Trump Blames Germany for US Woes

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Trump: I will impose a 35% tax on BMWs made in Mexico for the American market.

Germany: BMW’s largest factory is in the USA. BMW employs 70,000 Americans. We make parts for Ford and Chrysler in Mexico, as does Bosch, etc. We just might move all jobs to Mexico, too.

Trump: There are no Chevrolets parked outside of German houses.

Germany: Make a better car.

Trump: The EU is the vehicle for Germany’s economy.

Germany: Let us drive, we have no speed limit and we just won the Formula One Championship. Again.

Trump: Merkel’s ‘Refugee Policy’ was utterly catastrophic (said 3 times).

Germany: We’ve got this. It’s called leadership, even when unpopular.

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Trump: Merkel’s policy caused Brexit.

Germany: Finally, and good riddance. They were never wholly in. What does the UK make again?

Trump: Other countries will follow suit. They will leave the EU.

Germany: We hope so. Then it’ll be better. Countries like Norway and Sweden would reconsider.

Trump: NATO is obsolete.

Germany: Thanks for the assist, forever indebted; we can stand on our own (see BMW, Audi, etc.).

Given this past Sunday, one has to wonder why so many of Trump’s attacks were on Germany, a friend, when others mean the USA harm. Is it fear of the Teutonic giants, who can work circles around their American peers? And get 30 days paid vacation? And have unions? And still turn out massive profits? AND win World Cups?

A Christmas Wish List to the Chancellor of Germany from Ingo Fuchs, 9

Weihnachtliche Wachsfigur von Angela Merkel in Berlin

Translated from the original

Dear Chancellor Merkel,

I know Saint Nicholas and Santa aren’t real, so Poppa said I should ask you to help. Here’s my wish list for Christmas.

Recently, my school class began a project to learn about government. It is boring for many. But not me – I like it. My Poppa talks about politics often at dinner. My mommy does too. My older sister just rolls her eyes, but I listen to what they say.

Poppa says that governments should do for the people what they cannot do for themselves. This sounds very good. Since we cannot afford a Porsche, and my Poppa wants one, can you get him a Porsche for Christmas?

You are the only leader of Germany I have ever known, though we did learn about some man from Austria who did many bad things. He had a funny moustache and I can see him on the TV every weekend when my Poppa watches it. My Poppa watches because he is fascinated that so many smart people followed the man with the funny moustache. I think the name of the Austrian man was Rudolph Hitler.

My Poppa says that you can become one of the greatest chancellors in the history of Germany. I would like that very much. But Poppa says you have much work to do. I may not recall everything he’s said but I will try and remember.

Young mother sitting at desk using phone while son sits on lap, holding sword

Firstly, our internet is too slow for Poppa to work at home comfortably without stress. He works at home so Mommy can continue her career. It is very difficult for Mommy to work and have children. She says some people call her a ‘Rabenmutter’. I don’t know what that is exactly but she doesn’t like it and she says English swear words to the people who say it to her. Can you fix the internet and make it easier for women to have children and careers? We don’t have enough children from Germany anymore. Can you make it easier on women and give them more incentive to have children? Maybe more people could work from home like my Poppa.

My Mommy works for a transport company. She says it now takes two hours for some trucks to drive 30 km because the bridges don’t support heavy weight. Can you fix that?

Merkel besucht Integrationsprojekte in Hamburg

Secondly, my Poppa says that too many people are afraid of immigrants. He says that we need immigrants, so we can become stronger like America. Poppa says that many immigrants who come here have a university diploma (he says that’s good), and are able to bring many skills to Germany. This sounds like it might help Germany. Poppa says that many people who come to this nice country don’t feel welcome enough. Can you help them feel more welcome?

Poppa also says that the European Union (EU) is good. I don’t know what a union is exactly, except I know you’re in a Christian Democrat Union, and Mommy’s favorite politician ever, Franz Josef Strauss, was also in a union. So unions must be good.

Poppa also says that for the EU to work properly, Germany has to take a more leading role. Germany should take the lead in policy, in military, in economics. If the rest of Europe doesn’t like it they should do more. But Poppa says since we have the strongest economy and the most money, we get to drive the car. 

Father and son on a wind farm

Thirdly, we need to continue to help the animals and the planet by being green. Mommy says it may cost more money ‘upfront’, but the long-term benefits of using renewable energies are big. Mommy also says the less gas we must buy from Russia the better. She says we should also continue to try and influence other eastern European countries to join our union.

Finally, Poppa says generally we Germans need to be more assertive, and not so risk adverse. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but Poppa says it often. Can you be more assertive? Our history is just that. We can expect to be included in all the important decisions of the world. Decisions not only in Europe, but in Asia and Africa too. We should show the world how we Germans can do things. But it will mean that we must do some things in the world that cost us money and maybe even some soldiers’ lives. I hate war, but Poppa and Mommy say sometimes it is necessary. Can you help?

I know that this is a long list of things that I would like you to do. If you can’t do them all, can you at least try to start them so that maybe the person who becomes chancellor after you can continue them? That would be great.

I also want to say that Poppa told Mommy that he had never been prouder to be a German than he was right now. He said it had to do with 25 years of East Germany and West Germany being reunified and all of the things that Germany did correctly, but the list is too long and you are very busy. Mommy said Poppa was proud to be German because Germany won the World Championship in Brazil. Mommy is usually right more than Poppa.

I wish you a very happy new year.

