Year in review - Germany role model, even leader, of the free world?

German national flag with lower gold band repl. by silver "noise" I'm sitting in an Austrian ski resort hotel (though I don't ski) and have finally finished reading all the texts on Angela Merkel in the TIME issue of 9 days ago. She's on the cover as Person of the Year.

Since recently, also in this blog, I've questioned whether the US, for all its many advantages, can still carry the flag of the Leadership of the Free World... Has something changed this last turbulent year?

  • PRO: The U.S. have basically thrown down the Leadership crown since the last few decades, by their extreme interventionism & military "solutionism" to all the world's problems, quite a few of which are, totally or in part, clear consequences of their actions. -- Germany's attempted absorption of two orders of magnitude (!) more war refugees than any of the "Great" Western nations, like France or the U.S., makes it a candidate. Also, Germany defines freedom in a 21st century way, i.e. without guns in every household, and has done so for half a century.
  • CON: The U.S. for year after year have taken on millions of de facto immigrants from South of its borders. Under Obama, they've even stepped up programs to make studying and citizenship for young Latino immigrants, & children of Latino immigrants, possible. -- Merkel's new reputation for humaneness isn't backed up by the many years of not doing a thing for integration of foreigners in places like Berlin & Hamburg, both cities I know relatively well. On TV, there just ran a small documentary on one of the most integrating series ever to be presented in moving pictures: The Bill Cosby Show, once the most popular show on U.S. TV for several years running. -- In addition, Germany is still too close to that vast crime against humanity, the Nazis and all they did. Just seven decades ago. And populist extremist political talk is still rife everywhere, especially in recent months. Double shame!

One thing Merkel has definitely done: Show the world that the time for patriarchal machos, like TIME's 2nd runner-up, Donald Trump - and many Austrian men, apparently - is finally coming to an end for good.

Let's see what the history books - and political commentators - say in, say, a decade.

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