Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Germany's Angela Merkel Warns That Europe Cannot Rely on US & UK Anymore

Surely, many of us who cannot stand Donald Trump were horrified that he wound up having so many supporters - enough, ultimately, to get him elected president.

However, I surely could not have been the only one who assumed that many of these people would finally catch on, and quickly for that matter, that this was a mistake, and that this man is unfit for this highest office.

Unfortunately, there is little evidence that there is any mass movement away from now President Trump, even as he bumbles his way through the first few months of his presidency. The problem that many liberal detractors of Trump are now facing is that they, like me, expected people to wake up when they finally realized - too late! - just how bad Trump is, because his supporters not only still do not realize, but they like everything that he is doing.

Here is a man who had no political experience, which his supporters actually enjoyed, but who is showing signs of really not knowing what he is doing. His mannerisms are crass and despicable, yet I know a supporter of his who mentioned this past weekend that what he likes about Trump is that he is a bully. He clearly lied to his supporters about certain things - making a point of locking up Hillary Clinton, making Mexico pay for the wall, releasing his tax information (remember, what was revealed to the public was a leak), divorcing himself from his business ties in good faith in order to not have a conflict of interest once in office - but they will quickly forgive him all of his trespasses. He has clearly lied both while running for office, and once in office, from charges that climate change was a hoax, and then denying that he ever said that, to claiming that there would be widespread election fraud, then backing off of that once the numbers looked friendlier, then returning back to those claims in suggesting that he did not actually lose the popular vote, and demanding an investigation, while offering not one shred of proof to back up those claims. He also claimed that Obama had been wiretapping him, although again, he offered not one shred of evidence. He fires people who are either investigating him or members of his administration, or are in position to do so, which clearly does not make for good faith, then acts shocked when people react with outrage. He continually makes boisterous claims about his abilities, while showing the public a decisive lack of these same abilities.

Recently, under the growing storm of controversy with new allegations seemingly coming out daily, President Trump went on his first overseas trip as president. He went to the Middle East, specifically to Israel and Saudi Arabia. In typical Trump fashion, he made a claim all too lightly that peace could be had in the Middle East, speaking in terms of a deal to be struck, clearly implying that he was the man for the job. 

You know what? I wish him well on that one. If he can do that, then great! I would give him tremendous credit.

However, I will not hold my breath waiting for this huge success, because Trump has already promised similar success plenty of times before, and has failed to deliver. Remember, he was going to be well on the way to "Make America Great Again!" within his first 100 days in office. We are well past that point, and all he has offered is big talk and no walk thus far.

After the Middle East trip, Trump went to Europe. First, he met with Pope Francis. If pictures tell a story, one after the other of the pictures taken show a beaming Donald Trump, and a deflated and clearly unhappy Pope Francis, who looks completely miserable after meeting Trump in person. Should we congratulate the president for irritating a man of the cloth, a man who is supposed to have the temperament of a virtual saint? Pope Francis tried to make sure that Trump understood the seriousness of climate change, and this same urgency was also shared by other European leaders, who tried to make clear just how important it is that the United States keep it's commitment made during the Paris Accord of 2015, which Trump has suggested he would pull the country out of.

Of course, when Trump met with these other European leaders, the meetings perhaps did not go so well, and maybe did not go any better than his meeting with Pope Francis.

How can we tell?

Well, here is what German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech following the G-7 Summit (during which she and other leaders met with Trump):

"The times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over." 


She went on, saying that Europe needed to rely on itself for it's own well-being “and really take our fate into our own hands.”

To that end, she told Germans that she would focus on closer ties with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron.

Germany is one of America's closest allies, and the perceived leader of Europe, and their head of state just basically said that they cannot rely or truth the United States (and others) anymore. This is a big deal! And you cannot beat around the bush on this, either. This was quite clearly the result of a meeting (not her first, either) with President Trump, which means it comes as a direct result of Americans choosing such a pathetic man for their president. 

She never mentioned Trump's name, yet she made clear that the summit meeting had this impact, as she said she came to this realization "in the last few days." 

Could she have been any clearer? Why are Trump supporters so oblivious to this clear rift between their nation and traditional allies in Europe? Do they truly feel that this will have no negative ramifications? Are they so deluded by Trump's promises that he will get America to win so much, that Americans themselves will get tired of winning, that they believe him, even as almost literally all of the news that has anything to do with this White House seems beyond bad, reaching staggeringly awful levels?

Frankly, I cannot blame Merkel, or the Pope, or anyone else, for that matter, for feeling that they cannot rely on the United States, or the United Kingdom following the Brexit vote, any longer. After all, these two nations essentially turned their back on the rest of the world, by voting for what they perceive to be their own interests, which apparently does not include working well with others. Indeed, in such a situation, Europeans will be forced to rely upon themselves more than ever, and to approach the United States and the United Kingdom with increasing caution and, yes, skepticism. 

Still more evidence that we live in sad, and increasingly scary, times. And if Americans still cannot understand that they are increasingly not the solution to the problem, but actually are the problem themselves with the way that they think and act and, increasingly, vote, then it is a willful ignorance that will surely come back to bite them in the future. They might not know the day and they might not know the hour, but this will cost Americans, and likely dearly, sometime in the future. It is true that no man is an island, and no nationality is exempt from having to deal fairly with other people around the world. 

Quotes taken and articles used in this blog entry are listed down below:

Merkel, After Discordant G-7 Meeting, Is Looking Past Trump By ALISON SMALE and STEVEN ERLANGERMAY 28, 2017:

How a single sentence from Angela Merkel showed what Trump means to the world Anchor Muted Background Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, May 29, 2017:

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