After nine days of high-profile marital discord, embarrassing Islamophobic gaffes, and the single most contemptuous papal glare in recorded history, Donald Trump’s first trip abroad as President of the United States is finally complete. But even though this expedition featured its fair share of cringe-inducing moments, those observers who worried that Trump would need little more than a week to single-handedly hasten the destruction of the post-Cold War international order can finally, mercifully breathe easier today.
Just kidding! The whole trip was a goddamn disaster. Here is what German chancellor Angela Merkel, whose first meeting with Trump back in March went spectacularly poorly, had to say after returning from the latest G-7 meeting in Sicily:
“The times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over,” Merkel said at a campaign event in Munich.
“I experienced that in the last a few days, and therefore I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands, of course in friendship with the United States and in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever it is possible, also with Russia and also with all the other countries,” Merkel said.
“But we need to know that we have to fight for our own future and destiny as Europeans.”
We have to fight for our own future and destiny as Europeans. Merkel is clearly alluding to Trump’s recent attacks on Germany, which reportedly included threatening to halt the import of German cars to the United States. But note the language she uses here, which sounds like it was borrowed from a particularly grim bit of dialogue from The Man in the High Castle. It is genuinely unsettling how quickly European leaders, upon actually meeting Donald Trump and surviving his jiu-jitsu handshake, have collectively realized that they’re on their own for the next four (?) years.
In what is perhaps the single most German event imaginable, Merkel concluded her remarks by raising a glass and downing a giant swig of German beer that, presumably, will no longer be available in the United States soon, because Donald Trump is a simpleton who is starting a trade war with an important strategic ally that already buys more U.S.-made goods than any European country other than the United Kingdom.