Continental Drift

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

According to Pew International polls, Trump is now intensely disliked in Europe. His endless spats over European trade, the costs of NATO, and differing approaches to Vladimir Putin’s Russia acerbated already tense U.S.–European relations. But Trump neither created European or transatlantic crises nor can be of much help in solving them. In part, they are Western in origin and to a degree shared by all Western allies, but mostly they are innate to Europe and self-induced.

We often refer to the “West” of nearly 1.5 billion people without really defining it or appreciating just how predominant Europe should be in all matters Western. In terms of population, the contemporary West consists of mainland Europe (circa 500 million — depending on how the borders of Europe are defined), the United States (325 million), the Anglosphere of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (130 million), and major Westernized, industrial, and democratic countries in Asia, most notably Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea (200 million), along perhaps with South American nations such as Argentina, Chile, and Brazil (265 million).

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