House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to say late Wednesday, after the impeachment vote, when she would send the articles to the Republican-led Senate. Until the articles are submitted, the Senate cannot hold the trial that is nearly certain to acquit the Republican president.
There are certainly more forces at play against president Trump than just the two stated in the proceedings, and they are international in nature.
He is presiding over a major shift in American foreign policy, long overdue since the end of the Cold War, extracting his country from providing global security for free and from opening US markets to all.
He is widely criticized for introducing trade tariffs, but when he offered EU to lift them all if Europe does the same to the US, France right away said “no”.
He is abandoning NATO, into which US was the only country paying their share, which prompted president Macron to call for European Army Forces.
It was likely a PR move, as this man has a lot of internal affairs on his hands right now.
But the biggest political risk is in China. Not for the US, but for the country itself.
There isn’t going to be a meaningful trade deal with the United States because agreeing to the Americans’ demands would be the end of the Communist Party and the end of united China. At the same time, if the world’s largest consumer market, and the physical guarantor of Chinese supply chains walks away, the Chinese are out of options. And president Trump doesn’t seem to be disturbed with the high stakes, just pushes forward.
In the words of geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan: “China’s crash will be much like its rise. Big, bold, brash, loud, all-consuming, and, in hindsight, completely inevitable.”
Moving on to Europe - a fundamental principle of liberal democracy is national self-determination. If you don’t have that, no other right is meaningful.
The EU has a very different view, that national identity is something that is a problem. If you have too strong of a national identity that you’re excluding others, its an issue that became a real showdown.
Countries like Poland or Hungary, and several others, will not give up and will protect their identity. They don’t want the Euro currency, they have their own rules on immigration, and the EU institutions are increasingly helpless in influencing them.
There are nationalist movements appearing all over the continent, and the crushing Conservatives victory in Britain, and coming Brexit, will only support this process (it will also put back in spotlight Scottish independence).
With Brexit, Britain will be pushed closer the United States, and the two countries have a lot in common. Take this – Great Britain scores the highest in Europe when it comes to entrepreneurship. In most other EU countries people just want to work for big corporations.
The EU leading, unelected, Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF) doesn’t seem to know how to handle the situation which is unfolding.
As Mike Tyson said, everybody has a plan until they’re hit hard.
They display the attitude – “aside from how it looks, it’s all cool.”
It’s like the commercial for duct tape – “we can fix it!”
Could be a bit of a go.
Tom Kubiak is the author of The Traveler