Monday, February 27, 2017

The alternative to Merkel is worse

David Goldman writes at Pajamas Media,
...Merkel’s migration policy is bad, but it is neither stupidly bad, nor wickedly bad. Rather, it is tragically bad. Germany has a gap in its soul. In between the citizen-of-the-world liberalism that characterizes its elite and the atavistic nationalism that attracts a small fringe, there is nothing there at all.

...It is useful to step back from the problems of political character and consider American interests in the cold light of day. Brexit isn’t bad for America; it reinforces the special relationship with Britain. If France, however, were to elect Marine Le Pen and put into play French membership in the EU, Germany would tilt eastward. The single most important news from Europe in the past year is the fact that Germany and China are now each other’s largest trading partners. Germany’s export confederation told the daily Handelsblatt, the country’s main financial newspaper, that if the U.S. goes protectionist, one could count on much closer relations between Germany and China. Russia, of course, is part of the bargain.

The last thing America should want is a Berlin that looks eastward rather than westward. Migrants in Germany can make all the mayhem they want, and we Americans may deplore it, but if the Germans choose to tolerate more crime and even more terrorism, that is their misery and of minor consequence to us. The idea that Germany is using the European Union as a blind behind which to cheapen its currency and cheat us in export markets comes (as I wrote Feb. 1 in Asia Times) from “Navarro-Navarro Land.” The U.S. stood godfather to the European Union, as the saying goes, to keep the Germans down, the Russians out, and the Americans in.

Few Americans really know how close we came to losing Germany to the Soviet orbit during the Cold War, or what risks we took to keep it in the West (I reported what I know of the story here). Helmut Schmidt, Germany’s chancellor during the 1980s, reasoned that if war came to Europe, the Germans would never know who won. He thought it best to surrender in advance. Helmut Kohl replaced him (probably with a bit of American help) in 1982, and stood at America’s side in return for American support for reunification. Angela Merkel was Kohl’s protégé, but forced him out over his improper use of funds for party purposes.

We should not risk giving back what we won at great risk during the Cold War. From an American standpoint, Germany’s decision to admit 1.3 million Muslim migrants seems foolish and self-destructive. We must be coldhearted enough to leave the Germans to sleep in the bed they have made for themselves.

Tragically, Angela Merkel is the best leader that Germany can produce at present.

I use the term “tragic” advisedly; Germany is doing the wrong thing because there is no right thing to do. Germany’s total fertility rate is just 1.4 children per female, but foreign-born women (8% of the population) accounted for 17% of all births as of 2010, which means that the native German TFR is around 1.3.

...In the meantime, Angela Merkel is as good a partner as the United States will find in Germany. That is deplorable but true. I predict that she will win the September elections, because the Germans are not so dumb as to ignore wes Geistes Kind lurks in the alternative. To the extent America can help her to do so, we should help Merkel.
Read more here.

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