German chancellor Angela Merkel issues warning to Trump disguised as congratulations
On Wednesday, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a shrewd and carefully worded statement of congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump — letting him know that the future of the alliance between Germany and the United States is contingent on which values he plans to espouse as leader of the free world. Trump would do well to listen to Merkel, given her immense influence as the de facto “decider” of Europe, especially in the post-Brexit world.
“Germany and America are connected by values of democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views,” wrote Merkel. “I offer the next President of the United States close cooperation on the basis of these values.”
If this message sounds particularly frosty, that may be because Trump criticized Merkel for Germany’s formerly open-door policy regarding refugees which stand in contrast to his proposed Muslim immigration ban and plans to build a wall along the Mexican border.
“What Merkel did to Germany is a shame, it’s a sad, sad shame,” Trump said on the campaign trail. He called her a “great leader” despite the fact that he ” was very disappointed in this move with the whole immigration thing.”
According to The Washington Post, Merkel’s deputy chancellor Sigmar Gabriel spoke more freely when discussing the incoming president:
“Trump is the trailblazer of a new authoritarian and chauvinist international movement. … They want a rollback to the bad old times in which women belonged by the stove or in bed, gays in jail and unions at best at the side table. And he who doesn’t keep his mouth shut gets publicly bashed.”
Of course, Trump’s win has given Merkel and European leaders reason to worry, as right-wing populism across the pond may be given a boost by the demagogue’s victory. The Daily Mail reported that right-wing parties are expected to see a rise in support in during next year’s elections.
“Demagogic populism is not only a problem in America,” Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told German news site Bild Daily. “Elsewhere in the West, too, the political debate is in an alarming state.”
Here is Merkel’s statement in its entirety:
“Please accept my congratulations on your election as President of the United States of America.
You will assume office at a time in which our countries are jointly facing many different challenges.
Germany’s ties with the United States of America are deeper than with any country outside of the European Union. Germany and America are bound by common values — democracy, freedom, as well as respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each and every person, regardless of their origin, skin color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or political views. It is based on these values that I wish to offer close cooperation, both with me personally and between our countries’ governments.
Partnership with the United States is and will remain a keystone of German foreign policy, especially so that we can tackle the great challenges of our time: striving for economic and social well-being, working to develop far-sighted climate policy, pursuing the fight against terrorism, poverty, hunger, and disease, as well as protecting peace and freedom in the world. In the years ahead as president, I wish you a sure hand, every success, and God’s blessing.”
[NYT | Photo: Getty]