead to an astonishing $26 trillion.
So yes, Christine, it is true that Trump sounds off against Net Zero and doesn’t seem to care much about climate change — and I disagree with him on that.
But the fundamental problem with the current battle to cut carbon is that you need to be a little bit richer to afford an electric vehicle or a heat pump — and whatever you say about Trump, he has helped put American families in a better position to buy the new technology that can tackle climate change; and it is partly thanks to the economic policies of Donald Trump that U.S. car companies are making more battery-powered electric vehicles than the whole of the EU combined.
So who is the real environmentalist? And who — when you look at the sclerotic growth rates of the EU — is the real threat to Europe? It’s not Trump. It’s Christine Lagarde, and everyone who continues to impose the high-tax, high-regulation model on Europeans.
Let’s face it: the real issue for the Trumpophobes is not foreign policy, or the environment, or the economy.
It’s more about taste, and style, and his undoubted ability to wind people up. I suppose he has been caught saying a few unguarded things — but who hasn’t? He who is without sin in this department, let him cast the first stone.
As it happens I have always found him, personally, a model of old-fashioned courtesy and good manners. I must confess the truth: I like his style. I like the vaguely African dance he does at his rallies, and I laugh at his essentially good-natured parodies of French president Emmanuel Macron and Biden.
Can you really say, after three years out of office, that his energies show any sign of flagging?
So to all my high-minded anti-Trump friends I say, calm down, folks. The more you froth and fret, the more determined his supporters will be — and a Trump victory will continue to migrate from possibility to likelihood to nailed-on certainty.
We all need to grow up and get used to the prospect. If he does the right thing and backs the Ukrainians — and I believe he will — a Trump presidency can be a big win for the world.
Boris Johnson was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2019 to 2022.