I was hoping for some humorous anecdotes coming back from commie pal Trump’s PR nightmare trip abroad. You know, funny shit like him calling King Salman “Swami” or some other Rudyard Kipling–esque face plant. That is what you would expect from a man who has absolutely no idea of how the world works, tasked with holding his own in settings where he is the most unprepared person anyone there had ever seen as the leader of a first-world country.
Trump’s glaring lack of comprehension, now a global truth, was both a great embarrassment and a game-changing setback with potentially disastrous ramifications. But in his view, as he tweeted, it was another triumph: “Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!”
As Trump predicted last year, I have become tired of winning.
After the stench had subsided, on Sunday, May 28, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in front of a large crowd of supporters at a beer hall in Munich: “The times in which we could completely depend on others are, to a certain extent, over. I’ve experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.”
It’s one thing to broadcast that as a mere citizen, but when you hold your country’s highest elected office, your words will be heard all over the world. This is something that Ms. Merkel knows very well and America’s fuckup-in-chief can’t seem to get his head around. Unsurprisingly, she chose her words carefully. There was an obvious reference to Brexit, and the “few days” part was perhaps elicited by Trump’s belly flop on NATO concerns. It was also a heads-up that, due to shifts in American policy, relations between Germany and America will have to change. This is a big deal.
Trump’s intellectually maimed base loved it. As always, I read the posts under articles to get an understanding of where my fellow citizens are at. While most expressed disgust at Trump’s small-ball handling of complex issues, there were people who said that it was time for the snowflakes to wake up because the age of the handout was over.
I see. So Germany and the European continent start the day expectantly waiting for their next anything because the dreadful Obama leeched America’s coffers by hurling yuge amounts of cash to those lazy Euro do-nothings and they’ve become used to it. It’s time they toughen up, right?
For those who can’t imagine a world beyond their county line, every single thing in the world is interconnected. Any isolationist notions are utterly ridiculous. Terrorist cells in Europe seek to make their way to America. One of the best ways to defend against that is to work with your allies. Apparently, America only needs Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Chancellor Merkel was accurately pointing out the deteriorating state of one of the greatest alliances of the last 100 years. She wasn’t expressing anger but sadness that something might be coming to an end, and resolve to make the best of things going forward.
Germany and other European countries are leaving America behind in the bigoted
Never in our lifetime has there been an American president who moves so recklessly and leaves so much needless wreckage in his wake. It will never occur to Trump and his idiots that what Merkel said can also be taken to mean that Germany and other European countries are not only striking out on their own but also leaving America behind in the bigoted, stone-age darkness we seem to prefer.
To quite a measurable extent, the way the modern world operates is because of how America operates, from borders and conflicts to technological advancement and trade. This idea of “going it alone” might sound good on the street in Hubrisville, but America wouldn’t enjoy its great wealth if it had remained unto itself. If the world is a crime scene, America’s fingerprints are all over it.
Europe is a sketchpad for every move in the human playbook. They have seen it all. Plague, famine, war, fallen empires and death on an almost unimaginable scale. When you travel on the continent, the past is in the present. Evidence of World War II is all over the place, often preserved to remind people that it absolutely can happen again.
Humans are prone to repeating history because really, there isn’t all that much to do most of the time, so we get up to the same stuff as people did before us. That’s why there will always be war, corruption and incredible acts of inhumanity. How could it be otherwise?
I have never been anywhere that is trying to understand the future by assessing the past more than Europe. As far as sustainability, renewable energy and efficiency derived from scientific innovation, they are well into it. They cannot afford to look back.
This is not to say that the EU is a perfectly running machine. They have all kinds of problems and suffer the slings and arrows of dumb bastards every day. Anywhere there’s people, there are going to be variants of the same ailments. Humans eat and breed too much, are experts at killing, hate dying and want other people’s stuff as much or more than they want their own. You hope for the occasional ray of sunlight in between oil leaks and drone strikes and carry on the best you can, knowing that any piece of trash you pick up from the sidewalk and throw away will be replaced within minutes.
In Trump’s multicountry misstep marathon, he showed the world who he is, not who you are or what America is.
Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.
More from the mind of Henry Rollins:
White America Couldn't Handle What Black America Deals With Every Day
Bowie's Blackstar Is on the Level of Low and Heroes
No Matter Who Wins, America Is Only Going to Get Angrier
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