Chaotic Evil

Let's ignore the direct effects of the transatlantic buffoon-in-chief for a moment; these are discussed quite enough already. I think there are two competing secondary effects that he has on the attitudes of people elsewhere, one good one bad.

First the positive: A clear enemy helps unification. Very visible right now is the common outcry of otherwise not united groups and individuals about the USA leaving the Paris climate treaty. There are plenty more examples and making fun of the Orange one is a favourite pastime for many.

But. It is all too easy to feel good about ourselves doing this. We are lucky to live elsewhere and not be affected. Our politicians seem competent in comparison and it suddenly looks like we don't have it that bad after all. Is it then a surprise that Merkel will win the German elections later this year? Or that recently unloved Swedish prime-minister Löfvén has turned around the polls for his social democrats?

It is perfectly understandable to become complacent when others have it worse. How content we humans are always depends on whom we compare ourselves to. Observing the quagmire "over there" means we relax the pressure on our own polticians to fix the problems in our countries, which have not magically gone away. Just to name one, do we have a plan to do something about the constantly rising wealth gap that is expected to only get worse with further increases in work automation?

Which way the net balance between stonger unity behind good causes and lowered expectations tips, I do not know.