As Trump goes to the continent, these would be my recommendations.
First, he cannot show hard-line nationalist support. If he does this during his visit to Brussels, America stands a lot to lose diplomatically. He is not a tool of the Right, but he is likely viewed as a tool of the Right, and he has to actively work to undermine these perceptions. He can do this by showing a commitment to civil liberties, which as a New Yorker, shouldn’t be so hard to do.
Second, he cannot show Russian support. Not only will this inflame the current inferno, but any wink/nod that really we are all on the same team will actively undermine liberty, promote fear, and further give way to Russian-style Network-Authoritarianism on the continent. As much as he might think he can tell Brussels one thing and America another, he can’t. This will not appease anyone.
Third, he needs to lean on Brussels to take a lead in diplomacy with Islam, while reiterating support for NATO, especially in a war on terror, now centered on the continent. He should also work with the Vatican in this direction, while assuring them that the crisis in the American Church is over.
Trump has been at a continuous stand-off with the press in America, but in Europe, where they more readily see him for what he is, this will not fly. Trump never does it, but the time is now, to drop the con and speak from the heart about Liberty under God. There may be no other way.
Bernie Sanders seems like a nice man. He is genuine, and not mean, and not dumb – and saying the three together is saying a lot. I nevertheless think he is wrong as to the nature of the revolution which America needs.
It is the common failing of many who take a calm and reasoned approach that they think the world would best evolve with a strictly calm and reasoned approach. The truth is, it is with liberty that the world moves forward. It is the creators and explorers – the ones pushing the envelope and making the most of what they are given – which change the world for the better. And if it is the job of governance to maximize anything, it should be individual liberty, rather than a preconceived notion of utility handed from on high. Sure the people often don’t truly know what is best for them – and this is specifically true in matters of security – but it is often equally true that the people supposedly concerned for other’s well being don’t truly know what is best for the future; and this is where the creators and explorers break through.
And this is where I have to tell Americans that under socialism and it’s older sibling, there are not breakthroughs. There are not true leaders and there are not inspirers. There is only one of the ways that the world has always been and it is deemed, by them, to be the right way, or else. This kind of attitude is widespread on The Continent, and surely extends to Sander’s beloved Scandinavia. But the EU in no way ‘has it right’. The greatest problem is that a person of exceptional talent and production does not cut through the bureaucratic morass unless they first agree to toe the line on social issue X, Y, and Z; which are – guess what – policies which on the whole further restrict the liberty which talent needs in order to break through in the future.
Socialists, on this, are of course no worse than conservatives. But it is time for us to recognize that we are actually neither. We are actually Libertarians. No, not corporate Libertarians, but actual Libertarians. People concerned to preserve individual liberty, making as few compromises for the sake of security as possible, but not willing to let the perpetual creep of fear – notorious in Europe – undermine our future with its chill.
If there is to be any revolution at all – and there should be – it will have to be an American one.