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Monday, March 4, 2024

‘Trump threatens democracy’

That was the headline Monday on the main editorial of Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten, long considered the country’s conservative newspaper of record. By stirring up “even more doubt about the (US) election process,” President Donald Trump is “causing great damage through his irresponsible behaviour.”

It was a highly unusual editorial in an otherwise staid and sturdy newspaper known for referring to the US, as does Prime Minister Erna Solberg, as Norway’s greatest ally. Aftenposten is now warning that Trump “continues to push the limits of what leaders can allow themselves to say and do,” and by doing so, “he’s weakening confidence in the pillars of a modern state.”

Aftenposten went on to comment that Trump, through his entire presidency, “has clearly signalled that he doesn’t view it as his job to be a unifying force, not even in crisis situations.” Not even the Corona pandemic has prompted him to change his behaviour, Aftenposten wrote, “but fortunately it looks like other Republicans have understood how serious the situation is … with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell feeling obliged to offer assurances that a transfer of power after the November election would proceed legally and peacefully.”

Trump’s threats to democracy “can have consequences also outside the USA’s borders,” Aftenposten concluded, because he’s become a mentor “for many conservative populists. Some of them lead democracies that are much more fragile than the USA’s. Trump’s illiberal approach contributes to legitimazing an authoritarian and destructive development.” staff



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