We’re now six states in and if there’s any sign that Democrats are either plagued by a dysfunctional overreaction to Trump or are having real difficulties handling the surge in new candidates, I’m not really seeing it.
Trump Further Isolates America by Withdrawing from Iran Deal
President Donald Trump has withdrawn the United States from the nuclear agreement his predecessor, Barack Obama, negotiated with Iran in 2015.
All the other parties — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia — want to keep the deal in place. Trump’s only allies on the issue are the Arab Gulf states and Israel, which consider Iran a regional threat. Read more
Catalan Parties Fall Out Over Puigdemont’s Reinstatement
Catalonia’s second-largest independence party, the Republican Left, has rejected the bid of its ally, Together for Catalonia, to reinstate Carles Puigdemont as regional president.
The parties, with support from the far-left Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), recently changed the law to make it possible for Puigdemont to be sworn in from abroad. But the Republican Left now calls for a candidate who is not in legal trouble. Read more
Divided America, Deadlock in Italy and Catalan Separatists Try Again
Anand Giridharadas writes in The Huffington Post that “Woke America” and “Great America” are so offended by each other that they can barely listen to each other anymore.
You are what offends you. Are you more offended by racism, sexism and other -isms or by people offended by those things? By the persistence of white privilege or by the term “white privilege”? By all the men who degraded women or by the implication in the air that it was “all” the men? By the original sin of American slavery or by the idea that your country has an original sin — one for which you are somehow responsible?
Giridharadas argues that beneath the anger of both sides lies pain. The only way to bring people together is to take that pain seriously.
I argued something similar in Quillette a few months ago: the only way to change minds is to empathize and explain. The meaning of democracy is not winning 50 percent plus one vote and then vanquishing your rivals. It’s a process. If we want to avoid splitting into parallel societies that don’t understand, much less care about, each other, then we all need to make the effort. Read more
Europe Doesn’t Know How to Handle Trump, Macron Runs Tight Operation
Stephen Walt argues in Foreign Policy that the diplomatic crisis around the Iran nuclear deal shows European leaders don’t know how to handle an American bully:
[I]nstead of getting tough with Trump and warning him that Europe would both stick to the deal and defy any subsequent US effort to impose secondary sanctions on them, [France, Germany and the United Kingdom] chose to mollify and flatter Trump instead.
It seems to no avail.
It pains me to admit it, but Walt has a point:
[T]he European response to Trump shows how successfully the United States has tamed and subordinated the former great powers that once dominated world politics. After seventy-plus years of letting Uncle Sam run the show, European leaders can barely think in strategic terms, let alone act in a tough-minded fashion when they are dealing with the United States.
I do think this is slowly changing. Trump is a wakeup call. The EU is rushing new trade agreements with Japan and Mexico. France is leading efforts to deepen European defense cooperation outside NATO. The Balts and Scandinavians are remilitarizing.
But deferring to America is a hard habit to kick. Read more