BOSTON (CBS) — James Kirchick spent much of the last decade writing and reporting on the politics and political culture of Europe.
He’s written a book called “The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age.” WBZ poitical analyst Jon Keller sat down with Kirchick this week to find out if things are really that bad–because that title sounds like something that could have been written in the 30s during the rise of Hitler.
“They’re not as bad as that, but they’re pretty bad,” said Kirchick. “If you look at everything from the economic situation, which has been stagnant for several years, to the Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and the meddling in European politics, to the return in anti-Semitism, Islamic terrorism, political populism and extremism, it’s a very worrying picture.”
Keller asked Kirchick about the implications of President Donald Trump’s distinctly different take toward the world’s dictators–authoritarian leaders like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who Trump has praised repeatedly.
“I think it is troublesome,” Kirchick said. “Usually, the American president is supposed to stand for freedom and democracy. Every president from Harry Truman really through Barack Obama supported European integration and they supported NATO resolutely.”
But Kirchick said he isn’t sure Trump undertsands that legacy.
“Now, we have a president who openly endorsed Brexit and has called for more Brexits, and he’s expressed real ambivalence about the European Union, whether or not it should continue to exist even … it doesn’t seem to me that he fundamentally understands the importance of NATO.”
The two also spoke about whether another holocaust could happen–and one area where Kirchick says President Trump is right. Watch the rest of Keller and Kirchick’s interview above.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.