November 9, 1989

In the wake of Trump's election, it was startling to be alerted to an event that happened on another November 9, 27 years ago - the fall of the Berlin Wall. It seems relevant to raise this because of the defiant words that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Trump on hearing of his election:

"Germany and America are connected by values of democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views. I offer the next President of the United States close cooperation on the basis of these values."

Merkel made a challenging stand on the basis of values, not simply alliance. It was wonderful to read. The fall of the Berlin wall was a symbol - of freedom, hope, peace, the end of a divided country, and the fight for democracy. Trump's election has proved the opposite, a symbol of walling off America from the rest of the world and devaluing the notion of America as a country of tolerance, openness and freedom. 

The irony is tragic, horribly so.