One of the great things about living in Europe, apart from the fact that I can leave my bank cards at home when going to the doctor’s office, is that I can openly declare my disdain of Donald Trump and rarely encounter a dissenting voice. Of course there are fringe elements here who love him, particularly among the racist ignorati. And I haven’t gone to London in a while so I don’t have to include London cabbies in my sample. But in England in particular and Europe in general, Donald Trump is disliked, even hated.
Even in Westminster, where the word is that the Prime Minister is privately hoping for a Biden win. Say what you like about Boris Johnson, and I’ve said plenty that is negative, he is his own unconventional, eccentric person. He doesn’t like Trump. Much of it probably comes down to ego (we are discussing politicians here, after all) because Boris didn’t appreciate having the phone slammed down in his ear by Trump when he refused to repudiate the UK’s deal with Huawei to help develop Britain’s 5G network. The UK ultimately relented following the imposition of US sanctions on the company.
However, the conflict has helped to reduce Johnson’s government’s appetite to strike a new trade deal with Trump. This is particularly good news in Britain because I’d like to go on leaving my bank card at home when I go to the doctor’s office, as previously mentioned.
And of course it doesn’t help at all that the president of the United States is best friends with a man who murdered a British citizen. Dawn Sturgess, a neighbor of mine, was poisoned by the Russian binary nerve agent called “novichok,” enlisted in an unsuccessful effort to kill a Russian defector.
In Germany, Angela Merkel has stood fast against readmitting Russia into G7, despite Trump’s overtures to reinstate him. Germans are aghast that the president of the United States would want to have anything to do with a man who puts out murder contracts on his own troops. It would appear that some Germans are horrified at this in ways that some Americans are not. Trump is about as welcome in Germany as Congressman Ted Yoho at a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
The Scots have a long history of hating Donald Trump. Trump’s golf courses on the British Isles have long served as a nexus for his attempts to enrich himself while in office, and his recent attempt to persuade the British ambassador to get the British Open for one of Trump’s golf courses hasn’t sweetened Scotland’s disposition toward him.
You get the idea. Trump isn’t big here. We don’t like him. I’m glad to live in the midst of such fine company. I lack the temperament to be philosophical about Americans who display the flags of traitors and enemies and claim to be patriots. Europeans wouldn’t understand such hypocrisy. Indeed, I’m glad to live in a land that only displays the Cross of St. George in solidarity with the English football team during the World Cup. Otherwise the flag largely remains in the closet. Too much patriotism is too much like jingoism which is too much like religion with guns. And I’m glad to live in a nation where guns are largely nonexistent.
I think America could learn a lot from Europe. For one thing, Europe doesn’t like Trump. And I think America will get a chance to learn just how bad Trump has been for her after November 3rd. Until then, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.