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Oxford’s Chancellor says “Trump poses an existential threat”

Lord Christopher Patten claims that Trump threatens global order and condemns the promises of his election campaign

Lord Christopher Patten, the Chancellor of Oxford University, has branded Donald Trump’s election as President “an existential threat” in an article published on Project Syndicate.

In the article, titled “Will Trump Bring Down the West?”, the former EU commissioner claims that Trump’s Presidency threatens the “entire system” of global order, which has been built in the West.

He states, “If Trump does in office what he promised to do during his crude and mendacious campaign, he could wreck a highly sophisticated creation, one that took several decades to develop and has benefited billions of people. Those of us who, like Americans, have gained from it must fight for it while it still breathes.”

“A Trump presidency also poses something of an existential threat. His derogatory comments about marginalized groups – including Muslims, Mexicans, women, and people with disabilities – imperil the values that are fundamental to America’s identity and place in the world, and that bind the countries of the West together.”

Patten praises Merkel’s response to Trump’s election and her recognition of “how quickly the collapse of US leadership could bring about the end of the post-1945 global order”.

He continues, “Like Merkel, we should all speak up for all that the West has stood for, and all that it has achieved. We must condemn any move by Trump to shirk the rule of law and the norms of a free society. We must argue the case for free trade, which has brought far-reaching benefits to humanity. And we must fight to uphold the nuclear deal with Iran and nuclear non-proliferation around the world.”

“The idea of “the West” is one of America’s finest achievements (though many other countries have also contributed). It would be a true disaster for the world if America, in an act of self-destructive decadence, tossed this noble, practical, and inspiring creation into the dustbin of history.”

Patten condemns the “dangerous policy” and “highly destabilizing” stance that Trump could pursue in backing away from America’s security arrangements with countries like Japan and South Korea, as well as with NATO.

He describes Trump’s stated approach to climate change as “problematic” and stresses the need “to reiterate our commitment to stand firm against Russian adventurism in Eastern and Central Europe”.

In addition, he discusses Trump’s economic policy, taking issue with his promise to “advance trade protectionism” which he argues is not the solution to the rising income equality which has “economically marooned” the American working class.

The office for the Vice Chancellor Louise Richardson has told Cherwell that she will not be issuing a formal statement about Trump’s election as President.

Oxford University has been contacted for comment.

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