“After Brexit, after Trump, a world is collapsing.”
”Efter Brexit, efter Trump, en värld går under.”
Så skrev Frankrikes USA-ambassadör Gérard Araud kort efter att valresultatet stod klart i november 2016.
Araud avslutade sina fem år som ambassadör för några dagar sedan och i en intervju i The Atlantic talar han klarspråk som troligen få andra prominenta ambassadörer gjort.
– The idea that the Trump presidency is some sort of accident is a fantasy.
– Let’s look at the dogma of the previous period. For instance, free trade. It’s over. Trump is doing it in his own way. Brutal, a bit primitive, but in a sense he’s right. What he’s doing with China should have been done, maybe in a different way, but should have been done before. Trump has felt Americans’ fatigue, but [Barack] Obama also did. The role of the United States as a policeman of the world, it’s over. Obama started, Trump really pursued it. You saw it in Ukraine. You are seeing it every day in Syria. People here faint when you discuss NATO, but when he said, “Why should we defend Montenegro?,” it’s a genuine question.
– In France, we optimistically believed that Macron’s election meant that we had found the recipe against populism. He was a new leader, with new ideas, elected on a centrist platform. Apparently we were wrong.
– There is a misconception about Trump which is American and French: saying Trump is an accident, and when Trump leaves power, everything will go back to business as usual. That’s the dream of Washington, D.C.
– From Reagan to Trump you have, more or less, the neoliberal era—taxes were bad, borders were bad, and you have to trust the market. It’s also the period of the triumphant West … that the West was in a sense doomed to win. That sooner or later all the world will march triumphantly, to the triumph of the market. And suddenly the election of Trump and the populist wave everywhere in the Western world is for me, and I may be wrong, but for me means that this period is over.
Har han rätt i denna pessimistiska betraktelse? Ja det får framtiden utvisa. Men det är nog klokt att mentalt förbereda sig på att han kan få rätt.