Andrej Hunko on some aspects of the Trump victory

Answers by Andrej Hunko, MP for DIE LINKE in Germany to Sputnik

Do you expect the situation in Syria to ease under the presidency of Donald Trump?

At least that is what I hope. A solution to the Syrian crisis to a large extent depends on the relations between the USA and Russia. While Hillary Clinton is known as a “hawk” in foreign policy and in 2013 tried to push Obama to openly intervene in Syria, Trump at least during the election campaign sounded more moderate regarding the relations to Russia. But currently it’s difficult to say because Trump is very unpredictable.

How will Trump change US foreign policy? Do you expect better international political setting under his presidency?

That depends on the secretaries and advisors that he will appoint – and his ability to impose his will on the existing power structures in the state apparatus. As we know, there are many important players pushing for more military interventions. Even if Trump wanted to introduce a change in US foreign policy, he would have to hold his grounds against those warmongers.

Do you think the victory of Trump in this election reflects the disenchantment in the political course taken by American elites?

I think domestic policy was key for the choice of the electorate. A major issue has been the catastrophic results of decades of neoliberal policies that destroyed social cohesion in the US. That development was accompanied by an arrogant discourse that repelled many people from the current establishment. Unfortunately and strangely, with Donald Trump a misogynistic and racist billionaire has become the expression of that discontent. But that also has to do with the democrat’s decision for Hillary Clinton. I am sure that Bernie Sanders, who much better that Trump embodies an “anti-establishment character”, would have won clearly.

Is the Trump phenomenon in one line with Brexit vote and the disappointment with the mainstream western politicians?

It is obviously not the same, because the British and the US societies are quite different. But there are certain similarities. One common denominator is social inequality. Even Bank of America Merrill Lynch called the result of the Brexit referendum the “biggest electoral riposte yet” to the “age of inequality”. And the Trump victory might be interpreted in that same direction. I believe that inequality is key to the understanding of phenomena like those elections. At the same time it is clear to me that even though the Right is gaining from that development, its answers to the crises will not be a solution for the working classes.

What does the victory of Trump mean for UK-EU relationship?

It’s really hard to say, I think we will have to wait a while to be able to answer that question.

What will this victory hold for TTIP? And other international treaties forged by the Obama administration?

The probability to stop neoliberal treaties like TTIP have risen with the Trump victory. At least during the campaign he spoke out against those treaties more clearly than Clinton, who was forced by the Sanders success to distance herself from too much free trade policy in favor of huge corporations. Then again we have to see what Trump actually does, as we know that he has lied constantly during the campaign.

How will Trump's victory affect migration policies given that he is calling for a wall against migrants in his own country?

I think that is actually the worst aspect of Trump’s victory. His open racism and hatred against women and minorities has been repelling and I fear a serious backlash for the rights of those groups. As Bernie Sanders just said, if Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, we would support these policies. But “to the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”

Andrej Hunko, MdB 2018