Some Thoughts on the Return of European Anti-Americanism

The Colossus of Freedom

The Colossus of Freedom

From Gatestone:

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.

Europe’s media establishment has greeted Donald Trump’s election victory with a vitriol not seen since the George W. Bush presidency, when anti-Americanism in Europe was at fever pitch.

Since the American election on November 9, European television, radio and print media have produced an avalanche of negative stories, editorials and commentary that seethe with rage over the outcome of the vote.

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.

If the past is any indication of the future, European anti-Americanism will be a pervasive feature of transatlantic relations during the Trump presidency.

Although European opinion-shapers have focused much of their indignation on the threat Trump allegedly poses to global order, the president-elect will inherit a world that is significantly more chaotic and insecure than it was when Obama became president in January 2009.

The primary cause of the global disorder is the lack of American leadership — leading from behind — 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. China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and radical Islam — among many others — have all been emboldened to challenge the United States and its allies with impunity.

European elites have been mostly silent about Obama’s foreign policy failures, but are now lashing out at Trump for pledging to restore order by “making America great again.”

As during the Bush administration, anti-Americanism in Europe is once again being driven by Germany, a country that was effectively rebuilt by the United States after the Second World War. The Marshall Plan granted West Germany some $1.5 billion ($15 billion in 2016 dollars) in reconstruction aid between 1948 and 1951.

For the past seven decades, the United States has spent hundreds of millions of dollars annually to guarantee German security, although Germany steadfastly refuses to honor a NATO pledge to spend a minimum of 2% of GDP on defense spending. Germany spent only 1.16% of GDP on its own defense in 2015 and 1.15% in 2016. German officials are now offended that Trump is asking them to pay their fair share for their own defense.

Following is a small sampling of recent European commentary on Donald Trump and the United States:

In Germany, the Hamburg-based newsmagazine Der Spiegel, one of the largest-circulation publications in Europe, published a cover 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). The issue includes more than 50 pages of related content, including an article by Dirk Kurbjuweit entitled, “One-Hundred Years of Fear: America Has Abdicated Its Leadership of the West.” He wrote:

“For 100 years, the United States was the leader of the free world. With the election of Donald Trump, America has now abdicated that role. It is time for Europe, and Angela Merkel, to step into the void….

“Trump, who wants nothing to do with globalization; Trump, who preaches American nationalism, isolation, partial withdrawal from world trade and zero responsibility for a global problem like climate change….

“We now face emptiness — fear of the void. What will happen to the West, to Europe, to Germany without the United States as its leading power?

via Donald Trump and the Return of European Anti-Americanism

Well, isn’t that sad? They don’t like us when we act like Americans. Boo-freakin’-hoo. Thing is, us acting like Americans kept them free enough to be able to hate us for the last century, us too, of course, which was the point. One could analyze this nonsense till the cows come home, but I doubt it is necessary. It’s simply envy.

Remember what P.J. O’Rourke wrote a few years ago (slightly NSFW) 🙂

I was having dinner…in London…when eventually he got, as the Europeans always do, to the part about “Your country’s never been invaded.” And so I said, “let me tell you who those bad guys are. They’re us. WE BE BAD. We’re the baddest-assed sons of bitches that ever jogged in Reeboks. We’re three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock market crash on our mother’s side. You take your Germany, France, and Spain, roll them all together and it wouldn’t give us room to park our cars. We’re the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap d’Antibes. And we’ve got an American Express card credit limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go. You say our country’s never been invaded? You’re right, little buddy. Because I’d like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who’d have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying ‘Cheerio.’� Hell can’t hold our sock-hops. We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, fuck longer and buy more things than you know the names of. I’d rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than king, queen, and jack of all Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and shit them out before lunch.”

Of course, this guy should have punched me. But this was EUrope. He just smiled his shabby, superior European smile. (God, don’t these people have dentists?)

That too is America, Rowdy, loud, a bit uncouth, and proud. It’s something Trump taps into. Europe has never gotten over the fact that their best and brightest became Americans, as I’ve said so often, America is a self-selecting society, for the best and bravest from around the world. A prediction: we’re going to get more of their best, probably in the next decade.

The other thing about America is this, we learned long ago that to get more we don’t have to take someone else’s. We can simply make more. Grow the pie, a rising ocean raises all boats, no European ever said either one. But if you’re a small man boy, who only knows how to run his mouth, well, making things is hard, it’s much easier to steal, especially from the poor, as we all know the basis of the welfare state.

As we enter a new administration, Europe might want to think a bit, because I think a good part of America has had just about all the crap we’re going take from Europe. Maybe their Kulaks really would prefer Putin, sure looks like it from here.

