Trump's win: Germany reacts

Trump's win: Germany reacts

German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in the US presidential election. She noted that she observed the voting with particular interest. Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economy and Energy of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, expressed his opinion less diplomatically, calling Trump's victory "a warning to Germany" and the president-elect himself "a pioneer of new authoritarian and chauvinistic international movement."

However, Berlin political scientist Heiko Langner is not so pessimistic. He said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza that the decision of the majority of Americans to elect Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States should be accepted: "Although Trump is considered to be one of super-rich people of the US economic elite, he was able to present himself as the defender of common people and reach out to many voters who did not participated in the elections previously, but have turned away from the political system in recent years. His defeated rival Hillary Clinton, by contrast, was perceived as the candidate of old establishment, the 'system', which is unpopular among many Americans. In this regard, Trump's victory was, above all, the decision to vote against Hillary."

According to Langer, one of the most important tasks for Trump is to overcome political polarization and social discord in the United States: "Will he be able to do it? Only time will tell. During the campaign he divided society more than anyone else. He openly made racist, sexist and anti-Islamic remarks. That is why we should expect a rollback in domestic and social policy. But it would be wrong to exclude the possibility that Donald Trump may evolve in his new role from the beginning. It will also depend on his government team and advisers. Although during the campaign his political program remained vague, a lot of things indicate that he will pursue "America above all else" strategy. I expect that Trump will pursue a policy of strong economic protectionism and forced re-industrialization in the field of infrastructure and fossil fuels. Economy will be the priority in any case."

Heiko Langner

Langner belives that foreign and security policy will be based on the fact that previous contours still remain, but new president will actively advocate for sharing the burden of defense spendings in the framework of NATO. The expert did not rule out the possibility of a new constructive beginning, noting that the existing conflict between Washington's and Moscow's interests in Syria and Ukraine should be resolved in order to achieve this. 

"Overall, Hillary Clinton would be more predictable president - much more predictable in foreign policy, in relations with Russia, but she would pursue a hard line. Sometimes an honest enemy could be better than a dishonest fried in politics. For Russia and other post-Soviet countries, which go through transitional period, it would be a positive thing if the United States will stop to overthrow regimes under President Donald Trump. Existing conflicts should be resolved through negotiation, rather than by the removal of politically inconvenient governments or partners under false pretenses. This should remain the prerogative of democratic development and the population of each country," he concluded.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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