Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump laid out his foreign policy plan on Monday, and mixed in with his laundry list of ideas and views on terrorism was a stab at Hillary Clinton and German Chancellor Angela Merkel because, lets face it, it wouldn’t be a Trump speech if there wasn’t a good supply of name calling.
“Hillary Clinton wants to be America’s Angela Merkel.”
Trump attempted to paint a picture of increased debt and lower national security should Clinton win the presidency, eventually stating that “in short Hillary Clinton wants to be America’s Angela Merkel.” While the German leader is still considered one of the world’s most adept leaders, Trump meant it as an insult to both Clinton and Merkel.
Why Trump sees this as an insult comes from his understanding of the refugee situation that has put Merkel’s reputation on the line. Trump laid out his view of Merkel’s handling of the refugee crisis saying: “You know what a disaster this massive immigration has been to Germany and the people of Germany. Crime has risen to levels that no one thought they would ever, ever see. It is a catastrophe.”
You could argue that Trump’s viewpoint aligns pretty close with that of many angry Germans, but how much truth is there to it? Is Germany in such a bad shape that if Clinton followed in Merkel’s footsteps, America would be doomed?
The Local did a breakdown of Germany’s current economic and crime situation to find out, and despite the often exaggerated headlines, Trump should spend a little more time on his homework instead of picking fights.
In short, Germany has one of the best economies in the world with a public debt that is 52.3 percent of GDP versus America’s 96.8 percent. Factor in Merkel’s ability come up with a minimum wage and health care system that one can argue is substantially better than the current U.S. programs, and on top of that still be able to offer free tuition to everyone enrolled in a German university, one could say Merkel’s economic plan isn’t all that bad.
big picture shows Germany to still be the safest its been in decades
Has Germany been hit by a wave of crime since Merkel instituted an open door policy for refugees? If you’ve followed the news it would be an easy yes, but like anything else, there is another side of the story that is often overlooked.
Figures do show that crime rates in the country rose 4.1 percent in 2015 with 7,800 crimes per 100,000 residents, which can easily be credited to the number of illegal immigrants, but the big picture shows Germany to still be the safest its been in decades. In 1993, Germany reached a peak crime rate of 8,500 crimes per 100,000 residents. Crime rising to levels no one thought they would ever see? Hardly.
Anyone can round up a selection of headlines to sell an idea, and in reality it is what every politician does best, no matter what side of the aisle they position themselves on. But when you look at Merkel’s entire political career, calling Hillary the next Angela Merkel might just be more of a compliment instead of the intended insult.