The United States, a flawed but still attractive model of democracy, has tarnished its global image, and the damage may not be easily erased. Its retreat into nationalism and isolationism under Trump will not be forgotten anytime soon in many capitals, whoever wins.
On Friday, many of America’s closest allies were uneasy at the president’s latest efforts to undermine the democratic process.
In Germany, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas criticized Trump̵7;s reluctance to accept the election results, saying that the United States is not “a one-man show.”
“Anyone who continues to pour oil into the fire in a situation like this is irresponsible,” he said in an interview with German media group Funke. “The determined losers are more important to the functioning of a democracy than the bright winners.”
Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the German parliament, said on Twitter that “Trump is belittling the foundations of democracy with his behavior.” “If he loses, he won’t stay in the White House, but he won’t accept defeat either. He cares about public opinion – he is ready to poison everything for that “.
And even a man who is Trump’s closest ally, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is worried.
Abe said in an interview with Yukan Fuji, an evening newspaper: “We could say that the United States was in turmoil and confusion because the election was a minus for allies and nations. like-minded family. “That wish is resolved as soon as possible.”
Foreign news agencies are similarly concerned. The British Economist says Trump’s narrowing path to a second term and his loss of the total number of popular votes is “a denial of categories”, but added that “the sudden end of the vote also means that populism will exist in America. ” Even if the Biden administration wants to restore alliances, they say, “everyone will know that it can all be back up again by 2024.”
In a statement on Thursday night at the White House, Trump again claimed without evidence that he had been cheated and made unfounded allegations of popular vote fraud – remarks threatening threatens to further undermine the credibility of American democratic practices. His campaign published legal challenges to determine which number of votes would be counted.
And as the number showed his lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania narrowed on Friday, Trump tweeted more unfounded statements about election fraud, and repeated the incorrect statement that he won.
Regardless of the outcome, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper said the election exposed growing divisions in American society, based on race, religion, and region.
“It is as if the United States of America today is made up of two completely different countries,” said the columnist Vox Populi on the front page. “And the world, including Japan, is interested in needles and needles until it is clear which of these two America has won the 2020 competition.”
The British left-wing Guardian was even more fierce, reflected in an editorial on “profound weaknesses” in American democracy, and what the electoral college system it called “an abuse of ripe to leave “. It also paints a bleak picture ahead, showing the possibility of a Democrat-controlled White House and a Republican Senate causing more deadlock and grief.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tried to draw a parallel between Trump’s reluctance to accept the election results and the British government’s refusal to ask Scotland to hold a second referendum on independence. .
“As we see across the Atlantic just now, the politicians who are against democracy won’t prevail,” she tweeted. “Let’s not underestimate this trash. Instead, let’s keep doing and win the independent case. Power does not belong to the politicians – it belongs to the people.
With Biden eroding Trump’s lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania, and holding a slim advantage in Nevada and Arizona, the Democrats’ path to the White House is becoming clearer.
However, some leaders are not inclined to pre-weigh their judgments in the absence of a clear winner or court decision on legal challenges.
In Japan, where China’s growing military assertiveness is provoking growing warnings, questions about America’s credibility as an ally are always sought after on social media. .
“I think it is time for Japan to strengthen its defense without relying on the US,” commented one popular user.
While some around the world enjoyed the slow tally of votes, others appreciated the power of the system. “We can all joke about how long it takes America to count our votes. But it also emphasizes that every vote is actually counted in their system, ”said Nidhi Razdan, a journalist in India.
American media also garnered praise in India from commentators for pointing out Trump’s lies about the election being stolen from his hands. “A media with a true backbone with power! Good morning! ”Said journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. The ABC, CBS, NBC news networks’ decision to cut off Trump’s speech on Thursday night for the misconduct has received special praise with many. he laments that it will never happen in India.
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said during a press conference that she hopes the United States can “get back to normal”, while repeatedly criticizing Washington for “meddling” in matters. of Hong Kong and China. rights of the Hong Kong people.
Meanwhile, futures for US stocks and European markets plunged on Friday. Asian indexes fell after a strong week, as investors bet that the combination of Biden in the White House and Senate-controlling Republicans would close on any significant rise in corporate tax or the massive introduction of new regulations.
Niha Masih in New Delhi, Jennifer Hassan in London, Akiko Kashiwagi in Tokyo, Amar Nadhir in Washington, and Shibani Mahtani and David Crawshaw in Hong Kong contributed to this report.