The British flagship financial magazine The Economist, considered one of the preeminent voices of the global financial, business and political elite, has waded boldly into U.S. politics, publicly calling for a Trump ouster from the race for Republican nominee with a cover story blasting the GOP front-runner.
In an email to subscribers, Economist editor-in chief Zanny Minton Beddoes writes that Donald Trump “is dangerously close to winning the Republican nomination for the presidency.”
Beddoes goes on to say that “Mr Trump is unfit to lead one of the world’s great political parties, let alone America. Republicans should tell him ‘You’re fired’ and rally behind Marco Rubio, the candidate with the best chance of beating him.”
The cover story, titled “Time to Fire Him” enumerates a list of reasons why the British mag feels that Trump is “unfit to lead a great political party.”
Constructing a scenario where Trump beats Hillary Clinton in a general election, the Economist calls a Trump victory “an appalling prospect.”
“The things Mr Trump has said in this campaign make him unworthy of leading one of the world’s great political parties, let alone America,” the piece continues. “Mr Trump has prospered by inciting hatred and violence. He is so unpredictable that the thought of him anywhere near high office is terrifying.”
“He must be stopped,” the writers demand.
They warn that Americans are becoming “desensitized” to Trump’s “outbursts.”
To recap, the writers state:
he has referred to Mexicans crossing the border as rapists; called enthusiastically for the use of torture; hinted that Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court justice, was murdered; proposed banning all Muslims from visiting America; advocated killing the families of terrorists; and repeated, approvingly, a damaging fiction that a century ago American soldiers in the Philippines dipped their ammunition in pigs’ blood before executing Muslim rebels. At a recent rally he said he would like to punch a protester in the face.
The magazine furthermore proposes a list of possible geopolitical crises that could face a Trump presidency, suggesting that no one knows how the candidate would respond.
“What would he do if faced with a crisis in the South China Sea, a terrorist attack in America or another financial meltdown? Nobody has any idea.”
The writers conclude that “it is difficult to imagine any candidate less suited to the consequence of winning a general election, namely governing.”
But if the primaries are a place to test candidates for leadership and courage, the magazine concedes, then Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, the leading alternatives to Mr Trump, “have flunked that test.” The piece goes on to propose that everyone else get out of Rubio’s way so that he can stand up to Trump alone.
Alas, everyone wants to tell Americans how we should govern ourselves, even when they cannot get their own political house in order. Elected British leadership has languished in mediocrity for decades now, in part because of heavy-handedness on behalf of party leaders–the same sort of behavior the Economist is advocating now.
This is, after all, the same country that last month staged a parliamentary debate over whether to ban Donald Trump from even entering the UK. One might think that there was some sort of personal animus at work here.
Moreover, after more than 200 years of experience, the Brits should have learned that when they try to tell Americans what to do, the strategy inevitably backfires.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter Follow @tdwilliamsrome