President Trump’s harsh words to our NATO allies in Brussels shouldn’t have come as anysurprise to those in attendance. His verbal scolding simply delivered a harsh message in a more direct fashion much like a father disciplining his unruly children.
No one should blame this president. For decades, most of our European NATO allies have treated this country like a limitless ATM. They have made solemn promises to uphold their end of a mutual bargain and failed to deliver. Not unlike a parent that has fed and housed their children for years, the bargain to mutually respect that generosity has not been delivered.
Although the children are ungrateful, the parent continues to uphold the responsibility they have possessed long after the child has become an adult. But now that adult continues to live at home for less rent than agreed upon.
It is a simple analogy but one that befits the shamelessness of most American allies on the European continent. Since the dawn of NATO in the late 1940’s, America has been the trusted parent protecting its flock against the threat of Soviet/Russian tyranny.
That protection over the decades has gone from overwhelming gratefulness to selfish expectation. Aside from a handful of countries in the region, the operative word is contempt.
Now those very actions have come home to roost with the disappointed and angry parent.
The children that are now grown adults and unappreciative. It’s time to pony up the agreed-upon rent to stay under the protection and comfort of the parental household.
The 29-country alliance of NATO has entered a new stage of growth. In simpler terms, a stage where the children grow up and accept their fair share of responsibility for protection and security. The parent has footed most of the bills far too long and wants the children act like adults.
Thus, the dubious look of shock on the faces of Europe’s leaders when President Trump delivered his harsh call for responsibility was classic adult to child education. The testy exchange was long overdue and perfectly justified.
It is obvious the past bargain of faith is obsolete. It has become obsolete. A new agreement must be worked out for the 29 counties to remain in the parental nest. Seventy years is a long time to house the children without them paying their fair share of the rent.
Parent Trump tweeted upon his departure to meet the children in Brussels, "Getting ready to leave for Europe. First meeting; NATO. The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer. On top of that we lose $151 billion on trade with the European Union. Charge us big tariffs and barriers."
What responsible parent could not understand this plight? The circumstances have changed, and the children must now become adults and gladly contribute their fair share for the generosity of their protectors. No party involved really wants to devalue the importance of their decades-long alliance.
It is time to clear the air and accept responsibility. There is no reason all parties cannot move forward with a new understanding of each other’s role. Avoid the compulsion for derisiveness and accept the new order of things. The parent certainly wants to continue providing and only asks that the adult children act like adults.
There are many dangers in the world. As a family those dangers can be avoided. Simply wishing them away is not the answer. Working together in unity as an alliance with mutual responsibilities makes the bargain work. Together we are strong and powerful.
Divided we are weak and vulnerable.
The parent loves the children and will never desert them. The children may have their own ideas about minimizing the nest, but their hearts and minds will never leave it.
This is the message President Trump is delivering in Europe. It’s one our partners on the continent need to listen to.
Dwight L. Schwab, Jr. is an award-winning national political and foreign affairs columnist and published author. He has spent over 35 years in the publishing industry. His long-running articles include many years at Examiner.com and currently Newsblaze.com. Dwight is an author of two highly acclaimed books, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014" and "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Election in History." He is a native of Portland, Oregon, a journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, and a resident of the SF Bay Area. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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