Sunday, December 06, 2015

A Global Shift in International Politics

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There are few things in this world that can have a long enough ripple effect to change politics on two continents. Especially if those two continents are North America and Europe. In the past it's generally been the trend that when Americans elected a conservative, the Europeans tended to go more socialist. When Americans ventured far left as they are apt to do every 25 years or so, the Europeans tended to go more to the right.

There have been some examples such as when Reagan and Lady Thatcher ruled. The event in that instance that brought both regions into alignment was the threat of the Soviet Union but even then, the Canadians went with the liberal Trudeau and continental Europe varied.

But now we are seeing this odd convergence once again and its happening because of another global scourge--global Islamic terror in general and ISIS in particular.

In the US we are seeing the rise of Donald Trump who has struck a cord with his nationalism, tough talk and common sense approach in talking to the American people. Trump will be the nominee and he will most-likely destroy Hillary in the general. Barring a last minute freak out by the Democratic party where Hillary becomes "sick" during the general and Joe Biden jumps in to save the day, i don;t see it going any other direction. It's not helping anyone that Obama is taking a backseat in the fight against ISIS except Trump. By Obama deflecting blame on the San Bernadino terror attack away from the actual perpetrators and on to the NRA, Republicans and everyone else but those who actually are responsible, he's given an opening to Trump to exploit. The American people are pissed and another attack will only increase that anger. The average low information voter who doesn't generally pay attention until the year of the election is watching and the dithering by the president is registering.

Note: I'm not saying Trump is a conservative but he is nationalistic and his foreign policy would be farther to the right than anyone since George W. Bush's first term post 9/11.

In Europe, there's been a power shift. Angela Merkel was arguably the most powerful leader and showed true leadership during the economic meltdown in Greece. However, any prestige she banked was quickly spent during the recent and continuing exodus of Syrians into Europe. She took the approach of many modern day Germans who wish to erase the 70 year stain of national socialism and bend over backwards showing how they are accepting of everyone--even those who will do harm. That approach has directly led to one attack and an uproar throughout the west.

In the UK, David Cameron has had a rough go of it lately. He wanted to be a domestic issues leader and also wanted to be buddies with Obama. Unfortunately, we live in a world where domestic issues have taken a back seat to global terror ones. ISIS' strategy of radicalization through social media means that the global has now become the domestic and the letter cannot be solved without addressing the former. Just this week, Cameron began a bombing campaign against ISIS and just yesterday an attack occurred against one of his citizens because of it.

The real change is is France. During the early 2000's after the 9/11 attacks, France played it cool. Often they did not wish to deal with external situations unless they were the situations they believed affected them. Sarkozy was what in France is considered center right and was then replaced by Hollande who is definitely left. But now we are seeing a rise of the right that is expanding. The LePen family has been ostracized for decades because of their supposed nationalistic and xenophobic platform. Yes, several pockets of support were there but the larger provinces did not play along...until now and the rise of a young, beautiful leader Marion Marechal-LePen:

On Sunday, buoyed by the shock of the Nov 13 Islamic shootings in Paris, the list she heads is widely expected to come in first in the Provence-Côte d’Azur region, with polls giving her some 40 per cent of the vote. Even if the third-ranking Socialists drop out of the race to favour her Gaullist opponent in next Sunday’s runoff, Marion, as she’s known, has the most chances to swing into office, giving the Front National a shot at ruling one of France’s most dynamic regions, and the second most populous after Paris.
In the wake of the recent attacks, France has taken a step back and assessed where they are as a nation. France is becoming much less French because of the policies currently in place. It was easy to blame the riots of Muslim "youths" on cultural and economic problems but those problems could be solved if the large immigrant populations would assimilate and become French they believed. This worked well with migrants from former French colonies like Morrocco. But the new waves are not French first or even identify as Syrian, Iraqi or Libyan first, they are Muslims first, second and always. Assimilation is not going to happen tomorrow or next year and that is dawning on the continent as a whole and the French in particular. This has already led to Denmark taking a hard line on immigrants from entering due to public backlash.

While America continues to accept immigrants and not take a short break to review policies and procedures, Europe is going the other direction. Perhaps we are on the cusp of seeing the rare confluence of events whereby America and Europe are led by right wing leaders who believe the safety of their citizens is more important than being liked by political elites. This is crunch time in a global war that will have far-reaching implications and the futures of both America and Europe depend on what happens next.

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