by Ken Feltman
That chilling remark was one of several negative statements from younger White House officials in response to Germany’s drop in first quarter GDP. Taken together, the remarks by future U.S. leaders should serve as a wake-up call to people on both sides of the Atlantic.
Since the Merkel government came to power in Germany in 2005, officials of first the Bush and now the Obama administrations have complained about the treatment accorded to them by German officials, media and business executives. Put those dismissive German attitudes on one side. Place the growing anti-European attitudes displayed by many younger American leaders on the other side. Do we have the makings of many misunderstandings?
Younger U.S. leaders who came of age during the Reagan era – whether they are Democrats, Republicans or independents today – are much more likely to display negative attitudes toward Europe, similar to the fashionable anti-Americanism that Europeans engage in from time to time.
We have learned on both continents to understand the frustrations that cause Europeans to complain about the U.S. We have not grappled with the American counterpart. What should be done, if anything?
Radnor has been observing this growing anti-Europeanism among future (and some current) U.S. leaders. In fact, we have twice delayed releasing Radnor Reports that deal with the subject because we want to be very sure of our research and do not want to be classed as sensationalists. However, we have briefed European clients, some of whom confirm that they perceive a growth in negative attitudes toward Europe and Europeans.
For information on Radnor’s research into this “attitude problem,” or to be included in a future briefing on the subject, please email us.