John Wayne spoke for all Americans when he said this:

“I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”  – The Shootist (1976)

Goes for our friends too.

America’s back, Jack. Deal with it. All you have to do is to want the best for all the people.

 

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

21 Responses to Some Thoughts on the Return of European Anti-Americanism

  1. I love America! But it is in deep trouble, with debt, racial divide and overt postmodernity, which affects all of the West. It is not the America I remember, from my own military experience, which ended with Gulf War 1 (for me). And 8 years of Obama will be very hard to change I am afraid? I am always a realist, but I am here in the USA, and will proudly support her, and the coming Trump presidency!

    Btw, John Wayne, American! “Wha-ha Pilgrim!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Lot’s of problems sure. But the American way is to solve them, one piece at a time. We’ll see if it works, I think it’s more about attitude than anything else. 🙂

      Like

      • I agree, but of course America, and the whole of the West is in grave need of a Judeo-Christian renewal, and sadly I don’t see this on the horizon? Our hope can only be in God/Elohim-Yahweh, and His Son, Jesus-Yeshua: God Incarnate!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan Hanssen says:

    That’s interesting. I don’t know if any of it is true, but it is interesting. I do not know of anyone who hates America. I know plenty of people who hold America in disdain, maybe contempt, but not hate. It’s probably closest to pity for many.

    But this is for the nation proper. Americans fall into two camps. There are those Americans who know Europe, can interact well here, and can fit in, and those who are loud, usually large, and sometimes unknowingly obnoxious. The first are welcomed, the later tolerated but again with general contempt. I saw (today) a young man being told that he should remove his baseball cap while inside of a cathedral. The cathedral was maybe a millennia old, Charlemagne’s Church, and it was still functioning, so it was sacred grown. His parents seemed a little irritated, but it was just common courtesy. But this embarrassed my American friend, so it is not as if it were limited to Europeans. Anyone familiar with Church courtesy would be offended.

    But in general I do not think anyone hates America, but I think plenty are disdainful of some American actions.

    Donald Trump is another matter, but most see him as an ignorant buffoon who failed at everything he has tried.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The latter, toward Donald Trump, was the mistake the general media and Ms Clinton made! And there are plenty of people who hate America, just get outside of your American borders, especially in the Middle East!

      Liked by 1 person

      • NEO says:

        Actually, Fr Robert, Jan is Dutch. He’s also a pretty smart guy, although he doesn’t know us well, yet.

        Like

        • Yes, the dislike and misunderstanding of Trump is European for sure! Even in the UK Trump is a basic negative generally. And note the lecture about the two types of Americans, I have been here in America for several years, and I am still learning about Americans! And I was “attached” twice with the American military as an RMC (Marine Force Recon, MACVSOG, and Marine Batt. Recon), so from a military perspective I think I can give my opinion at least of some Americans.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I should note for our Dutch friend, that my so-called Irish born little brother, (54) was an American Marine in the 1980’s (served in combat in Beirut, 1983). And he has become and American citizen, and voted for Trump! So walk softly with me (I am 67, and a retired RMC officer/”Mustang”). Yes some good ole Irish pride here! 😉

          Like

      • Jan Hanssen says:

        I am not certain that there was a mistake in any of it. Donald Trump’s list of business failures is extensive and well documented. You only have to look at his current efforts to see his orientation towards branding and not towards business acumen. He is more Kardashian than Buffet, despite claiming the reverse. I am not certain anyone cared, however, which many Europeans saw as a problem.

        Just where outside of America would you recommend I go?

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          There is truth in that, but then America, as Jess used to say, isn’t a strip of dirt, it’s an idea, in a very real sense, it is a brand, which we have been selling short for a long time, and it is time to promote it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I lived and taught in Israel not long after Gulf War 1 (almost 5 years), I would quite recommend that for sure! Though I am now a Zionist Christian myself, and pro-Israel!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Jan Hanssen says:

          I am not sure what the US brand is, anymore, or that anyone else does either. Did you see this clip from the HBO series “The Network”? It has made the rounds…

          Almost everything in the clip is true, and I do not see anything in the works which would change it. In terms of education, health care, economy, even military power, the US is on the wane in every category (somewhat less so in economic terms, but the poor labor force employment and training is going to hurt for some time and only get worse). And with 20 trillion in debt and climbing, it is unclear that anything can or will be done.

          As a specific example, one of the things we discussed, briefly, was the failure of the American educational systems. Some new standards coalesced from different proven systems and were introduced, but immediately rejected by the American populace. Such actions are not only counter-productive, but indicative of an inability to fix the problem.

