Trump told the German tabloid Bild that Chancellor Merkel had made an “utterly catastrophic mistake by letting all these illegals into the country.”
The populist German attitude is similar. The people are upset about a massive flood of refugees. It is driving up prices for housing and other goods in Germany. The refugees, in general, do not live up to the standards of cleanliness of the Germans. The social skills of the refugees are at odds with German expectations. Clearly, culture clashes are rising everywhere, and the people are not happy.
However, Germany carries with it a national guilt complex still lingering from its deeds during World War II. It seeks to be a leader in human rights, and it feels it has a responsibility for taking in refugees. These two opposing forces, the protectionist and populist conservatives, and the socialist liberal humanitarians, are in a tug of war that is challenging the country.
However, what Trump probably does not realize is that Germans in general blame the United States for the refugee crisis in the first place. Walk the streets, and 99% of the people will tell you that Bush’s illegal wars started it all off, and then Obama’s pull-out set it in motion. We now have ISIS, we have a humanitarian nightmare in the Middle East, and America’s ill-conceived policies created it all. Germans are just trying their best to help clean up the mess.
Being lectured by Trump is not going to be well-received. Trump ridiculing German policies in this effort is not going to make friends in that country.