By Carlota Núñez Strutt, trainee in the European Parliament.
Images of how Trump made his bodyguards expel a Univision journalist (1) -the hispanic TV station with the highest diffusion in the US- from one of his events, his use of the Orlando massacre to promote Islamophobia; and a rhetoric of segregation and the closure of frontiers to Mexicans, Muslims and immigrants, all under an ethnocentric appellation evoke a dangerous parallelism with Nazi Germany in its origins.
Xenophobia hand in hand with ignorance, having a nuclear arsenal under Trump’s potential leash is a threat to international security. I have always been fascinated by the Cuban Missile Crisis, as an analysis of hard vs soft power and the role of diplomacy in one of the moments of highest international tension after the two world wars. Imagining Trump as having the same responsibility Kennedy had then, in a hypothetical escalade of a conflict adapted to our current social context is chilling.
Just like radicalization has expanded across Europe in an almost imperceptible way, but clinging to governments like the Polish government, the near victory of the National Front in the French Regional elections (2) and the victory of Brexit in the UK; Trump has gone from being a candidate that made citizens laugh when he announced his candidature to a potential key player of international relations. Even though after the fall of the wall of Berlin and the end of the Cold War, the international order is not conditioned by two blocs, the influence of the US in international relations is undeniable as a point of cohesion for the western world.
History has shown we are not conscious of the magnitude of conflict until we have been dragged deep into it: Hitler annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia, contradicting numerous international warnings, but it wasn’t until the invasion of Poland that WWII was declared. Although it is true that numerous factors influenced in the catalyst of the Second World War (such as the horrors of the First World War and the political interest of the future Allies), the same patterns of global inaction have been perpetuated throughout history.
Today we are living the longest period of a semblance of peace in the western world, but outside our doors a virulent global conflict is taking place. Just like in the Cold War, where there were no direct military confrontations between the USSR and the US, but conflict was transposed to Vietnam, Afghanistan, Korea… (3) The aftershock of a conflict in the Middle-East shakes our European paradise in the form of terrorist attacks. It is also time to ask ourselves whether the traditional concept of war has mutated into terrorism and, if so, if our traditional defense mechanisms should also mutate to the prevalence of militar intelligence vs bellic power.
In light of the global anarchy we face and social anomie; the increase of populisms try to displace democratic parties. In light of the terror and xenofobia Trump is an antidote to the misinformation of the press, the panic and the grave reality. Trump, his ignorance and his vehemence are dangerous. But Trump, his ignorance, his vehemence and the support of a fractured society are a ticking bomb.
Tani, Maxwell. Business Insider. 2015 http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-ejected-a-prominent-journalist-from-a-press-conference-2015-8
Digital Archive. Various. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/theme/cold-war-history