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What kind of devil has possessed the US?

2016-11-08

Whatever the election result, the US will face the biggest changes since the 60's. And this won't be due to the merit of any of the candidates, their arrogance, braggadocio, or vulgar manners. This social process runs deeper. And when understood better it might help Polish government in creating new foreign policy.

 

To understand emotions that boil in today's America we don't need to delve into psyche of a huffy billionaire, or into the leaks from the Clinton family investigation. It is enough to get acquainted with some figures which stirred the US. The median of income of an average American household (56 516 dollars a year) is 1140 dollars lower than it was 17 years ago. After 8 years of rules of the most left-sided president, the disproportions in earnings are bigger than during the rule of the most conservative president in the post-war history – Ronald Regan. Last year, level of extreme poverty reached 13,5%. It gives 0,3% growth from the time before the crisis of 2008. 20% of the worst-earning Americans earn on average 1 dollar less than in 2008. At the same time, 5% of the richest Americans earn 8,2% more. For those who believed that who-if-not-Obama would end racial division, we have latest polls indicating that there are 8% more Americans who believe racial conflicts to be the most serious social problem. The US has faced 15 years of permanent war which took lives of about 9 thousand Americans. Member of every third family has war experiences, of every fifth has been wounded.  The war, which supposed to give an end to terrorism, actually allowed terrorists to create their own state and, what's even worse, gave Russia time to restore their imperial plans.

 

Underneath election rhetoric and reciprocal epithets, the campaign has been actually dominated by three aspects. All of which deriving from above-mentioned statistic data.

 

1. Political corruption

From Sanders to Trump, from the left to the right wing, Americans have demanded deep changes of the system which stifle the economy. They wish to end links between big global business and establishment of ruling parties. There were a few truly corrupted presidents in the history of the US – Harding, Grant, Jackson. However 8 years of rules of Clinton, and 8 years of Obama, interrupted by rules of Bush, have left American politics more bonded with oligarchy than ever before since the so called Gilded Age in the end of the 19th century. Lofty market ideas, invoking values of capitalism and justice don't mean much when facing economy steered by large financial institutions and dozen or so international corporations linked with subsequent generations of the most influential families of politicians. Whoever wins the election, Washington will face deep political reconstruction which is to release economic energy of the country.

What should Polish government take into account?

Old connections from Obama times will hinder cooperation with new politicians. If Trump wins the election, the clearance will undoubtedly take place immediately. But Clinton, if she wants to restore voters' trust and prove that she isn't a hostage of her former corporate sponsors will have to act in a similar way. Polish diplomacy service must bet on new people and new political and business relations.

 

2. Immigration

The United Stated has lost their former, genial ability of absorbing waves of immigrants. Something that was used to called a melting pot where old animosities disappeared and where a one-of-its-kind community of dollar-lovers existed has changed into a battlefield of constant racial and religious clashes. Immigration was a number-one topic of both the candidates. Doesn't matter if they want to build walls on the borders, or promise abolition for all the foreigners, this problem is the biggest challenge of coming years. Adversely to many theories, those conflicts are not caused by augmentation of number of immigrants. 15% of Americans were born outside the country. However, Canada has 5% more of citizens of foreign origin and despite this there are significantly less racial, or religious conflicts than in the US. It is mostly due to well-thought immigration policy which bases on high cultural criteria, allowing only full families, preferring people with higher education and professional experience. Canada has admitted twice as many immigrants from Syria as the US, and among them there are 3 times more people who work and pay taxes than in the US. Both of the candidates, even if they differ in their campaign rhetoric, want to reform immigration system basing on Canadian example.

What should Polish government take into account?

The strategy adopted by Washington will be gradually introduced in more and more countries. If Poland adopts similar program of “cautious access”, it would help it to block obligation of admitting refugees. It is high time, and a good moment, to establish, till the end of January 2017, a new strategy referring to the best examples from the world, and thus successfully diminish the European criticism versus Poland.

 3.The US is tired

Tired of unceasing wars, armament expenses – significantly higher than of other NATO countries. No matter who will lead the US, it will limit its military presence in the world. Both candidates will seek solutions on how to maintain power on both oceans and keep Europe in equilibrium while using as little means as possible. President Trump according to his promises, and Hillary Clinton to distance herself from accusations of blindly continuing Obama's policy. Basing more on regional partners, Clinton will probably count more on Germany to balance Russia which gets stronger and stronger. Donald Trump on the other hand, will approach Great Britain, but he may also use various solutions which he might encounter along the way. Arguably, the Intermarium initiative is an interesting idea, as long as it becomes something more than just a babble of politicians.

What should Polish government take into account?

American contingent in Poland is probably all that we can count on in coming days and even this may be hindered if NATO doesn't reach internal agreement considering financing armament. No matter who will become the president, new administration will pay attention to orders of American military equipment. Poland, with its big budget, may be in a centre of interest of Washington in Europe – both as a business partner, and as a country worth of political support. This requires prompt reconstruction of weapon purchase system in Poland and creating modern armament agency, transparent enough to assure American concerns that we are able to finish tenders in established time.

 

If the US is to treat Intermarium as a balancing force for the dangerously growing duopoly of Russia and Germany seriously, it need to see a genuine cooperation of our countries, including an economic project which would bound Middle European countries together. If it is Clinton who wins the election, Poland will face bigger challenge and should seriously consider its foreign policy to approach Germany rapidly.  

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