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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

The world is already reacting

by digby

I've been writing for a while that if Trump wins, the morning after the election we will wake up to a world that is far more unstable than it's been in over half a century. The system we have, for better or worse, will no longer be operative and what replaces it will be an unknown and frightening. And the man in charge of changing it is a cretinous demagogue. In fact, it's already happening:

Phillip Lohaus, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says that in his personal experience, as he has traveled abroad over the last year, "every conversation begins and ends with Trump."

"A lot of these people don't understand why a candidate would seek to change an international system that was designed by America and benefits America," Lohaus said. "They don't understand why we would undermine that when it is in our interest to keep things together."

Whether it's his backing away from America's NATO commitments, his softer posture toward Russia or his more bellicose approach toward nearly everyone else, Trump is unraveling the bipartisan foreign policy consensus that has held sway for decades -- and that is not going unnoticed abroad.

“He's done serious damage to our position abroad because clearly people wonder whether he reflects an underlying sense of isolationism on the part of the United States that even if he doesn’t win the White House is far more serious than anybody thought," said Dov Zakheim, a foreign policy adviser who has worked with Republicans on foreign policy from the Ronald Reagan administration to the Mitt Romney campaign.

Trump's worldview– including his insistence over the weekend that Russia would not invade Ukraine (even though it already occupied Crimea) and his declarations that he would "bomb the shit" out of ISIS without much consideration for civilian casualties–has alarmed traditionally hawkish, Republican-aligned foreign policy advisers and operatives and left leaders on both sides nervous that the world is beginning to reexamine the U.S.'s position on the world stage.

Outside of the broad reshaping of America's role, experts note that Trump is causing countries to begin discussing contingency plans just in case he's elected.

In Japan, Lohaus said he was stunned to see a reinvigorated discussion of building up of the country's military. Lohaus said noted serious discussions about amending the country's Article Nine, which dictates that Japan's only military force be for essential self defense, a post-World War II policy that has been credited with helping stabilize the region for nearly 75 years.

"They have to start thinking, 'Maybe we need to start thinking about ourselves,'" Lohaus told TPM.

Many security experts who spoke with TPM emphasized that Trump's words have introduced a real uncertainty among allies that the U.S. may not be as willing to help in a crisis as its past presidents have been.

"There are a number of places in the world where stability depends heavily on U.S. reliability and U.S. involvement and calling those into question can be destabilizing as other countries decide to look out for themselves," said Philip Levy, a senior fellow on global economy at the Chicago Council On Global Affairs.
The world knows that one of the two major American parties has lost its mind and nominated an unfit clown for the presidency. It's already going to take a lot of work to repair the damage that's been done. It's terrifying to think of what would happen if he actually won.