Elections are coming in Europe. That's where -- not in the United States -- we will see the first reverberations of the Trump Effect. Six months ago, it looked like Europe was drifting dangerously to the Right. Now -- after the world has had fifteen weeks of Trump -- Tony Burman writes that things are looking a little different:
For Europeans, Donald Trump’s chaotic circus finally came to town. Last weekend, senior members of the Trump administration spoke at the annual Munich security conference where, for the past five decades, Europe’s political and military establishment have met to review the world’s most threatening security challenges.
In Munich, Mike Pence, Trump’s vice-president, tried to reassure the Europeans. The U.S. supports NATO and the European Union, he promised, and it opposes Russia’s efforts to threaten Europe.
But Pence’s audience knew that these assurances were bogus. His boss was already on the record as ridiculing the EU and calling for its breakup, for applauding the Brexit vote in Britain and insulting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and for expressing his apparent puppy love — again and again and again — for Russia’s despised Vladimir Putin.European leaders have every reason to be worried. After all, Trump’s hostility and Putin’s aggression are a toxic mix. But it may actually be the voting booths of Europe — far from the heartland of America — that will provide Trump with his first big electoral rebuke.
Trump's cabinet officers say one thing. Trump says another. And Trump's the president. The Europeans know that Trump won't make America great again. He'll shrink it to an emaciated ghost of what it used to be. Burman has it right:
Step right up and see it before it’s over. America’s Shrinking Superpower: the greatest show on earth.
Watch it as the 20th century’s towering global leader magically transforms itself into a self-serving, shrinking pipsqueak.
We will know shortly what the Europeans think of the American Magician.
Image: The Film Society Of Lincoln Center