In an affected statement to Reuters, a news agency, the socialist candidate to the office of Chancellor of Germany, Martin Schulz, calls a policy of the democratically elected president of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, “un-American”. Implementing a policy explicitly willed by the people is, according to Schulz, not in line with “enlightenment, democracy and the values of freedom”.
Some of us have other associations. We find Mr. Trump quintessentially American. We think of the enlightenment as the tendency to act on indications from the real world rather than socially prescribed dogma. Democracy we associate with allowing an enfranchised population to thwart the plans of elites, and our freedom, we find, must ever be vigorously protected from a plenitude of threats, not only from the likes of Mr. Schulz, but also at the borders of what in spite of all his efforts can still be called the Free world.
Should Mr. Schulz go on to become Chancellor, he continues, he would say: “This is not the policy of Germany and Europe”. Of course he would. Of course it isn’t. It is the American policy of America. Still, if the statements of Mr. Schulz tells us nothing of American policy, it does inform us of Mr. Schulz:
- Mr. Schulz never grasped the significance of the enlightenment, democracy or the values of freedom
- Mr. Schulz is tormented by a megalomaniac vision of vying to become not the Chancellor of Germany, but the Ruler of Germany, Europe, and America — perhaps of the whole world
Lashing out like Mr. Schulz, without a hint of knowledge, finesse or discrimination, against a major power is a very ill-advised piece of foreign policy. Mr. Schulz opened his mouth and put his foot in it.
The best label for Mr. Schulz’s statement would appear to be un-hinged.