Sunday, November 20, 2016
American President Obama is in the final months of his second term in office and this weekend he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is will into her third. They have become friends over time, and they may have commiserated about the state of generous liberalism in both their countries and the rise of troubling protectionist nationalism in both the States and Europe.
Obama must be wondering whether President-elect Trump will dismantle much of his administration's work on general health care and environmental protection. Merkel announced over the weekend that she will seek a fourth term, but she must be aware that this will be the fight of her life. Many Germans are dissatisfied with her bold decision to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees in a short period of time. Right-wing parties are on the ascent in several countries and Merkel's popularity has plummeted.
Both Merkel and Obama are Christians, and relatively open about it. Merkel's father was a Lutheran pastor and theologian and she respected his intellectual rigour. She also grew up in a centre for those with intellectual and physical challenges.
Some would say that politicians should not allow their religious convictions impinge on their elected roles, but we do hope that all people including governmental leaders would have a moral and ethical framework out of which the make decisions. Actually, Merkel's party is the Christian Democrats, so there are Christian underpinnings.
I am grateful for her leadership on the world stage and hope in continues.