American intellectual Noam Chomsky spoke on Monday night at a 20th anniversary event for Democracy Now! about the dangers facing the United States in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory.
Chomsky touched on various threats facing the country, which are now more concrete since Trump’s win, namely the dangers posed by climate change and the possibility of a nuclear war.
He explained how Trump taking office could have serious implications on various global U.S. sanctions and what that means for the country moving forward. For instance, Trump’s victory could reverse the Iran nuclear deal.
“Other countries who are parties to the deal might well continue,” he said. “That means ignoring U.S. sanctions. That will extend U.S. isolation, even from Europe.” However, U.S. isolation from Europe had already begun with Brexit, when the UK voted to leave the European Union in June.
Western countries have been aligning with the Radical Right, which has been described as a pushback to globalization, and the United States followed suit with the Brexit vote by electing Trump.
As political strategist Steve Schmidt explained just before the Nov. 8 election, “this is the second of four really consequential global elections,” where people are voting based on whether they have economically benefited or not from globalization. But these votes have implications beyond the economy.
“Brexit may assist with [American isolation] because Britain was the voice of the United States in NATO, the harshest voice,” Chomsky continued. He noted how this also contributes to the decline in American power, and thus American imperialism.
“The threats and dangers are very real,” he said. Namely, the positions that Trump has taken in regards to climate change and the Iran deal pose a threat to the future of the country and the world.
“The threats that we now face are the most severe that have ever arisen in human history,” Chomsky warned. “They are literal threats to survival: nuclear war, environmental catastrophe.”
He continued, “They became more urgent on November 8th, for the reasons you know and that I mentioned. They have to be faced directly, and soon, if the human experiment is not to prove to be a disastrous failure.”
Watch his full remarks below.