Thomas Gallatin / May 30, 2017

Merkel Bemoans U.S. Leadership Under Trump

The German chancellor comments imply that Trump has abandoned Europe — ironic since Trump is reasserting U.S. leadership.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a campaign stop upon returning from the recent G7 Summit in Brussels, and she took the opportunity to fire a shot at the U.S. Last week, President Donald Trump called out European countries for failing to live up to their agreed upon military spending commitments in support of NATO, and he also refused to commit to the Paris climate change deal signed by Barack Obama. Thus, Merkel declared, “The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.”

First, it’s important to note the context of her statement. Merkel is in the midst of what has been a rather contentious campaign season. Her audience was a crowd of fervent supporters whose opinions of Trump are akin to those on the American Left. Therefore, she’s clearly playing to the crowd as well as expressing her own frustration with Trump.

Second, Merkel is a globalist like Obama. Just last week, Obama tag-teamed with the German chancellor to promote his Obama Foundation, which is basically an organization dedicated to the promotion of globalism. In essence, Merkel is Europe’s Obama, as both share the same views on policy.

Third, Trump has effectively communicated that the U.S. will reassert its leadership role in both NATO and the rest of the world. No more of Obama’s dismally failed “leading from behind” nonsense. In fact, it’s ironic that Merkel’s allegation of Europeans being left to fend for themselves ignores the fact that such abandonment is exactly what has been occurring for the past eight years. Now that Trump steps up to reassert American leadership — in a direction not congruent with Merkel’s political views — there is the veiled implication of betrayal.

But the betrayal lies not with Trump calling out European leaders. Looking at Europe during Merkel’s time at the helm of the continent’s most powerful country, it’s not difficult to understand why so many Europeans are turning to populist political movements. Their leaders have failed to prioritize national sovereignty and the rights of citizens over foreigners. So while our mainstream media frets over Trump’s effect on relations with Germany, the real takeaway is that he’s ruffling the right feathers.

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