Angela Merkel's Legacy

Commonweal - 03-07

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Deidre Berger, the former NPR correspondent in Berlin, once reflected on the challenge of bringing foreign news to an American audience. If you don’t make a story align with homegrown, familiar realities, she said, Americans won’t care about it and perhaps won’t even recognize it; but if you move it too close to domestic news, you risk losing precisely what’s new or different. That, I think, is the problem we face in trying to understand Angela Merkel’s Germany. Seeing the dangers of anti-immigrant populism here in the United States—and elsewhere in Europe—we project that danger onto Germany, and thus end up with a half-truth, at best.