What does Europe think about Trump
Photo: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

If you were about to buy a car from a used-car dealer known for selling lemons and your neighbor tried to warn you about him, don’t you think it would be a good idea to listen? Our European neighbors are trying to tell us something. What does Europe think about Trump? We should listen.

According to the Washington Post, the British Parliament debated Jan. 18 whether to ban Trump from the country for “an extraordinary three hours” for peddling “hate speech.” Even though only the Home Secretary can actually ban someone in Britain, they were serious. More than 570,000 people signed a petition demanding that he be outlawed. A counter-petition attracted only 40,000 signatures. According to the Post, “No one spoke to defend Trump — and everyone took turns condemning him.”

What does Europe think about Trump
Image: Jane Wyman / CC BY-SA 2.0

But some of the condemnations are worth repeating.

The Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, said Trump was “divisive, stupid and wrong,” and added that, “If he came to visit our country, I think he would unite us all against him.”

Parliament member Anne McLaughlin of Scotland said that Trump is “the son of a Scottish immigrant. And I apologize for that.” (I apologize for all six Utah members of Congress!)

In the end, they decided that being stupid was not sufficient grounds to be banned from Britain.

What about the rest of Europe?

Since Britain thinks Trump is such a disaster, I decided to see what the rest of Europe thinks of him.

In Der Spiegel, the leading news magazine in Germany, an article discussing Trump declares that “The American Dream Is Broken.” The article concludes, “It may turn out that Trump is doing his country a major service with his candidacy because he is demonstrating very vividly what is rotten about this system. With all due respect, he’s a useful idiot.”

What does Europe think about Trump
Image: DonkeyHotey / CC BY-SA 2.0

The German news magazine Stern wrote about one of the GOP debates that all of the candidates fought a duel, “but it was actually just against a blowhard named Trump.”

A blog from the Netherlands, DailyKenn, agrees with me: “Trump gets millions in free name recognition, then decides to pull the plug after the media get substantially bored. … Is he serious? I doubt it. … It’s time the media dump Trump.”

The French newspaper Le Monde calls Trump “a wrecking ball” and describes his debate comments as the “poison of doubt he distills.”

The second-largest newspaper in Spain, El Mundo, published an editorial about the “stupidities of Donald Trump, the populist who threatens to become the candidate of the Republicans. I have no doubt that Trump tells them. In fact a ghost travels the world, and is the stupidity.”

In fact, about the only place in Europe where Trump gets positive press is Russia, where Putin likes him and controls the media with an iron fist. There are those who think that maybe Putin is just trying to influence the election so that his counterpart in America will be an idiot. Would Putin do that?

When Minnesota elected a professional wrestler as governor, I thought the people of Minnesota should be embarrassed. When Guatemala elected a television comedian with no previous government experience as president, I thought the people of Guatemala should be embarrassed. At least Guatemala had the excuse that all of the other candidates were thoroughly corrupt.

The entire Republican slate of candidates — especially Trump — makes me embarrassed for America. Surely we can do better than that.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Having Traveled in Europe when George W Bush was president, during the height of the 2nd Gulf War, I can tell you, that in general, Europeans view Americans as naive and primarily uninformed. I remember some American tourists would hide their nationality by having Canadian patches on their backpacks… BELIEVE IT OR NOT. In general Americans were detested at that time. I REMEMBER!!! I was in Europe for three months. … Bottom line, who cares what the Europeans think of us or the Donald… They have their own issues and basically see Americans through their own cultural filters…. Thank the UGLY AMERICANS who have gone overseas with no preparation and research for giving America a bad name. Oh yes, we do have a reputation for being cultural centric. On the other hand the Europeans are in their own insulated world. Regardless, Trump to them is simply an anomaly. Just realize the reality… The Simpson’s are the Brits favorite Americans… Now the French are a different story. LOL.

  2. I believe you. I traveled in Europe (specifically, England) at exactly that same time. Your comment illustrates an interesting closed thought pattern that is characteristic of tribes in general.
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    But before I get into that, I do want to thank you for your comment because the purpose of my column is to explore ideas and I would not be able to explore this one without your help.
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    We humans tend to be contradictory in our thoughts sometimes. On the one hand, we celebrate open-minded logical consideration of all points of view and support the concept of a “meeting of minds” as a solution to problems. But then on the other, we close off dialog by refusing to even consider the possibility that those other points of view could actually be valid or have anything worthwhile in them. As you said, this confusion infects European thinking just as it infects our own.
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    But the fact that this unfortunate myopia exists in others is not a reason to nurture it in ourselves.
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    To continue the case you brought up, if the United States had listened to the voice of the rest of the world and NOT invaded Iraq, think how different things might be now. Maybe our experience in Europe was telling us something then that we should have listened to then. Maybe they’re telling us something now that we should listen to now. Maybe our reaction to defend our own tribal values … regardless of the facts of a situation … is part of the problem and we will never learn to really overcome our — today, global and shared — problems until we learn to think outside our own cultural walls first.

  3. ‘hate speech’ in Europe means criticizing islam. So… they are about as reliable a source as our libturd medias.

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