The world before and after Trump

editor: REMIX NEWS

Most of the 20th century was a battle between two world views. The hundred-year war ended with the triumph of the “democratization process” spearheaded by the United States. By 1989, the antagonist Soviet-type communism had run out of steam. From this point until the arrival of Donald Trump in 2016, American administrations and their allies shared this world view.

When entering WWI, Woodrow Wilson – borrowing H.G. Wells’ idea – coined the slogan “make the world safe for democracy”. The ensuing peace forced the republic and democracy to the losing side. But also in 1917, the Soviet Communists heralded a global revolution resulting in a confrontation of the two models. In the interbellum period, neither succeeded in putting down enough roots in Europe. It took another war and the Americanization of Europe’s western half and the Sovietization of the eastern one. But – as we have mentioned before – fifty years later the Soviet model expired and

thus began the Americanization of Central and Eastern Europe

By the second decade of the 21st century the world has changed again. After its victory over the Soviet Union, the United States remained the only global superpower, the new status coming with enormous responsibility and new challenges. The powers of old, with a delayed development cycle, have emerged anew and become challengers. Trump came to the conclusion that the United States should give up Wilsonian political activism, forget the Americanization of the world and concentrate on gathering its power in order to face new challenges.

Trump has thus introduced the America First doctrine and as a consequence, Europe also needs a new doctrine!

But this freedom also comes with great responsibility for all. For the first time in a hundred years, we have been left without a valid narrative and explanation of the world. But what are we to do now? How to proceed when we lose the tutelage, pressure, guidance and – above all – the protective umbrella of the United States? Has that time already arrived?

Mária Schmidt

Historian Mária Schmidt, general director of the House of Terror Museum in Budapest.

The European crisis and the disorientation of its politicians result from the above. People need an assessment of the situation, guidance and vision of the future. Neither Merkel, nor Juncker, nor Tusk nor any other current dignitary is able to provide that.

In 2008, at a time when Americanization was still in full swing, Viktor Orbán [then leader of the opposition] announced that for us, Hungary is first and went on later to talk about the need for illiberal democracy, i.e. a return to Christian Democracy and social market economy.

At the time, this was shocking because it went against the prevailing canon and now cannot be ignored because the U.S. President has also moved in the same direction. But it carries even greater importance because Orbán is the only one proposing anything at all. All the other leaders are sticking to old vinyl recordings at a time when you can no longer even buy turntables.

Macron is trying to counter this with minority visions of a two-speed Europe or maybe a fully federal one – but at least he is putting forth something.

All the others are only fruitfully attempting to turn the clock back. But you cannot go back to a time when, under the comfortable umbrella of the United States and in great prosperity, leaders could concern themselves with the problems of global peace, the fate of baby seals and the oppressed of the third world. The time of vinyl is over – it is time to embrace podcasts!


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