Fmr. Australian Prime Minister Warns Against Reelecting ‘Quack Apothecary’ Trump
A former Australian prime minister has said reelecting President Donald Trump would further fracture international relationships and China would favor it. Former Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd offered cutting criticism of Trump in an article in Foreign Affaris.
“The world has watched in horror as an American president acts not as the leader of the free world but as a quack apothecary recommending unproven ‘treatments,'” Rudd wrote.
“It has seen what ‘America First’ means in practice: don’t look to the United States for help in a genuine global crisis, because it can’t even look after itself. Once there was the United States of the Berlin airlift.”
“Now there is the image of the USS Theodore Roosevelt crippled by the virus, reports of the administration trying to take exclusive control of a vaccine being developed in Germany, and federal intervention to stop the commercial sale of personal protective equipment to Canada. The world has been turned on its head.”
China would prefer to see Trump reelected, he wrote, because that would mean “greater decoupling and possibly attempted containment, driven by Trump’s base and widespread national anger over the origins of the virus, although this strategy will be rendered incoherent at times by the president’s personal interventions.”
“Prior to the current crisis, the postwar liberal international order was already beginning to fragment,” Rudd said.
“The United States’ military and economic power, the geopolitical fulcrum on which the order rested, was being challenged by China, first regionally and more recently, globally.”
“The Trump administration was adding to the order’s problems by weakening the U.S. alliance structure (which in conventional strategic logic would have been central to maintaining a balance of power against Beijing) and systematically delegitimizing multilateral institutions (effectively creating a political and diplomatic vacuum for China to fill). The result has been an increasingly dysfunctional and chaotic world.”