Donald Trump, as a presidential nominee, ran a populist campaign that tapped into the Islamophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment, and misogyny held by large swathes of the American public. It sparked concern both home and abroad as world leaders expressed fear in the past of a potential Trump presidency. But as they, too, come to terms with America's election result, reactions have ranged from shock and uncertainty to neutrality and quietly celebratory. But one particularly strong statement came from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who seized the opportunity to relay a warning to the next American president.
"Germany and America are connected by values of democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views," Merkel said in Berlin. "I offer the next President of the United States close cooperation on the basis of these values."
The chancellor's message was a caution against Trump's divisive campaign rhetoric. That she set conditions for cooperation between the two countries was a signal that the relationship between powerful Germany and the United States would rest on Trump's ability to respect democratic values as the next president. And coming from a country that perhaps understands more than any other the danger of a strongman who held extremist views, the president-elect could do well to heed it.
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