If Europe is serious about challenging Trump, it should actually challenge him

What is Europe doing? Tweeting, mostly.

Take climate. Trump wrecked the Paris deal. What’s next? Well, by golly, you can be sure that people will hold meetings and put out press releases.

Take defense. Again, Trump is right: Europe has been free-riding on U.S. defense spending, and it is ridiculous that none of the major European countries (for the record, Estonia is pulling its weight) can meet NATO’s 2 percent of GDP spending target, which is a rather low bar. After yet another Trump tirade on NATO, Angela Merkel sniffed, as if delivering a eulogy, that Europe must now take its defense into its own hands — and then promptly delivered further cuts to defense spending, which in Germany hovers around 1 percent.

Being subsidized by the American military umbrella is very convenient for Europe, letting it spend more on social programs and then lecturing Americans about underfunding their own welfare state, but it is not necessary.