Though many American politicians have been disappointingly silent in the face of Donald Trump’s election and what are becoming his normalized scandals, from conflicts of interest and challenges to the Constitution, to Russian hacking and more conflicts of interest, to the appointment of a white supremacist, a number of world leaders have voiced their displeasure. Some have been fiery. Some have been melancholy. Some have been hilarious. All of them have been the kind of comments you love to see from real leaders.
Bill Shorten, Labor Party Leader, Australia
Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten was asked to apologize for calling Donald Trump “barking mad.” Instead of apologizing, he doubled down on his opposition to Trump. He did stop short of repeating the words “barking mad,” which is impressive restraint.
Francoise Hollande, President, France
“It makes you want to retch,” Hollande said of Trump’s “excesses.” He made this statement following Trump’s disrespect of Khazr Khan and his family. Hollande has also warned that Trump’s rise dangerously complements the rise of right-wing nationalism in Europe.
Every Party in Scotland
In the wake of Trump’s election, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had this to say to the Scottish Parliament: “During the campaign, I found so many of President-elect Trump’s comments to be deeply abhorrent, and I never want to be—I am not ever prepared to be—a politician who maintains a diplomatic silence in the face of attitudes of racism, sexism, misogyny or intolerance of any kind.”
On the issue of Trump, it’s difficult to tell the Scottish parties apart. Prominent leaders of Scotland’s conservative, liberal, and moderate wings (notably all female), all had negative words for Donald Trump.
Susanne Leutenegger Oberholzer, Socialist MP, Switzerland
Es droht ein schwarzer Tag für Frauen , Minderheiten, Export, Schweizer Franken.— Leutenegger Oberholz (@SusanneSlo) November 9, 2016
On election night, Oberholzer tweeted that it was a “black day for women, minorities, exports and Swiss francs.”
Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party Leader, Great Britain
“His solutions are not solutions.” Corbyn, who is often cited as Bernie Sanders’ analog in Great Britain, had some strong words for President-elect Trump the morning after his victory. Corbyn said, “We need leaders who don’t condemn women, leaders who don’t use racist rhetoric in an election campaign to gain support. The only way forward is bringing people together.”
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia
Sirleaf was one of few world leaders to hold out on congratulating Trump on his victory, though she did ultimately congratulate him a week later. She said of Trump’s election, “We are extremely saddened by this missed opportunity on the part of the people of the United States to join smaller democracies in ending the marginalization of women.”
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Germany
With his thoughtful, measured, melancholy words following the election, the power of Steinmeier’s words was in his contrast to Trump’s bombast. While he took the occasion to criticize the way Trump ran his campaign and his rhetoric toward his country, he also took the occasion to strike a tone of optimism and resistance on behalf of the German people.
Rafeal Correa, President, Ecuador
In a sprawling interview, the President of Ecuador (a democratic socialist) calls Donald Trump “simple-minded” and “crude,” but says that he hopes that a Trump administration will strengthen left-wing resistance in Latin America.
Aodhán Ó Riordáin, Labor Senator, Ireland
“America has just elected a fascist and the best thing the good people in Ireland can do is to ring him up and ask him if it’s OK to still bring the shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day.” In his passionate address, Senator Ó Riordáin puts the American election in stark terms, outlining Donald Trump’s fascist behavior, and condemning his colleagues for their failure to stand up to the challenge of an “ugly international crossroads.”