Angela Merkel – The last Defender of the Free World

Four more years. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she is going to run for another term in office heading into 2017 and the upcoming election in September. So far, no real threat in the form of an opposing candidate has emerged. Not that it would really matter, as Germany’s political landscape doesn’t seem to offer anyone who could really challenge her. To find a coalition able to form a government might, however, prove more challenging.

Still, political experts are united in their projections that Angela Merkel indeed will be Chancellor for four more years. But there is another job that Merkel might have to do. Following numerous media outlets after the election of Donald Trump as US-President, Angela Merkel is now the last defender of the so-called Free World – or if you are not into Cold War-Terminology: the Liberal West. Why is that? With an open populist who has ties to a bunch of right-wing groups moving to the White House, right-wing parties on the rise all over Europe and a number of less than stable national economies, it’s understandable why the eyes of the US-Media turn to Angela Merkel as a voice of reason – but the defender of the Liberal West?

An American Point of View?

Interestingly enough, the domestic view on the chancellor is quite different. Also, there are different views on Germany and Angela Merkel all over Europe and the so-called Free World. The discussion is a very compelling one, as it shows the core differences of foreign, security and military policies and positions between the United States, Western, and maybe Eastern Europe. But this is not the place to discuss the reality of such a thing as the “Free World”.

The German worldview is fundamentally different from what one could call the American position that is based on the idea of exceptionalism. Thus, the German reaction to US-Media articles suggesting a “passing of the baton” from Barack Obama to Angela Merkel had to be something along the lines of: “No, thank you. That is not our place.” But this kind of sentiment, though sounding utterly pragmatic, could actually be a little off.

Angela Merkel - The last Defender of the Free World
© Pixabay

Winds of Change

Angela Merkel herself has rejected the notion of her leading the Liberal West as ridiculous. Though, at roughly the same time she dictated to US-President elect Donald Trump the terms of a working relationship: its foundation being the often quoted civil liberties of western societies – freedom of speech, press, religion and so forth. Her first act of defense in light of a potential threat to those values? Further, one could argue that Germany has a certain responsibility for the Western World and Europe in particular.

It is the richest economy in Europe and the most influential party of the EU, especially after Great Britain voted to leave the organization. Germany came out way ahead of the financial crisis. It’s hard stance on keeping the austerity policy going and the changes made to its domestic social policies, including the introduction of dumping wages, more than a decade ago are partly responsible for the bad shape of a lot of the other European economies in countries such as Greece, Spain, and Italy.

2016 brought about enormous changes on the global political scale and 2017 promises to be another year of continuous change. It does seem likely, that in 2018 Angela Merkel will be the only stable and moderate major leader in Europe. However ominous the job title of Defender of the Liberal West might be, she might have to step up to do whatever that is.    

2 responses to “Angela Merkel – The last Defender of the Free World”

  1. “Still, political experts are united in their projections that Angela Merkel indeed will be Chancellor for four more years.”
    That’s not what the polls are saying. Now that Siggy’s stepped aside Schulz will galvanise the SPD to attack Merkel and the Conservatives through linking the left and getting tough on migration.
    As has been shown in both the UK through Brexit and now in the US with Trump, people are fed up the political Status Quo and depending what happens in Netherlands and France, It’s absolutely no cert Muti will walk this one.

  2. Angela Merkel the last defender of the free world??? That’s downright amusing considering how she has forever ruined Germany with her immigration policies. Hopefully Germans will have enough sense to elect someone else in the next election, actually someone who is a little bit more nationalistic and who will have German interests at heart. Sometimes I think Germany is still overreacting to the terrible history of what was done to the Jews during and after WWII, but there must be a happy medium between being overly nationalistic and making sensible decisions for your own citizens. That is exactly what President Trump is doing right now. With all the years of the USA interfering everywhere and helping everywhere the infrastructure in the USA has been neglected, and so have the people. It may look like Mr. Trump is being radical, but that’s only because everyone is so used to the USA not taking care of their own country first. Good for Mr. Trump. Hope Germany elects someone like him and gets rebalanced.

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