Page One: What Europeans know about the American people they’ve likely learned from one or two sources: they have either visited the United States (thus, receiving a direct impression), or they obtain their information from secondary sources: the opinions of others, and/or European (leftist) press. Neither of these is necessarily all there is to know about America or her people. I have no problem with European opinions that flow from a previous (unhappy) visit to the United States; after all, there are occasions when we deserve such criticism. On the other hand, questions about the American voter, our political system, and President Trump are annoying, insolent, and reflect most unfavorably upon the individual posing them.
Are American voters stupid, or merely naïve? The answer is not mutually exclusive, especially given the number of Americans that lined up behind Barack Obama in two elections, and those giving their mindless support to Hillary Clinton. In each case, such terms as stupid or naïve would appear spot on the mark … but if we are honest, our political system has only presented two options to the American voter for their consideration: bad and worse. In our naïveté, we seem drawn toward the worst of two possibilities.
Page Two: Why do Europeans think that Donald Trump is a walking disaster? The answer is that this is what the European press has been telling them for well-over a year. Europeans know nothing about Trump beyond what the press tells them. Their understanding, however ignorant, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. An individual reads a newspaper article, discusses what he or she has read with a co-worker, a friend, or in passing at the local market, and then they, in turn, see a similar article in another paper, which convinces them that whatever it was they read or heard must be the absolute truth: Trump is Satan incarnate, based on no more than the liberal bias in feuille de scandale. I must wonder, who is most naïve —American voters or European readers? It is frequently noted that a little education is a very dangerous thing. To this, I would add acceptance of half-truths and innuendo.