Trump from Afar

Trump is not only an American obsession. From email and a recent vacation in London and Israel, I can send along a handful of comments. But first a general observation: we who are horrified at the idea of a Trump presidency are said to live in a bubble. This bubble seems to extend well beyond the boundaries of the United States. The horror is not uniform worldwide, but widespread it is.

Note from a Chinese former student: “You know how much I love to criticize the U.S. and Obama. But I hope you also know that we look at the U.S. as the great hope, as the place that knows how to do it right. What the hell are you doing?”

Comment from a Brit who works with women’s reproductive rights in the third world: “Trump will be a disaster. We are funded significantly by USAID and he has sworn to cut the agency and perhaps delete it. The impact will be enormous. Women will die in abortions, and babies will be born who shouldn’t be. The tragedy will be literally incalculable. Worse, his impact may extend to the British version of AID (DFID) which also funds us. So we will be hit twice.”

Comment from a leader of the Israeli peace movement: “Trump will make Netanyahu, and anyone likely to follow him in office, pretty irresistible in Israeli politics. The left (peacenik) movement has been in serious trouble. This will kill it.”

Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli Defense Minister and aspirant to prime ministership, has favored mass deportation of Palestinians from inside Israel to the West Bank. Said Lieberman: “Trump and I will see eye to eye perfectly on this plan.”

Retired British foreign-service officer: “I voted for Brexit, and while I don’t like Trump’s manners I think his attitude toward globalization is exactly right. We lose our sovereignty and our identity.”

Executive in a significant British NGO working in Africa and the Middle East: “Trump will empower all the forces that work against us, certainly with rhetoric, perhaps with money and arms. What a disaster is coming.”

In Haaretz, Israeli leftwing daily: “Secretly we are hoping that Trump plus Bibi will produce enough Arab violence that the Israeli public will wake up.”