21:41 GMT24 November 2020
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    There are at least five reasons why European politicians are secretly endorsing US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, German journalist Matthew Karnitschnig writes, adding that European powers are seeking emancipation from American influence.

    While prominent European policymakers are raising alarm about the possibility of US Republican nominee Donald Trump's victory, "to some on the Continent, Trump presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for emancipation from American influence," Matthew Karnitschnig of Politico.eu underscores.

    "To varying degrees, America-bashing has been a mainstay on both the Right and Left of European politics for decades… In fact, the evils of US influence is one of the few things that European politicians from nearly every slice of the political spectrum can agree upon," the journalist writes.

    Although French President Francois Hollande and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier have recently voiced strong criticism of the GOP presidential nominee, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has repeatedly signaled that he shares some of Trump's political views.

    "The migration and foreign policy, advocated by the Republican candidate Mr. Trump is good for Europe and vital for Hungary," Orban told journalists in July.

    On the other hand, Czech President Milos Zeman calls Trump "the better choice" for the US.

    "I will not interfere with US internal affairs. I am just saying that if I were an American citizen, I would vote for Donald Trump," Zeman said, as quoted by Bloomberg.

    According to Karnitschnig, there are at least five reasons why Europeans are tacitly endorsing Trump and want him to become the next US president.

    First, Trump is likely to "put a stake through the heart" of the TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) deal, which many in Europe regard as the "Trojan Horse of trade," designed to boost the influence of US companies in Europe.

    Second, as Trump has made no secret of his distaste for Europe's reliance on the US military in the NATO bloc, his victory is likely to accelerate the creation of an "EU army."

    "Conversely, few Europeans would welcome Trump as commander-in-chief. If he wins, proponents of a European army would finally have the compelling argument they've been looking for," Karnitschnig remarks.

    Third, Europeans hope that Trump's victory would allow them to break up US' Big Brother-style surveillance over the Continent.

    Fourth, "a Trump win would present a good opportunity for a crackdown" against Wall Street banks in Europe.

    Fifth, the journalist argues that a Trump victory would deprive the US of its "moral superiority" in the eyes of Europeans.

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are seen in a combination of file photos
    © REUTERS / David Becker/Nancy Wiechec/Files
    "The most powerful force driving Europe's secret hopes for a Trump victory is simple schadenfreude. Most Europeans never bought the US's 'city on a hill' claims of exceptionalism… President Trump would prove that the US is really no different than the Continent: just as dysfunctional, just as vulnerable to its basest instincts and just as susceptible to the false promises of a demagogue," Karnitschnig emphasizes.

    According to Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of the Russia in Global Affairs magazine, Donald Trump's foreign policy stance is a reflection of America's old tradition of "isolationism."

    Regardless of the fact, who will win the election, the US' "transition" period, which began under US President Obama, will continue.

    "Whoever will win [the US presidential election] the transition period that started under Barack Obama will continue. The first African-American president began drifting away from the dogma of the "indispensable nation" (as Madeleine Albright formulated it) toward a more restrained behavior. In the event of Hillary [Clinton's] victory there could be a short relapse of "post-Cold War" thinking, however, without a chance [for the US] to restore its former status. Trump's success is likely to 'shake the foundations' and trigger a political crisis in the US," Lukyanov wrote in his opinion piece for Forbes.ru, adding that in 2020 a new generation of American politicians is likely to occupy the Oval Office. 

    America's role of a global hegemon is waning, and it presents a unique opportunity to the EU's nation states to regain their "independence" from Washington.

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    Tags:
    US foreign policy, US hegemony, 2016 US Presidential election, US Election 2020, European Union, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Milos Zeman, Donald Trump, Francois Hollande, Viktor Orban, Germany, Europe, US, Russia
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