German Chancellor Angela Merkel Explains the Dangers of Trumpism in Harvard Address
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the graduation address at Harvard yesterday and she took the opportunity to lay out the case against the hyper-nationalism associated with Donald Trump and right wing populists in Europe. Her speech was realistic about the challenges facing the graduates, but hopeful about finding solutions though a united global effort, working "together rather than alone."
New York Times: "Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, recalling how the Berlin Wall’s destruction 30 years ago taught her that anything was possible, exhorted Harvard’s 2019 graduating class on Thursday to reject isolationism and nationalism, embrace the fight against climate change, see the world through other’s eyes and never “describe lies as truth and truth as lies.”
Merkel's warning about the lies which define the appeal of right-wing populists brought the graduates to their feet, and she had to pause more than a dozen times for applause and standing ovations from the graduates at Harvard’s commencement.
Merkel never mentioned President Trump by name, but she took aim at his policies when she exhorted the students to "tear down walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness" and to work diligently to protect liberal democracy and individual liberties.
Angela Merkel will be missed when she leaves the world stage in 2021. She is widely seen as Europe's leader and Harvard acknowledged her contributions.
Washington Post: "Elected in 2005 as Germany’s first female chancellor, Merkel is serving her fourth term, which runs through 2021 and which she says will be her last. In a separate ceremony Thursday, Harvard awarded her an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. While conferring the degree, Harvard President Larry Bacow said of her, “a wall came down and she rose up, leading her nation with strength and savvy, and guiding Europe through challenge and change.”