âThe message is designed to hit at those who think that Trump has finally shown the real nature of America, and that itâs time for the Germans and French to free themselves from trans-Atlanticism,â said Jan Techau, who is one of the signatories, director of the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum at Berlinâs American Academy and a former head of Carnegie Europe.
âWe are worried about those, mostly from the left, who finally feel liberated to break with America, and we want to say that America is more than Trump, there will be America after Trump, that our strategic dependence on the United States remains,â Mr. Techau said.
Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, who directs the German Marshall Fund in Berlin and was an adviser to the former German president Joachim Gauck, said that he and the other signatories were concerned that a drift in German-American relations that began under President Barack Obama could accelerate, especially since the Social Democrats are weaker in opposition after years of being in a coalition government with Ms. Merkelâs conservatives.
With the far-right Alternative for Germany and the Left party also in Parliament after recent elections, deputies are more skeptical of the United States, more critical of multilateralism and more pro-Russia than before, Mr. Kleine-Brockhoff suggested â even if a government of the conservatives, the liberal Free Democrats and the Greens emerges and remains Atlanticist.
âWe argue that Trump is not a symptom of a long-term trend in the United States aimed at the destruction of the multilateral order, but that he is sui generis,â Mr. Kleine-Brockhoff said.
While certain trends may outlast Mr. Trump, he added, âeven with isolationist tendencies and an inward-looking electorate that doesnât want to see interventionist policies, what wonât continue is an America running through the world order with a wrecking ball.â
The manifesto, a rough English translation…