Why Germans are getting fed up with America

Germans have never liked U.S. President Donald Trump, and the backlash against his actions is stronger than ever after he pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal last week. But there’s a growing gap between the German establishment and German voters: The former may be anti-Trump, but the latter are increasingly anti-American. …

The cautious German elite,  led by Merkel with her preference for compromise in any situation, has been holding back the anti-American sentiment so far. But that position may become untenable as Germans realize their country isn’t getting much out of being a U.S. ally. A majority can’t imagine a situation in which U.S. soldiers would need to defend Germany against aggression, and as the values gap with the U.S. grows and the economic benefits of partnership shrink, anti-Americanism can become an increasingly attractive political card to play. 

Germany has done the U.S. a favor by not seeking a leadership role in the decades since its reunification. There’s no guarantee, however, that post-Merkel it won’t take a more assertive stance, using the European Union as a vehicle for its ambition. Even if a post-Trump U.S. government walks back some of his unilateralism, the mistrust that’s been building up for years won’t go away overnight.

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