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Quick Take: Biden's challenge and Navalny's courage

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and it is the last full day of the Trump administration. Extraordinary four years, unprecedented in so many ways. I guess the most important feature for me is how much more divided the United States is, the world is, as coming out of the Trump administration than it was coming in. Not new. We were in a GZERO world, as I called it well before Trump was elected president. The social contract was seen as fundamentally problematic. Many Americans believed their system was rigged, didn't want to play the kind of international leadership role that the United States had heretofore, but all of those things accelerated under Trump.

So perhaps the most important question to be answered is, once Trump is gone, how much of that persists? It is certainly true that a President Biden is much more oriented towards trying to bring the United States back into existing multilateral architecture, whether that be the Paris Climate Accord, or more normalized immigration discussions with the Mexicans, the World Health Organization, the Iranian Nuclear Deal, some of which will be easy to do, like Paris, some of which will be very challenging, like Iran. But nonetheless, all sounds like business as usual.

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Europe reacts to attack on US Capitol with disbelief, horror & sorrow

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, with the view from Europe:

What is the European reaction to the pictures coming out of Washington, yesterday?

Disbelief. Horror. Shock. But also sorrow. The United States is a great ally of Europe. And to see its democracy literally looted by mobs of hooligans inspired by the President of the United States is something that I don't think anyone had thought would ever happen. The President of the United States has gone, in the eyes of the Europeans, from being a leader of a great democracy to being a cult leader of a mob of hooligans.

Donald Trump's relevance to US politics doesn't disappear on Jan 20, 2021

In 2020's final installment of The Red Pen — as we say goodbye not only to this tumultuous year, but also to the Trump presidency -- Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's US team: Jon Lieber, Jeffrey Wright, Clayton Allen, and Regina Argenzio are taking the Red Pen to an op-ed by John Harris, veteran political journalist and co-founder of Politico, optimistically titled, "Relax, a Trump comeback in 2024 is not going to happen."

On January 20th, Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States. So how long will Donald Trump still be a thing in US politics, and does he have another shot at the White House? John Harris makes his case that Trump is going to fade away based on historical precedent that the US system has seen disruptors before and endured other politicians who were more obsessed with their own publicity than the greater goals of their party. And that's true, but we're not so sure that Donald Trump is quite the same phenomenon.

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America is still a democracy post-Trump, but is it a healthy one?

Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber, Jeffrey Wright, and Clayton Allen are taking the Red Pen to an op-ed by Eric Posner, an author and law professor at the University of Chicago. It's titled "America Passed the Trump Stress Test" and was published recently by Project Syndicate.

Professor Posner's argument is basically this: sure, President Trump has violated norms and challenged legitimate election results, but in the end, no real harm done to American institutions, or America's democracy itself. Now it's certainly true that Trump's behavior hasn't led to meaningful policy change, but Posner is blowing the whole thing off as a, "Nothing to see here, no big deal," moment. And we think it's a bit more serious than that.
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Don’t "give up" on all 73 million Americans who voted for Trump

In an op-ed in the New York Times, author Wajahat Ali says he's giving up on reaching out to Trump supporters and thinks Ian Bremmer and others shouldn't bother trying. On this edition of The Red Pen, where we pick apart the argument in a major opinion piece, Ian and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber explain what Ali got wrong - and right - and why it's important to see the 73 million Americans who voted for Trump with nuance.

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