The mockingly bromantic body language of Trump’s interactions with Macron and his infuriating condescension toward Merkel send the same message: Give me what I want or don’t bother to show up. The latter option would be a scary leap for European politicians, who have treasured the transatlantic alliance since the late 1940s. But the European public and thought leaders might feel differently.
The favorability of the U.S. (the country, not the administration) is at 46 percent in France and 35 percent in Germany, according to the Pew Research Center. That was the lowest since 2008, when the reputation of the U.S. hadn’t recovered from the Iraq invasion and the financial crisis was gathering steam. No such momentous events are taking place now, but there’s Trump. Germans, according to a poll released last month by Forsa, one of the top polling organizations in the country, overwhelmingly consider him a greater danger to world peace than Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that’s the case even among the conservative supporters of Merkel’s party.