Europe

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Featured image Get out the fainting couches! President Trump is in Europe, and once again he is saying the unsayable. The occasion is the NATO summit that began today in Brussels. Trump fired an opening salvo that included two themes, as reported by Bloomberg. The first is that Germany, in particular, undermines the alliance’s defenses against Russia by being too dependent on Russian natural gas: “It’s very sad when Germany makes a »

Dear President Tusk: Tusk you

Featured image The President of the European Council is one Donald Tusk. Tusk previously served as Prime Minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014 and was a co-founder and chairman of the Civic Platform political party. I concede that I don’t know much about him. I thought yesterday that he was entirely out of line with his comment on the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Minister in the cabinet of British »

Europe: Things Fall Apart

Featured image German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hanging on by her fingernails in Germany right now, as the backlash against migrants reached a critical mass in recent weeks. The cabinet minister who confronted Merkel and forced immigration concessions, Horst Seehofer of the “conservative” CSU party based chiefly in Bavaria, has seen his own poll ratings collapse in the aftermath of the political crisis. But this is just as likely to be the »

The Liberal Crackup

Featured image Forget, for the moment, our long-running “Civil War on the Left” series. That civil war is essentially over, and the radical “progressive” left has won. Notice how fast the left and the media is rushing to embrace their shiny new object, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young (and presumably wise) Latina who knocked off the incumbent number four-ranked Democratic House member Joseph Crowley (who, admittedly, I had never heard of before last »

“Something happened a while ago”

Featured image President Trump has urged that Russia be readmitted to what is now the G-7. He stated: Something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in. I think it would be good to have Russia back in. Whatever was it that happened “a while ago” that caused Russia to be kicked out of the G-7? I remember. Russia annexed Crimea. How long a while ago did Russia do that? »

Is “right-wing” Hungary the safest place for European Jews?

Featured image Hungary, under Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has become the bete noir of the American and European intellectual left. Its “illiberal democracy” (Orban is in office because two-thirds of Hungary’s electorate backed him) is the logical extension, they say, of the dangerous right-wing populism of Donald Trump, the Brexit movement, and so forth. “Populist” though it may be, Orban’s Hungary is arguably the safest place in Europe for Jews (100,000 of »

The Italian Crisis—Update

Featured image I thought I was suitably harsh about the magnitude and meaning of the Italian crisis in my post last night, but then I read the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial about it this morning: The President has now handed the populists more evidence that the elites don’t trust the Italian people. Mr. Mattarella has asked former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli to form a government, but he’s unlikely to win »

The Italian Crisis—and Ours

Featured image The media and the left (but I repeat myself) are in a tizzy that democracy in America is in imminent risk of being snuffed out, because Trump is at least Mussolini, if not Hitler. This is plainly ridiculous. As has been pointed out, Hitler would have gotten The Wall built and repealed Obamacare. Still, the Washington Post trumpets their self-regarding slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” while there is a flood »

European arrogance on display

Featured image The Washington Post reports that European leaders are vexed with President Trump. Sorely vexed. Our European partners feel that Trump “delight[s] in smashing transatlantic bonds.” The situation is so dire that, according to Josef Janning of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the post-World War ties that provided the basis for Western strength and peace for 70-plus years are probably gone forever. The end of the Trump presidency won’t restore »

How to tell whether a government is authoritarian

Featured image There are a number of ways. Here’s one: If people living in the country want to be on a government’s enemies list, the government is not authoritarian. No one within the jurisdiction of an authoritarian government wants to be on its enemies list. Being on such a list isn’t healthy. One can easily end up in jail, go missing, or even be assassinated. Under non-authoritarian governments, being on an enemies »

The Italian Earthquake

Featured image Italy is known for severe earthquakes from time to time, and as Paul noted yesterday, Italy’s voters just delivered an 8.0 magnitude political earthquake. As the dust settles, it is clear this was no mere minor swing in the vote.  Henry Olsen (our podcast guest last week discussing populism in Europe) notes today: Italy had every reason to change course. Its economy has been stagnant for years. Neither centre-right nor »

Italian voters send an unmistakable message

Featured image “Italians registered their dismay with the European political establishment on Sunday, handing a majority of votes in a national election to hard-right and populist forces that ran a campaign fueled by anti-immigrant anger. The election. . .was widely seen as a bellwether of the strength of populists on the continent and how far they might advance into the mainstream. The answer was far, very far.” So reports the New York »

The German Question, Again

Featured image As noted here a few days ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel is having trouble putting together a coalition government in Germany following a terrible showing in the last election. The German result was similar to the recent French election in one respect: it represents a repudiation of the main ruling parties. There is one big difference: while the French economy continues to stagnate, the German economy is arguably the best in »

CRB: The dream and the nightmare

Featured image This morning we conclude our preview of the new (Fall) issue of the Claremont Review of Books. The CRB works eloquently in every issue to further the mission of the Claremont Institute to restore the founding principles of the United States to their rightful place in our national life. In our preview of the new issue I have necessarily passed over several outstanding essays and reviews. Subscribe at the price »

The European Revolt Continues

Featured image The Czech Republic’s parliamentary election represented yet another rebellion against Europe’s political elites. The winning party, ANO, is considered centrist and won nearly 30% of the vote. Its leader, Andrej Babis, is a billionaire and has been described as a Czech Donald Trump. The Associated Press reports: The centrist ANO movement led by populist Andrej Babis decisively won the Czech Republic’s parliamentary election Saturday in a vote that shifted the »

What Is To Be Done? (European Ed.) [Updated]

Featured image Once again, Europe has been struck by Islamic terrorism. In Barcelona, a van plowed into a crowd on one of the city’s most popular streets, Las Ramblas, killing 13 people and wounding more than 100. The driver of the van escaped. Shortly thereafter in Cambrils, a short distance south of Barcelona, five terrorists went on a second spree, killing one person and wounding dozens more in a vehicle attack before »

By European Standards, Macron Is Courageous

Featured image During the French presidential election, Emmanuel Macron didn’t impress me. He seemed like the mother country’s version of Justin Trudeau. But earlier this month, he scandalized proper opinion in the EU with some straight talk about Africa: At a G20 summit press conference in Hamburg on July 8, French President Emmanuel Macron answered a call for an African “Marshall Plan” from a Cote d’Ivoire journalist. Macron’s stern, clear-eyed rebuff to »