Independent: Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world, not Donald Trump. “The US President isn’t motivated by protecting liberal democracy or freedom, his sole ideology is Trumpism: corporate autocracy with a populist facade. And he surrounds himself with white nationalists even more hostile to liberal democracy than he is.” By Sunny Hundal.
“But the ban on immigrants highlighted something far more draconian. If a President can abruptly restrict the rights of US residents without bothering with lawmakers or even government departments, he in effect an autocrat. That is exactly what Trump did and will continue to do so. His actions don’t just undermine the rights of all Americans, they undermine the institutions that support American democracy.
But Trump […] is ripping up international agreements so he can bully smaller countries into submission. That sets a dangerous precedent for the entire world.
And lastly there is the Trump administration’s hostility towards the media. Regardless of its bias, a thriving democracy needs a media willing to challenge the government. Trump isn’t just hostile to criticism, in his warped world it must be driven by lies and vindictiveness. He is wracked by deep insecurity. When his chief aide Steve Bannon says the media should “keep its mouth shut” – they mean it. They don’t want a free media criticising them at all. These are words that dictators use, not democrats.
Having grown up in communist East Germany before re-unification, Angela Merkel is the polar opposite. She doesn’t just recognise the sounds of autocracy, she chose to escape it.
This is why she has stood up to Trump’s bullying and bigotry, saying on Monday that the “necessary battle against terrorism” did not justify putting “groups of certain people under general suspicion”. The British government in sharp contrast has been slavish and spineless.
It’s now abundantly clear that the free world needs a new leader. With respect to Justin Trudeau, Canada simply isn’t powerful enough. It has to be Angela Merkel.”