The Ugliest American

Europeans secretly love Trump for confirming their own sense of superiority.

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Photo: Andrea Hanks/White House
Media Outlet: Slate

Yascha Mounk wrote for Slate about how Trump may lull Europeans into a false sense of security: 

There need not be anything wrong with taking a little mischievous pleasure in the failings and humiliations of one’s friends, I suppose. Yet the schadenfreude many Europeans feel when they look at Trump is dangerous—for it helps to make the continent even more complacent about the degree to which freedom and democracy are now embattled in Europe as well as America.

Europe, of course, has its own share of authoritarian populists to reckon with. And while the populist leaders of Poland, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, and Russia are admittedly rather more competent than Trump, their greater political skill should hardly give us succor. On the contrary, the fact that Trump is an ideologue by instinct but not by ideology may be one of the best reasons to hope that American democracy will somehow survive the next four years.

Author:

Yascha Mounk is a fellow in New America's Political Reform program.