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The politics of America and Europe, then, are fast diverging, with Britain drifting westwards, away from the Continent and eager to capitalise on Brexit. In such circumstances, being an Atlanticist becomes a badge of honour. Not since the era of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher have the prospects for Anglo-American amity been so bright: trade deals beckon, so does co-operation on security and defence, with luck also a transatlantic intellectual confluence, based on a renaissance of the nation state and Judaeo-Christian values. As for the Euro-utopians: they should be careful what they wish for. To see what Europe would now be like without the benign influence of Atlanticism, one need only contemplate the likely fate of the Continent in the Cold War had successive US presidents not extended their protection to their allies. This was most in evidence during the early 1980s. With astonishing speed, the West recovered from a political and economic sclerosis that could easily have been terminal thanks to the leadership of Ronald Reagan (ably assisted by Margaret Thatcher). His breezy optimism (it was he, not Trump, who coined the slogan “Make America Great Again”) banished the transatlantic crisis of confidence.

Can Mr Trump pull off the same feat? The West’s present predicament is different from that which unexpectedly catapulted Reagan the outsider into the White House in 1979, but there are analogies. Mr Trump’s greatest weakness — his unstable, even volatile character — could become a strength if it discourages our foes from taking risks. Just as Iran surrendered its American hostages within days of Reagan’s inauguration, so we may expect some rogue states to back off for fear of the notorious Trump temper.

This magazine has been highly critical of Mr Trump and his campaign. Now the president-elect deserves the benefit of the doubt. Several American contributors to Standpoint, such as the former UN ambassador John Bolton and the climate sceptic Myron Ebell, are close to or even part of the new administration; others in the conservative camp strongly opposed him. At the dawn of the Trump era, we have assembled a varied range of writers to discern the emerging shapes in the twilight of our civilisation. For nearly a decade, Standpoint has been one of the few havens of genuinely new thinking on either side of the Atlantic. Despite our charitable status and educational role, Standpoint’s survival is threatened by lack of funds. It would indeed be a pity if 2017, which promises to be no less dramatic than 2016, were to be our last. Donors should contact Michael Mosbacher at our editorial email address given below. Please give generously.
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Edward g stafford
January 21st, 2017
2:01 PM
Good advice to all. One correction, if memory serves, the Mullahs released the haistages on the same day Reagan came into office, not a few days after.

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