Be afraid: Donald Trump has given dictators a free pass

Ideas

Be afraid: Donald Trump has given dictators a free pass

The US president has set a vicious, dangerous example for anti-democratic leaders that pepper the world stage

Columnist

On January 20, perhaps even before that, US President Donald Trump will take his final walk out of the White House. The world will heave a sigh of relief. Every day of Trump’s presence in the Oval Office amply demonstrated that he should never have been in the job. Sadly, Trumpism and its absurdities, excesses and dangers will stay with the US and the rest of world for a long time.

Every day of the Trump presidency was a nightmare. He lied like a trooper, making dishonesty and blatant fibbing an acceptable part of American politics. He tore up the diplomacy handbook, encouraged racists and violent far-right groups, attacked the media incessantly and aligned the US with some of the most anti-democratic leaders in the world, while undermining institutions of governance in his country.

The list of outrageous actions he took to destroy international cooperation on climate change and international justice – from walking away from the Paris Agreement to threatening the International Criminal Court – is long and shameful. This was not a presidency that made humanity better. It dragged us back into the cesspool of selfishness and war we thought had ended with the Cold War in the late 1980s and early 1990s...

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