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It’s Europe’s Turn to Reject Trump

Although Donald Trump will soon depart from the White House, his toxic legacy of America-first nationalism and isolationism will continue to dominate the Republican Party. The worst thing European leaders could do now is to sit back and resume their previous subordinate role within the transatlantic relationship.

BERLIN – Despite all his whining and wailing, Donald Trump’s presidency will end on January 20, 2021. He will be history; but, sadly, his political legacy will endure. With almost 75 million Americans voting for him (and 82 million for Joe Biden), Trump mobilized an extraordinary and unexpected level of support among a base that will continue to steer the Republican Party toward his brand of nationalist isolationism.

Like a revenant, Trumpism will haunt US politics for a long time to come, and some version of it will be on the ballot again in 2024 – that much is already clear. To vanquish Trumpism, Democrats needed to muster a “blue wave” of electoral victories all the way down the ballot. They didn’t.

The idea that Trump himself will run again is unlikely, given his age. But younger populist heirs are already jostling to claim the mantle. From both a European and transatlantic perspective – each of which has an existential interest in America remaining committed to multilateral cooperation – Biden’s election represents victory in a decisive battle, but not in the war.