World politics has come to a rough stage, our Brussels correspondent Arie Elshout writes. Trump and Putin are judged on their body language. The glory of globalization is over. Already, Merkel tries to save what is saved.
American-Russian peaks always attract a lot of attention. But the first official meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin was of a very special kind. In an outline, someone spoke of a “cage fight”, a term that calls associations with Roman gladiators, medieval fairies, Las Vegas and smoky seagulls in harbor quarters where the fall of the night is getting worse in humans. World politics has come to an end, and this is felt at the G20 meeting in Hamburg.
Normally, those annual talks are lukewarm and loom as the summer itself. Touring days for the world leaders who talked a lot and did little. Now, however, are they a barometer for the state of the world: does it keep calm or is it storming?
On the first day of the day, many eyes focused on Trump and Putin. Not so long ago, leaders – think of Obama – were judged by their words. Nowadays on their movements. Hand prints, shoulder heads, facial expressions, posture – everything between Trump and Putin was accurately spun and weighed. As if the outside world observed two male lions running around the high steppe grass.
This reversal of animalist declaration frameworks can not be seen as a sign of progress in the civilization march that has taken humanity over the past 200,000 years.
Putin and Trump make it. One has to go far back in time to find leaders who spoke so much of their physical strength. Putin sitting on his horse with his muscular bare bast, Trump working a wrestler against the ground. Thus, equations with cage fights come naturally.
And it is not only to show that they are strong, they are also fond of showing the weakness of others. Trump humiliated by German chancellor Angela Merkel in the Oval Office by refusing to shake her hand. Putin who makes his big black labrador Koni tickle Visel Merkel while strolling out of his chair and doing nothing even though he sees that the chancellor, once bitten by a dog, is terrified.
It’s all aimed at impressing and intimidating for prehistoric recipe. Additionally, the two leaders are unquestionably nationalistic and longed for earlier. Trump to the time after World War II that America was undoubtedly the strongest and most prosperous power on earth; Putin to the time that the mighty Soviet empire still existed.
Both hate journalists, protesters and radical Muslims. Both recognize and admire the alpha man, but at the same time it is a problem. For who is the highest place on the monkey rock? Hence, cautiously rotate each other from two men who are in charge of together 14,000 core heads, 93 percent of the world total.
No trace of a cage fight
During their bilateral conversation, they appeared for the press, sitting on their seats with their bodies bent forward. Trump had addressed Putin on the Russian interference in the US elections, was said afterwards. Putin denied everything. For the eyes of the cameras, the two leaders were especially friendly to each other. They called it an honor to meet each other. No trace was known for a cage fight, nor was it the bad inconvenience that featured Obama’s relationship with Putin.
For Obama, the Russian President was someone who stood for a long time. After Putin had caught the Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Obama called this outrageous politics. “We must not allow the dark practices of the 20th century to characterize the new century.”
Obama is gone, his successor does not see Putin as a political anachronism but shares certain sentiments with him. By Trumps election, the G20 Summit reflects the world’s changing. The liberal consensus formed in the 1990s, based on market economy, free trade and multinational cooperation, is under pressure. Desperately Merkel opposes the possible failure of so many Western self-evidentities. For weeks she has warned against protectionism, nationalism and isolationism, things that Trump stands for. “Globalization can be a win-win situation. It does not always have to be winners and losers, “is the message that they repeatedly repeat since the European Summit in June.
Merkel wants the acquisitions to be retained after 1945, such as the idea that serving someone else’s interests may also be in your interest.
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