Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had once upon a time said that living next to America was like sleeping with an elephant. “One is affected by every twitch and grunt,” he added. However, it’s not just the Canadians but Latin America and the rest of the world are closely monitoring developments in the U.S. This rings true for both its friends and foes. The U.S. is the world’s biggest weapons producer, distributor and in possession of its largest economy. What with the hundreds of military bases it has spread across a myriad of countries, America’s trajectory is of course of vital importance to each and every country.
On the other hand, many states, primarily the European Union, Japan and South Korea, have been militarily dependent on the U.S. ever since the Cold War era. Even NATO had been built to defend the EU against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union officially disbanded in 1991, however, NATO sustained its existence. Former U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Germany, saying that if Europe did not allocate more funds for NATO, it would pull out its troops from Germany. Even though his replacement, Joe Biden, attempted to allay his European allies by saying, “America is back,” he hasn’t been able to thaw the ice that formed during the Trump era. The reason for this is that America’s established order, which is based on a bipartisan consensus, has fallen apart at the seams.
Trump may have lost the presidential elections in 2020, however, there is a high possibility that he will be re-elected in 2024, if he chooses to put his candidacy forward. The Republican Party has lost its reins to Trump and “Trumpism.” The ambiguity of the future of American democracy has got the Europeans into a tizzy. Furthermore, the Americans are split into two within themselves. A Republican who attended one of Trump’s rallies was pictured with a shirt bearing the words: “I’d rather be Russian than be a Democrat.” To add fuel to the fire, the Dems and Republicans are accusing each other of dragging America into hell. They are on opposite ends of the spectrum where America’s future is concerned. One’s victory is the other’s doom.
One of the most hotly discussed subjects in U.S. media is the fear of a looming “civil war.” America ranks first in the world in civilian-held firearms, which is around 400 million. Reports state that over the last two years, 60 million weapons have been bought, mostly by White Americans and rural Republicans. This number is about three times higher than the number of Dems who own firearms. In an article published in the December issue of Newsweek, David H. Freedman argues that millions of raging and armed Americans are ready to seize power if Trump were to lose the elections in 2024. Remember, millions of Americans view the Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Congress by Trumpist groups as a “rehearsal.” According to polls, millions of Americans who believe that Democratic candidate Joe Biden rigged the 2020 presidential elections justify the invasion.
It is highly unlikely that the U.S. will resolve this self-division within the short term. The war is not just being vigorously sustained in politics but in the fields of culture, education and the judiciary, too. America is preparing for the November 2022 elections with this civil war mindset. Republicans are likely to gain a majority in the Senate and House of Representatives this year. Democrats have a narrow majority in both wings of Congress. According to estimates, the probability that Republicans will reach a majority in the House of Representatives is high. This majority is expected to be “hardline Trumpist” at that. If Trump runs in 2024 and loses, the word through the grapevine is that guns will go off. Mainstream Republicans have nothing on the Trumpist wing.
The stark changes in American politics will also deeply affect the foreign policy of the United States. Before Trump came along, the U.S. was adept at its foreign policy with bipartisan agreement. But, now, this consensus has dissolved, and Trump isn’t the only reason. Trumpism is only a symptom of a much nastier disease. In a nutshell, the American established order has burst at the seams.