Donald Trump and the Return of European Anti-Americanism

In Germany, Der Spiegel, one of the largest-circulation publications in Europe, published a cover, after Donald Trump’s election victory, with an image of a giant meteor in the shape of Trump’s head hurtling towards the earth. The headline reads: “The End of the World (As We Know It)”.

 

  • European criticism of Trump goes far beyond a simple displeasure with the man who will be the next president. The condemnation reveals a deep-seated contempt for the United States, and for American voters who democratically elected a candidate committed to restoring American economic and military strength.
  • The primary cause of the global disorder is the lack of American leadership at home and abroad. A series of feckless decisions by Obama to reduce American military influence abroad have created geopolitical power vacuums that are being filled by countries and ideologies that are innately hostile to Western interests and values.
  • For the past seven decades, the U.S. has spent hundreds of millions of dollars annually to guarantee German security, although Germany steadfastly refuses to honor a NATO pledge to spend 2% of GDP on defense spending. Germans are now offended that Trump is asking them to pay their fair share for their own defense.
  • Although President Obama’s foreign policy missteps have made Europe much less safe than it was eight years ago, European elites have overlooked Obama’s mistakes because he is a “globalist” who seems to favor recreating the U.S. in the European image. Trump, by contrast, is a nationalist who wants to rebuild the U.S. in the American, not the European, image.
  • European anti-Americanism is certain to escalate in the years ahead, not because of Trump or his policies, but because “globalists” appear desperate to save the failing European Union, an untransparent, unaccountable, anti-democratic, sovereignty-grabbing alternative to the nation state.

European anti-Americanism — which was on the wane during the presidency of Barack Obama, who steered the United States on a course of globalism rather than nationalism — is back with a vengeance. Continue reading