In the aftermath of Trump

The Trump presidency comes to an end at midday on 20 January (Washington time). Two weeks after the storming of the Capitol he is leaving the White House with his popularity ratings at an all-time low. He will not be attending the inauguration of his successor. Some commentators would like Trump and his presidency to simply be forgotten; others warn that this is precisely what should not happen.

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La Stampa (IT) /

Donald's nightmare

Even Trump's closest confidants have abandoned him, La Stampa notes:

“Neither his faithful deputy Mike Pence, nor the leader of the Republican minority, Mitch McConnell, who stood faithfully by his side throughout his presidency, will be present at his departure. ... Furthermore, yesterday for the first time McConnell blamed Donald for the attack on Congress on 6 January, saying that extremists had been fed lies and egged on by the president and other powerful people. This is a sign that the times have already changed and Trump's future is looking very uncertain, because Mitch's words could anticipate his vote in the impeachment trial in the Senate. Donald, who wanted a send-off with military honours and stayed away from Biden's inauguration to keep the myth of the stolen victory alive, is living his nightmare.”

Népszava (HU) /

Now the processing must begin

Trump's legacy uncomfortably confronts the US with its own political principles, political scientist Ádám Paár explains in Népszava:

“The attack on Congress presents a good opportunity for former US presidents, and especially their National Security advisors, to reflect on how often they have incited people abroad to rebel against legitimately elected parliaments and governments. ... Trump has destabilised his own country [in a similar manner]. ... This raises the question of how just how strong the trust in democratic institutions and their legitimacy really is. ... The Biden administration has its work cut out if the American people are to put the the events of January behind them.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

A wake-up call for Europe too

It is not just the US that needs to do some cleaning up after Trump's departure, Jyllands-Posten points out:

“Many of the tendencies Trump stands for already exist here in Europe: the extreme politicisation, the fuelling of mistrust, the lies, etc. There is no reason to believe that just because Trump is gone this is all over. We must gather all our strength and good will if we don't want what happened in the US to happen in Europe. The Trump era should be a wake-up call, prompting us to seek our collective best.”

Berliner Zeitung (DE) /

Written off

The Berliner Zeitung is not worried about US democracy:

“The mere fact that Trump was voted out of office after only one term is cause for hope: this has happened to only three US presidents in over 100 years: Warren G. Harding, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. ... So the thousands of radical Trumpists should be taken seriously - and Trump should be held accountable as their instigator - but they should not be overrated: Donald Trump has been written off by the majority of Americans as a historical misunderstanding; the man is finished politically, morally and in every other respect.”

Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

Drama detox

Helsingin Sanomat wonders whether the world actually wants to be rid of Trump:

“No one wants to be left with a feeling of emptiness. The big paradox of his presidency has been that while so many people hate Trump, they have followed his every footstep. The dependency began in the summer of 2015, when Trump announced his candidacy from Trump Tower. From that moment on everything in US politics, in the US and the rest of the world has almost exclusively revolved around one person. ... The mystery and excitement had a similar effect to cocaine on the reward centre in people's brains: they just couldn't get enough of it.”