Yours sincerely,

Ingo Fuchs, 9

Tiefenbach, Upper Palatinate, Lower Bavaria, Germany

The Center of the World Is Germany

Geographically Germany is in the middle. It may be socially as well.

Geographically Germany is in the middle. It may be socially as well.

Germany. Just the name itself is enough to form an opinion. Perhaps no other country in Western Europe conjures up so many diverse and divergent opinions of what this land is. It is unquestionably, and has been for centuries, the center of Europe. And it may just very well be the center of the world.

Germany is the heart of Europe. Nothing that is important in Europe over the last 1,000 years has been decided without the Germanic peoples’ consultation, concordance or confrontation. It has been at various times an economic powerhouse, a well of enlightenment, a feared military juggernaut, and now a pacifist.

Primitive Beginnings

In its earliest years, the tribes that would unite to form Germany were overshadowed by the stronger, more organized Roman empire (which seems inconceivable if one looks at Italian politics today). When the Vandals (a Germanic tribe) sacked Rome in 455, the term ‘Barbarians’ had already been established. We have the word ‘vandalism’ as well. Common contemporary thinking at that time perpetuated by St. Augustine and the Catholic Church was that the sacking of Rome plunged Western Europe into darkness.

Professor George Brooks, a Medievalist from Valencia College, in Orlando, Florida, has spent his whole career trying to dispel this myth. In fact, he says, the period after the Roman Empire’s collapse was one of incredible progress. The term ‘Dark Ages’ is a misnomer. Dr. Brooks does admit that in the early years after the fall of Rome, the uncertainty surely made the population of western Europe uneasy, and for things to appear ‘dark’.

It is cliché, but Germany was forged in blood and steel

Germany was the battleground for the world's first world war

Germany was the battleground for the world’s first world war

The unification of the order and structure of the Catholic Church with Charlemagne’s military might (his main palace was in Aachen) set Europe on a path which would see it eventually overcome the difficulties presented by its enemies and the elements. German armies, under the auspices of the Holy Roman Empire, would be the sword of St. Paul, while the Catholic Church would be the Bible. This continued for the next 800 years plus, until the schism created by (yet another) German, Martin Luther, tore Germany (and Europe) apart.

Luther’s questioning of the Catholic Church led to the Thirty Years War, and an almost inconceivable destruction of Germany. It engulfed nearly every country of Europe at the time, and was for all intents and purposes Europe’s First World War.

Estimates from historians Marvin Perry and Jackson Spielvogel place the total number of Germans killed at 40% of the population in rural areas, some may have even seen numbers as high as 60%. The general agreed-upon figure is about 33% of the total population. Economically, it took until the late 19th-century before Germany fully recovered.

The Iron Chancellor put Germany on the road to power

The Iron Chancellor put Germany on the road to power

By the time Germany recovered, it promptly embarrassed France in the Franco-Prussian War, marching into Paris in less than 10 months from the opening of hostilities. France, in a rare moment of collective clairvoyance rarely seen since the French Revolution, had attempted to stop the unification of the different German kingdoms. Perhaps it recognized the danger of a more powerful country on its eastern border or it may have been unwilling to share the globe’s colonies, which it and Great Britain had been divvying up for three centuries.

Whatever the case, France felt more than many the brunt of German steel and technical ingenuity.

That power was sometimes misused, causing horrible damage to Europe and the world

That power was sometimes misused, causing horrible damage to Europe and the world

Germany twice unleashed these aspects again in the 20th Century, decimating Europe. Though the reasons for the two World Wars are more complicated than most realize, Germany has been, and will continue to be, blamed for both conflicts.

After near total destruction (which is another trait of the Germans – following a path to its absolute conclusion), Germany today has reconstituted itself into a world power. But with that comes the responsibility of trying to influence others to follow your lead.

Germany is the engine of the EU

Today Germany uses its economic muscle to influence decisions in Brussels, and the greater world

Today Germany uses its economic muscle to influence decisions in Brussels, and the greater world

Talks of any significance between developing countries normally have a seat reserved for Germany. Germany again finds itself in the position of being the driving force of Europe, much to the chagrin of Great Britain and France. But it cannot escape this fact, though it has little desire for the limelight.

Germany’s days as a military power on the field of battle are behind it. Its battles in the future will be fought over economic, environmental and societal issues. Germany can no longer think of itself as only an economic power. It must begin to accept its role in the world as a leader. The world is looking for a counterbalance to the USA – why not one of its strongest allies?

The most optimistic forecasts have Germany at the forefront of worker‘s rights and conditions, green energies and technologies, and integrating the numerous nationalities and ethnicities that have recently made Germany their new home.

Germany, with its long and storied history is poised to ‘show’ the rest of the world how things are done. Beyond building high-end products that the world desires, Germany is trying to fashion itself as a most tolerant, organized, and (environmentally) friendly nation.

Plans for carbon neutral cities are in the works. Much work needs to be done, but stakes are in the ground.

After World War II, few would have expected Germany to have recovered so spectacularly and some, like the Soviet Union (Russia), did all that they could to keep Germany from realizing that recovery.

Germany is not heaven on earth (Bavaria is even closer), but it is better here than in many other countries. Neither Germany nor Germans would ever claim such a thing (Bavarians WOULD). Others might just do it for them.

Note: The distance from Munich to Tokyo is 9,399 km, from Munich to San Francisco it’s 9,446 km, and from Munich to Capetown it’s 9,105 km. That’s pretty damned central.