The West on the Brink
To commemorate its founding 25 years ago PS is republishing a selection of commentaries written since 1994. In the following commentary, Joschka Fischer warned, just before the 2016 US presidential election, that a Donald Trump presidency could render the Western world unrecognizable.
BERLIN – This year and next, voters in leading Western democracies will make decisions that could fundamentally change the West – and the world – as we have known it for decades. In fact, some of these decisions have already been made, the main example being the United Kingdom’s vote in June to leave the European Union.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump in the United States and Marine Le Pen in France could very well win their countries’ upcoming presidential elections. A year ago, forecasting a victory by either would have been considered absurd; today, we must admit that such scenarios are all too possible.
The tectonic plates of the Western world have started to slip, and many people have been slow to realize the potential consequences. After the UK’s Brexit referendum, we now know better.