Present Danger

Europeans tend to get nervous at times like this. The pomp and ritual that attend the start of a new American presidency—the parades down Pennsylvania Avenue, the handing over of the nuclear briefcase—induce a patriotic rush among Americans, but cause a frisson of anxiety in Europe. Not long ago, when a young, unknown Southern governor with little stated interest in foreign affairs won the presidency, gloom settled over many corners of the Continent. “Nothing suggests (he) believes the problems of the planet are as serious as those of his country,” Le Monde sighed. “We are facing an American Administration that...

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