All Eyes on Europe

As an editorial in the weekend edition of Deutsche Welle warned, there is "trouble brewing in every corner of Europe." The ongoing Brexit "divorce," the refusal of Hungary and Poland to abide by E.U. rules, the Catalan independence movement in Spain, and nationalist challenges to the Macron/ Merkel globalist agenda—these are but the outward signs of an increasingly dysfunctional E.U.  Smoldering beneath the surface, as James Kirchick shows in his excellent new book, The End of Europeare deeper and arguably more intractable fissures caused by the broadening appeal in Central Europe of Victor Orbán's model of "illiberal democracy," Russia's brazen annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine, the failure of Western European countries to integrate Muslim immigrants and, perhaps most chilling of all, the "elite mainstreaming of anti-Semitism," particularly in Great Britain and France. Today, 94 elected deputies of the upstart AfD will take their place in the German Bundestag—evoking "the perilous 1930s," just as Kirchick predicted.

North American liberals remain obsessed with Donald Trump, but they would do well to keep their eyes on Europe, where the postwar dream of a continent "whole, free and and at peace" has lost its moorings.