Nations of the world, take heed.
There was a time, just months ago even, when a foreign country interfering in America’s elections would have been impermissible by law and unacceptable to the people. The rules of our democracy have changed.
President Donald Trump — who brands himself as a new kind of nationalist (without the historical baggage that term lugs around) — has now turned to the global elite to help him win reelection. Forget George Soros, the Bilderbergs and cosmopolitan consensus. Trump has pushed globalism to new, glittering heights. Free trade? Please. Try inviting the world to do everything short of casting a ballot. Not even QAnon could have seen this twist coming.
On Thursday, the president again asked Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, to investigate one of his political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump went on to ask the same of Xi Jinping, preoccupied though the Chinese leader is at the moment with trying to suffocate a democratic uprising in Hong Kong. A Republican on the White House lawn asking Communist China for help in winning a democratic election isn’t something that prognosticators would have picked for 2019. But that’s where the United States finds itself.
But, as they say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. And if those are the new rules, let’s bring in some players who’ve been sitting on the sidelines.
Europe, get on over here. At latest count, 70% of the population in 25 European countries surveyed “lack confidence in Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs.” Oomph. Not exactly swing voters.
If the European Union is serious about representing the will of its people, its leaders would put their considerable economic, law enforcement and intelligence resources behind an effort to investigate Trump for any and all potential wrongdoing connected with his global business empire. After all, the American people deserve to know if their president is a crook.
Mexico and Latin America? If they’d like to aid in the election of someone other than Trump, then abrogating arrangements on migration would be a good way to show how much the administration has utterly failed to resolve this long-standing issue. It’d make it tough on the hustings to convince even a MAGA rally that the wall has been built and that get-tough immigration policies — snakes and gators and moats, oh my! — have been effective.
As for China, well, it’s now got a standing invitation to join in the 2020 election on behalf of the president. But that shouldn’t be the only offer it considers.
Want a trade war truce and a little certainty and sanity in the world economy? Maybe working to undermine the president’s reelection is a wiser course of action than helping to destroy Biden. The choice is Xi’s.
How about Russia? Oh, Russia. Remember when candidate Trump asked you to steal emails to help his campaign and then you did? But, oh, how the monster you’ve made has gotten out of control. All Vladimir Putin wanted to do was sow a little discord, and what happened? Trump told the Russian ambassador that he didn’t care about their aid and support to the Republican Party in the 2016 elections. Da. Talk about the dog that caught the car.
Guess what would really set Americans at one another’s throats in 2020? Trump losing reelection and refusing to leave office, as he’s hinted he’d do. Just because the Kremlin backed one horse in 2016 doesn’t mean it can’t switch midstream. Think about it: Relieved of the duties of office, Trump would be free to refocus executive time on building a tower in Moscow.
Shithole countries? You know who the president thinks you are. Anything you’d like to do to swing the 2020 race one way or the other? All investigations welcome! As Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday about the investigations into Biden: “The American people have a right to know if the vice president of the United States, or his family, profited from his position.” Ditto the Family Trump.
Is the Trump Organization or one of the wayward scions scoring sweetheart deals to build fancy hotels or secure trademarks in your country? Contact The New York Times or, if you must, @Fahrenthold.
At one time, the conventional wisdom was that all elections were local. But Trump’s lasting contribution to our modest experiment in self-governance has been to invite the world to participate. He is, if you will, the founding father of globalized American Democracy.
E pluribus unum.