Anti-Americanism is a nasty disease: it induces paralysis, anti-Semitism, snobbery, violence, sympathy for extremist movements, and even teary empathy towards terrorists. It occurs when presidents aren’t leftwing.
The Europeans kept silent throughout the entire period of Obama’s detrimental failures in foreign policy, even when they cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and caused the migratory wave that currently plagues Europe. Now the people of the Old Continent find the slogan of “Let’s make America great again” unbearable.
Trump is being thrashed by the European press as an obnoxious loudmouth, above all is his choice of severing ties with globalism; but not only this, everything about him is annoying. Oh my God, he’s an American, he doesn’t even know if he believes in global warming, he certainly wants NATO countries to pay their fair share, for him the war against terrorism is the top priority, and then he likes Israel and suspects that Iran is a country capable of violating the nuclear deal.
That’s more than enough to go out with signs and banners, declaring him as a lout and a racist because of his allegedly “America First” agenda. While in Riyadh he actually on the contrary he encouraged a new alliance with the Sunni countries without demanding to be its boss, but only its ally.
The U.S. has spent millions each year to ensure German security while Germany refuses to spend 2 percent of its GDP in defense: when Ms. Merkel hears Trump reminding her of this fact, she claims to be the champion of an united Europe that in large part can’t stand Germany overwhelming economic power and interest, but here, in the name of anti-Americanism, she has become on all the newspapers its patron saint.
Left-wing presidents generally don’t inspire a wave of anti-Americanism: Kennedy, Clinton or Obama have never been subjected to overheated criticism as right-wing presidents, Reagan, Bush, and now Trump. Even if every president made mistakes.
But memorable hate was always toward republicans: let’s remember Reagan who initially was made fun of and thoroughly despised and subsequently recognized like the one who knew how to fight communism until its downfall. And Bush, who found himself immersed in the war on terror after September 11th, has been considered little more than an international criminal, while Obama’s drones and then the consequences of his compliancy in Syria didn’t raise any noble eyebrows.
Anti-Americanism is mainly French and German jealousy, self-hatred, the psychological fragility of an ever-fragile Europe, and today, let’s see it, afraid of being involved with Trump in an indispensable war against terrorism.
Translation by Amy K. Rosenthal
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (May 31, 2017)