What is the need of Trump

editorial: What Trump teaches us

Donald Trump again. Out of necessity, because this presidency, but above all the storming of Congress fueled by the US president, is forcing a dispute.

In due time, after leaving office, he may be overtaken by the damnatio memoriae, the erasure of his name from public memory, with which in antiquity (and in the former Soviet Union and present-day North Korea) any memory of usurpers or criminals can be found tried to wipe out. But that is highly unlikely, it is much more likely that countless fiction documentaries about women, hairdressers, architects, pets and other passions of Trump will be produced in the near future.

In the here and now, the concrete consequences of Trump's politics count. Some of them are surprising. The shock with which the events in Washington are being followed in Europe is less a sign of transatlantic alienation than evidence of the continuing deep bond and the enormous importance of relations across the Atlantic. This honest shock in view of the pictures and reports can only be explained with the significance of the USA for Europe.

However, the nature of this connection is changing. The USA now knows from its own experience about the fragility of its democracy, which brings the Old World back on par with the New World for the first time since 1945.

The elites as well as the citizens of the USA are now making the valuable experience of how important it can be to have a critical partner with whom one shares a common set of values ​​- democracy, the rule of law and a market economy that is more, sometimes less socially cushioned - connected is. Especially since those countries that are committed to these values ​​have recently tended to be fewer than more.

This knowledge of one's own endangerment also welds together. Democracies need each other more than ever as critical external observers of developments in their own home. Not always, but sometimes a sober look from the outside helps to identify undesirable developments in good time.

The question that remains is what lessons the mainstream media can learn from the Trump phenomenon. Trump's success was made easier because too many people failed to find their interests in the public debate or only found them marginalized. It is necessary to work against this. The current president has also managed to use the headline logic of click-dependent media for himself. But the most important lesson is that powerful politicians have to be taken seriously, even if they appear to be clowns.