Q – (9.9.23) We have been taking European vacations on and off for the past ten years after we retired in our early and late sixties. I really want to return this coming summer to do one of those Globus Tours that allows you to see five or six European capitals in about two weeks. But my husband is now adamant that he will not get into any political discussions about our American way of life while traveling overseas. He is a Trump Republican, more than I am, and he feels that at this stage of his life he doesn’t want a bunch of Europeans in his face firing questions at him about our politics in the States. Is that a realistic view in any way? I mean we have traveled to Europe four times and I can only recall one political discussion with a front desk clerk in our Budapest hotel.
A – There is little evidence, at this point on the indictment scale, that Europeans are starting to pepper American tourists with questions about their politics. You know this from your past visits. In fact, based on our experiences in this area, there is a greater likelihood that one or two fellow tour members from the States could be a greater irritant on your husband’s tender feelings than the locals. We sometimes forget that the European have their own issues.
Italy has a Far Right Prime Minister who has expressed complimentary words for Mussolini, the Far Right has made some impressive gains in France’s government, an area of Spain, including Barcelona, has been trying to secede from the rest of the country, and Great Britain and London are experiencing waves of gang-related store looting that rivals anything we have here in the States. They also had Boris Johnson. Europeans are not really in a position, for the most part, to lecture us about the imperfections of our Democracy. Not yet.
But this is a a seven-continent kind of place. Your husband is in his seventies and, it is our opinion, that he should avoid any destination he can’t visit with full measures of joy and anticipation. Take him to Japan. They are too polite to ever discuss American politics with a guest in their country.
We are seeing your question being raised in one form or another fairly often. But we are not hearing anything to indicate that concerns about political confrontation abroad between locals and American visitors are justified.