          I do not see much changing. Even with respect to debt, everyone agrees less must be spent, but every program is supported by someone who defends it, so nothing is ever cut. And likewise, your taxes are very low when compared to the rest of the world, but raising them seems impossible. It is a trap from which democracy does not seem to have the solution. Not that I am proposing scrapping democracy. But I do not see leadership providing any solutions.

          It seems like the main brand of America is “We’re Number 1” while everyone knows it is an empty gesture and untrue. If America could be summed up by a song, I think Springsteen’s “Glory Days” would be most apt. The good-old days are gone, likely forever, and no one wants to admit it or do anything to fix the problem.

          Watching Trump, it does not appear that he has the slightest idea how to MAGA, or what greatness even looks like.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Not sure that I disagree here much, with you or that clip. Surprised? Shouldn’t be, I’ve written about most of them. The problem, as it always is, who’s ox gets gored. That may be Trump’s advantage, we’ll see about that.

          Democracy has no answer for it, nothing new about that. Ben Franklin said, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.” It may be so, or it may be that we figure out a way, either that or not, what cannot continue, won’t. One clue, America is not the greatest in any category, but if you want to say we aren’t still the greatest, you have to identify who is. Greatness is always relevant, and it’s always an aggregate measure.

          We have problems, sure. Ours are exacerbated because we provided free defense for western Europe since 1945, and some other bad choices. That doesn’t mean they aren’t curable. It won’t be the work of a few months or years, it took us 80 years to get here, but, you’re correct, we must start.

          Liked by 1 person

        • As NEO has been trying to point out, America and the USA is “not” about ‘one brand’ per se, but many! From Coyboys/Cowgirls, to you name it! But “Country Music” for example has surely changed also! And I play a wee bit of guitar myself, from my Martin acoustic to my old Fender Jazz Bass! So Rock on Americans! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • It’s called “Freedom”! 🙂

          Like

    • NEO says:

      Would you be surprised that many, likely a majority, of us would have reprimanded him as well, nor would we have been embarrassed to. I’m offended by any fool who wears a hat indoors, although I make the same exclusions our military does.

      Other than that, I sort of agree, but you know, the constant refrain of what can only be called Anti-Americanism grates hard on us all.

      Then you need to study him, and especially the people he’s picked much harder. They are uniformly excellent. Everything I’ve seen in the European press (including British) is simply execrable.

      There is no losing until you quit, and he never did. One of our generals said it, “We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again”. It was good enough to defeat the greatest empire in the world.

      Like

      • Jan Hanssen says:

        I think there is a certain psychological need to be held in contempt, because to some it conveys strength. If “they” do not like you, it must be because you are strong and “they” are weak. It is jealousy. Some Christian groups seem to feel the same way about being persecuted, they NEED to feel persecuted, even if the persecution is absurdly shallow.

        As for Trump’s picks, some seem good, some seem bad. Rick Perry seems completely unqualified.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          True, but not always. Some of us just like the security of being respected, and don’t tolerate disrespect.

          Then you just don’t understand how deep in our souls Texas is, and how important it is, as is low-cost energy to our way of life. I’ll easily grant that his brief should be to close the Department of Energy, but that’s a different matter. I’ve personally supported Perry twice, for President, as have many others.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. the unit says:

    As far as I can see which isn’t very far, you know that curvature/horizon thingy, there is the best comment given above considering where we are in the situation. That comment is quote “Lot’s of problems sure. But the American way is to solve them, one piece at a time. We’ll see if it works…” That’s all I can do. Wait and see. As Puma by Design said yesterday “God heard our prayers and on November 8, 2016, He took the wheel.” Why waste my time reading often misguided speculation? Of course generally not read here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yep, and you got some of today, in spite of me. If you don’t know, byDesign001, a black woman in Harlem (if I recall) has been around some since 2011 when I started this thing. She’s great people.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. the unit says:

    My my…My News LA.com had portrayed the video spill by Jeff Daniels as…”We’re not sure if Aaron Sorkin wrote this rant, too, but Jeff Daniels of HBO’s “The Newsroom” fame has reprised his Will McAvoy role with a wordy dump on Donald Trump.”

    Really dump on Trump? I guess he did mean it that way. But at the spill ending he said…”We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easy.”

    Well this spill was before Trump’s win. Who was voted for in the last election at that time? Scared? Who dared someone to cross a red line and didn’t do anything when they did? Ok, I was scared by that person and administration.
    http://mynewsla.com/hollywood/2016/05/12/jeff-daniels-reprises-america-not-greatest-country-in-world/

    Liked by 1 person

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