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Merkel Looks at Trump like the Devil Looks at a Priest

By | July 17, 2017 | 3 Comments

My mother’s family emigrated from Russia when she was a little girl. She still recalled a few words of Russian and used them unexpectedly. One expression she used when someone glared at another with unconcealed hatred. As best I can recall, it was, “Chyort ne Papa,” meaning, “Like the devil looks at a priest.”

I had almost forgotten this expression. But just now, I saw a photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel glaring at President Donald Trump at the G20 meeting in Hamburg. Immediately, “Chyort ne Papa” popped into my mind.

No, I don’t believe that Merkel is the devil. Nor do I believe that Trump is a priest. Still, I must admit that there are some vague similarities. But the basic question is this: Who is right? When two people, or two cultures, or two philosophies, or two theologies are in conflict, the “modern” person says, “Golly, it’s too bad they disagree ‒ why can’t they just get along?” This pacifistic, non-judgmental, apathetic approach settles nothing. It merely papers over differences that may be crucial to our well-being, or even to our very survival.

The older approach, with which I agree, teaches that people can be known by their enemies.

You have enemies? Good. That means you have stood up for something, sometime in your life.
− Winston Churchill

Merkel grew up in communist East Germany and graduated from the University of Leipzig there. She was indoctrinated in communism from her earliest days. How far from the tree the apple fell remains to be seen. Her father served as a troop leader in the Hitler Youth. His wartime service is unclear. But once again, apples may roll a bit, but they tend to wind up near the tree.

In view of her origins, Merkel’s commitment to the democratic political system and the free-enterprise economic system may not be as deep as one might prefer. For example, Merkel pressured Mark Zuckerberg to censor Facebook posts that criticized Merkel’s pro-immigration policy. Freedom of expression? Nein! First Amendment? Was ist das? In contrast, Trump’s upbringing in a democratic nation and a capitalist family are too familiar to merit comment.

So what can we conclude when we see Merkel glaring at Trump with unconcealed hatred and contempt? When we add the deeply disparaging remarks Merkel made about Trump during the presidential-election campaign, the picture becomes all too obvious.

Parenthetically, we might note that interference in the American presidential campaign by a foreign leader should have elicited sharp rebukes from American leaders of both parties. That it did not says a great deal about the decline in our patriotism, the decrease in our self-confidence, and the diminution in our ability to rally together against outside interference.

Instead, American “progressives” see Europe as a role model to be emulated, rather than as a warning to be avoided. In effect, these foolish people are saying:

“Thanks so much, Europe. You perfected racism. You gave us communism, socialism, fascism, and Nazism ‒ not to mention the two bloodiest wars in history, as well as the Armenian genocide, the Ukrainian famine, and the Holocaust. You saw the American Revolution, but you didn’t care for our concept of freedom and individuality. Instead, you gave us the bloody French and Russian Revolutions, which relegated freedom and individuality to the scrap heap. And now, you are importing millions of immigrants who disdain your culture, detest your politics, and despise your religion. In a few generations, you will disappear entirely. Yes, you are the role model we admire and emulate.”

Indeed, Chancellor Merkel is looking at President Trump like the devil looks at a priest. “Chyort ne Papa,” as my mother would say. Trump is far from perfect, but I’ll take him over Merkel any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

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