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Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated a Donald Trump presidency as one of its top 10 threats to global stability and security. Other threats included Britain leaving the European Union and Russia’s military action in the Ukraine and Syria leading to a new Cold War.

A Trump presidency was given a risk level identical to that of the rising threat of jihadi terrorism destabilizing the global economy.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Explaining his inclusion on the list, the EIU noted areas such as Trump’s hostility towards free trade, his exceptionally right-wing stances on the Middle East and jiadhi terrorism, and his likelihood to engage in trade wars with countries like China.

According to Politico, this is the first time a presidential candidate’s election was rated a geopolitical risk to the U.S. and the world.

While Trump has many detractors within the U.S., it’s important to look beyond our borders to examine the impact his election would potentially have abroad, particularly when it comes to our traditional allies.

Early this year, the British parliament debated whether to ban Trump from entering their borders altogether, letting MPs, in an almost-Trumpian rhetorical shift, call the Republican frontrunner “poisonous,” “a buffoon” and a “wazzock,” which is British slang for “a stupid or annoying person.” In the past, the UK has banned individuals including U.S. pastor Terry Jones, who planned a Quran-burning protest.

Germany, one of the world’s strongest economic powers and a key leader in the European Union, has seen its fair share of negative reaction to the Trump phenomenon. One German lawmaker, following the UK’s lead, has called for Trump to be banned from Germany, as his “rants of hate against minorities and refugees could constitute the criminal offence of incitement of hatred.” German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel also spoke out against Trump, labeling him a threat to global peace and prosperity. Trump has been highly critical of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policies throughout his campaign.

Concern for a Trump presidency extends beyond Europe, though. Trump has generated widespread disdain and outrage regarding for his comments about barring Muslim from the U.S. and claims that Islam is a religion that “hates us,” essentially decrying almost a quarter of the world’s population.

Trump has also expressed his belief that Saudi Arabia should have to pay the United States for “protection.” “In response to Trump’s hallucinations: God and Saudi Arabia’s army will protect it,” noted an editorial in a news site authorized by the Saudi Ministry of Information and Culture. Saudi prince and billionaire investor Prince AlWaleed bin Talal expressed his distaste for Trump via Twitter, claiming he bailed out Trump twice, and wondered if Trump needed a third bailout.

Even Israel, American’s closest ally in the Middle East (with their own tough-talker, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Trump. According to an Israeli opinion poll by the Rafi Smith Polling Institute, only 14 percent of respondents support Trump, as opposed to the 41 percent that back Hillary Clinton. Netanyahu, who Trump stumped for in Israel’s 2013 election, also rejected Trump’s aforementioned call to ban Muslims from the U.S., and the Jerusalem Post has written that “Donald Trump may not be the best choice to repair American-Israeli relations in the post-Obama era.”

That’s just the start. According to Reuters, diplomats from India, South Korea, Japan and Mexico have all also expressed concern at the prospect of a Trump presidency, based on his xenophobic rhetoric.

As we roll into what CNN has helpfully named “Western Tuesday,” voters should remember: Trump is drawing the ire of even our staunchest allies abroad, and merely electing him would have a hugely negative impact on the perception of America internationally.

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) afternoon general session in Washington March 21, 2016.      REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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