During a U.S. presidential election year, it can be said that Donald Trump has not been a successful president, because despite his promises to make America great again, the United States' international position has rather weakened, not strengthened, MEP Sven Mikser (SDE) said on ETV's "Esimene stuudio" on Monday night.
Two challenges in particular have ended up on Trump's plate ahead of the presidential elections this fall: the coronavirus crisis, and widespread race-centered unrest that broke out last week.
According to Mikser, when it comes to the coronavirus crisis, it can already be said that Trump and his team have failed to solve it.
"At least when it comes to the coronavirus crisis there is a lot to criticize the president and his team for: delayed reaction, questionable messages, very controversial statements regarding the use of drugs with unproven medicinal properties or drinking bleach," he said.
Resolving recent race-centered unrest will prove complicated for Trump as well, he continued.
"It is a matter of how the president will be capable of playing out the role of a uniter and placater of the people," the MEP said. "President Trump has built up his political existence on rather divisive messages, and plays to his voter base. When it comes to racial tensions, the president has a very clear choice: will he try to do what Nixon did in 1968, with a forceful law and order message, or will he nevertheless attempt to understand those expressing their dissatisfaction with the situation as well?"
According to Mikser, it is clear that "America is broken" and that Trump has failed to restore the global hegemony that the U.S. enjoyed in the 1990s either.
"The U.S.' hegemonous status in the 1990s was in fact an anomaly, and it was clear that it could not last forever," he said. "The Trump administration itself has strained relations with its allies, and has withdrawn the U.S. from several important international cooperation formats, whether climate-related or the WHO."
Mikser finds that the U.S.' withdrawal from these formats and organizations are undoubtedly regrettable, especially considering Estonia's interests.
"The U.S. is and will remain our most important ally, which is why it is entirely justifiable to be worried about decisions being made in Washington that from our point of view are dubious, questionable or expressly bad," he said.
Nevertheless, Mikser wasn't inclined to hand the title to Democratic nominee Joe Biden yet either.
"It's difficult to say, because the crisis has been difficult for the Democrats as well," he said. "I wouldn't bet on Trump winning, but the winner is foretold by a small number of key states. I can't predict anything, despite the fact that Joe Biden has a healthy lead in the latest Gallup polls."
According to the MEP, the last three months and two major crises have dealt a major blow to Trump's plans.
"Trump's position is no doubt more complicated than it was three months ago, because at the time, the markets were improving, the economy was doing relatively well and unemployment was low, and it was clear what the central message of the president seeking to secure a second term would be: 'Stay with me, because the economy is doing well.' He can't play this card anymore."
Mikser also found that the opposition with China hasn't had a positive impact on Trump either, even if the problems he has pointed the finger at, including in connection with the WHO, are serious.
"It can't be said that Washington's criticism has been entirely unfounded, but to withdraw from the WHO, which doesn't currently have a functioning alternative and whose contributions in coronavirus-type crises are indispensable, isn't reasonable or the right reaction."
Editor: Aili Vahtla