Post-election ripples: Trump’s friends and foes accross the Atlantic

The world is holding its breath. The aftermath of the US presidential election has left many questions unanswered. One thing that made it notable was the polarization involved, which was even greater than in the last presidential race. In 2016, very few Americans declared in a poll that political violence could be justified. Four years later, this number has risen to about 30%: a worrying proportion, especially when taking into account the fact that the results have been much more contested this time, and are now clouded in a mist of rumors and explicit accusations of fraud.

This polarization is not exclusive to the mainland American Empire: exclaves from the Mediterranean all the way to the South Pacific are setting up the pieces, ready to move them according to the result. Spain, which started the 21st century as America’s best friend in the Old Continent, has changed a lot, and is immersed in a deep political crisis (or reform, depending on where you sit). The “extreme” right-wing party Vox, of which we have talked in the past here and here, initiated a no confidence vote against the Social Democrat government led by PM Pedro Sánchez. The main issue was its management of the pandemic, although deep political divisions and a lot of Kulturkampf came into play too. If the objective was to remove the Socialists from power, the motion was a resounding failure. Only congressmen of Vox voted in favor, while everybody else, both from Leftist and Rightist factions, voiced their support for the government’s measures, most making a point of distancing themselves from Vox.

It should go without saying that Vox is the American party in Spain, or more precisely, the Trumpist party. The initial contacts between both sides were done through and Steve Bannon and Rafael Bardají. Bardají is, like Bannon, a publicist. He used to belong to the People’s Party (PP), and had strong ties to ex-PM José María Aznar, whose hawkish loyalties to George W. Bush ran uncontested and got Spain deeply entangled in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both Aznar and Bardají were founding members of the Friends of Israel initiative. He also belongs since 2019 to the executive board of Expal, one of Spain’s most important weapons manufacturers, and a key provider to Israel’s (and Turkey’s) armed forces.

This means that Vox is also the most pro-Zionist party of Spain, by the way; a fact which explains why it’s not really popular amongst old-school, blue-blooded Fascists. In fact, Vox has good relations with Netanyahu’s Likud party, and has received financing from Iranian opposition forces with alleged ties to Israeli secret services. This is of course in line with Trump’s biggest successes in foreign policy: getting the Arabs and Israel to forget their mutual grievances against Iran, to Obama’s and the EU’s chagrin.

In any case: the no confidence vote promoted by Vox had only one function: to force supposed rightist allies to take a stand. The People’s Party, still the biggest Rightist party in Spain, and which since the 2008 financial crisis has been playing Merkel’s game, viciously repudiated Vox. Ciudadanos (Citizens), which would be the French, center-liberal, jacobin-jupiterien alternative, also sided with the government, next to all its former black beasts: Bolivarian Communists and even Separatists allies. This effectively makes Vox the only opposition party, not only against the Social Democrats, but also to what they represent: the Franco-German, Open Society axis, of which the EU is the most important project.

It should be said that the EU might be Western and Liberal, but it’s not necessarily a pro-US organization. From a trade and geopolitical perspective, it’s one of the main rivals of America, and both powers have shown some antagonism during Trump’s administration. This is one of the key issues of Trump’s support for euroskeptic elements such as Italy’s Salvini, Hungary’s Orbán and Poland’s Kaczynski. It also explains why most European leaders are happy with the prospects of a Biden victory.

The People’s Party and Citizens have shown their true colors. They’ve also stated their allegiance to their masters in Brussels, and their opposition to Trump’s geopolitical projects. If Biden becomes President, they may continue enjoying their survival in Spain’s rightist circles under Pax Americana; if not, they’re done for. Vox put all its eggs in one basket, and now its only option is to follow through on its bet. The next questions are if the basket was the correct one, and who in Europe will do the same.