How much do American diplomats earn
Why should the US ambassador to Germany sound different than the US president, whose representative he is? The American ambassador system is based on merit. Whoever has rendered service to the President is posted. Richard Grenell did that as a Fox commentator, which is why he now lives in Berlin.
Donald Trump broke so many taboos that it makes sense for his followers to break taboos as well. So Grenell shovels the label aside and acts as an agitator and a bridgehead. Grenell is not a classic ambassador, but an envoy of the ideological Trump system. Its job is to infect local politics. It doesn't make matters any better that he's got his message across Breitbart, the central organ of the new right populists, among the American people. Or, to put it even more clearly: the clever choice of means of transport makes the goods particularly dangerous.
Some of the Grenell warnings, such as those about underfunding of the Bundeswehr, are not uncommon and belong to the repertoire of a US ambassador. Grenell crossed the border with his admission that the strengthening of "other conservatives" in Europe is one of his most important concerns. You have to understand what "other conservatives" are Breitbart not explain. Then he takes on the pose of the oppressed religious fighter who has to defend himself against "the elite". Grenell is probably the only ambassador in the whole world who does not count himself among the elite.
Grenell has thus abandoned the classic ambassadorial role. That's a shame, but of secondary importance. The ambassador is not absolutely necessary for bilateral relations. More importantly, Grenell now gives the political republic the choice of whether or not to follow him on this path. He sets a cutting and divisive tone that makes the sharp warnings of some predecessors such as Richard Burt or Dick Holbrooke appear conciliatory. He made a few friends like Jens Spahn that way. It won't be much more.
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