American Elephants


“The Great German Meltdown:” Victor Davis Hanson by The Elephant's Child

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I am troubled by serious essays about the suicide of Europe, but then I’m troubled by the European Union, by Brussels, and most of all by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s foolish invitation to the migrants of the world. When I worry about the future, I worry about Europe, as you have probably noticed. One country after another reports (or avoids reporting) about their problems with Moslem migrants. Burned cars, riots, rapes, murders, but what is the most troubling seems to be a refusal to face and deal with reality, and a reluctance to let anyone else know about the problems they face.

Fortunately, Victor Davis Hanson is often there to clarify the problems. He writes for the Hoover Institution about The Great German Meltdown

Every 20 to 50 years in Germany, things start unraveling. Germans feel aggrieved. Ideas and movements gyrate wildly between far left and far right extremes. And the Germans finally find consensus in a sense of victimhood paradoxically expressed as national chauvinism. Germany’s neighbors in 1870, 1914, 1939—and increasingly in the present—usually bear the brunt of this national meltdown.

Germany is supposed to be the economic powerhouse of Europe, its financial leader, and its trusted and responsible political center. Often it plays those roles superbly. But recently, it’s been cracking up—in a way that is hauntingly familiar to its European neighbors. On mass immigration, it is beginning to terrify the nearby nations of Eastern Europe. On Brexit, it bullies the British. On finance, it alienates the southern Europeans. On Russia, it irks the Baltic States and makes the Scandinavians uneasy by doing business with the Russian energy interests. And on all matters American, it increasingly seems incensed.

Certainly, Germany has done some unbelievably strange things in the last ten years. In a fit of fear, after the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011, and in a huff about climate change, Berlin more or less abruptly junked traditionally generated electrical power and opted for inefficient and unreliable “green” renewable wind and solar—despite the less than Mediterranean nature of its climate and warnings of the financial downside. The result is that electricity costs have climbed 50 percent in recent years and are among the most expensive in the developed world—and electricity itself is sometimes scarce. In response to shortfalls in power generation, the German energy industry for now is looking at solutions like coal-fired plants, buying nuclear-generated electricity from its neighbors, and cutting deals with Vladimir Putin for natural gas. In other words, Germany spiraled from the one extreme of green idealists to the other of dirty coal, while counting on others to export their electricity into Germany.

Oh do read the whole thing, and read the comments too. Here, for once, they are polite and thoughtful. Lots of us are concerned. But the Europeans don’t seem to have a very clear view of their own problems, or they don’t want to admit that they have problems, or they refuse to face the problems themselves. I don’t know, but suggesting that migrants be trained as truck drivers seems so completely wacko that I simply do not understand. Perhaps the American media seems just as strange to the Europeans. They are very interested in our goings-on. The media has become a poor representation of events here, is the European media equally partisan and politicized? Do we seem to them so unaware of our own problems?


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