[N]ationalist resentment across the continent found in Merkel a perfect foil once her grand invitation worsened the chaos of the migration crisis, especially as violence increased. Given the concerns about migration in Britain, Merkel’s policy may have even been what made Brexit possible.
Perhaps worst of all, Merkel’s great defense of “European values” could mean a forever changed European life. The border-free world that symbolized peace and prosperity, and that was the practical experience of widening freedom and possibility for Europeans under 45, is now a source of danger. German mayors warn women not to travel unaccompanied or seem too “frisky,” lest they invite an assault. French synagogues are surrounded by military personnel. Major events in large European cities are heavily guarded with the portentous and menacing presence of machine guns and bomb-sniffing dogs. Instead of finding new ways of integrating migrants, the individual European states are coming up with new ways to surveil them. This is a Europe no one wanted.
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