A commitment to human rights has been a fundamental precept of NATO since the alliance was created a half century ago. You would not expect that a founding member would have to be reminded of that fact. Certainly not the United States, for all those years the leader of NATO and an inspirational embodiment of its core values.
Yet this is where we find ourselves now, the day after Donald Trump won the presidency: In congratulating him on his victory, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany felt compelled to set conditions for cooperation.
“Germany and America are connected by values of democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views,” she said in a statement, adding: “I offer the next President of the United States close cooperation on the basis of these values.”
Mr. Trump’s behavior during his campaign was antithetical to those values. He has threatened to ban Muslims from the United States, refuse refugees, deport 11 million undocumented workers and build a wall on the border with Mexico. He has disparaged African Americans, Mexican Americans, women and people with disabilities.