Poor Donald Trump.
The Chinese won’t play ball with him. The Democrats are trying to impeach him. And now, other world leaders are laughing at him!
President Trump, who views norms like a teenager does curfews, shattered another tradition Wednesday when he became the first U.S. president to be laughed at by some of America’s closest allies at a NATO summit, a sign of his increasing isolation on the world stage.
The great moqueur is being mocked. But so what? The Donald was elected to break up the status quo. Naturally, a lot of people don’t like it.
And many readers will be tempted to pile on…to carp and criticize…
Others will prefer to compare Mr. Trump to Woodrow Wilson, whom Europe’s leaders also mocked. When Mr. Wilson showed up in Paris after WWI, with his Fourteen Points in hand, French prime minister Georges Clemenceau tittered that even God himself only had 10.
But like all of us, the president has his strengths and his weaknesses. The problem, from our cynical point of view, is that his strengths are soft and hollow; his weaknesses, on the other hand, are hard as granite.
His strengths are his bull-headishness…his reckless disregard for experts, criticism, and convention…and his willingness to go head-to-head with the Deep State and its sanctimonious promoters, such as Hillary Clinton.
Applied consistently and intelligently, The Donald might actually have drained a little greasy water from the Swamp…extricated U.S. soldiers from the pointless wars of the Middle East…dumped a few jackasses from the federal payroll…and trimmed the national debt.
His weaknesses, alas, get in his way. He never seems to understand what he is doing or where he is going. He watches TV and changes course. He charges ahead…then retreats. He fires off an attack in one direction…and then in another.
Waste of time
For example, he was right when he said NATO is a waste of time. But now he tries to build it up. The Associated Press:
Trump, looking to showcase foreign policy wins as he heads into an election year, offered a more optimistic outlook for NATO’s future.
He says he wants to pull out of the forever wars…and ends up adding to them. Foreign Affairs:
‘Great nations do not fight endless wars,’ Trump declared in his 2019 State of the Union address. ‘We’re bringing our troops back home,’ he boasted during a cabinet meeting in October. ‘I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home.’
But after nearly three years in office, Trump’s promised retrenchment has yet to materialize. […]
In the final months of Obama’s presidency, approximately 198,000 active duty U.S. military personnel were deployed overseas, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Manpower Data Center. By comparison, the most recent figure for the Trump administration is 174,000 active duty troops. But even that difference reflects an accounting trick.
Beginning in December 2017, the Defense Department started excluding troops deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria from its official reports, citing a vague need to ‘protect our forces.’ When the estimated troop levels for those three countries are added back in, the current total is around 194,000–roughly equivalent to the number Trump inherited.
Trump has failed to rein in the Swamp
He promises to drain the Swamp…and pay off the national debt. Then, like a fallen woman who pledges to have no more babies out of wedlock, he hops into bed with every lobbyist and big-ticket donor in Washington. It is as if he never knew where babies came from.
And so, the Swamp grows deeper…and the national debt rises, even faster than under Obama. The Balance:
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican candidate Donald Trump promised he would eliminate the nation’s debt in eight years. Instead, his budgets would add $9.1 trillion during that time. It would increase the U.S. debt to $29 trillion according to Trump’s budget estimates.
By contrast, according to The Balance, Obama’s budgets added a total of $8.6 trillion.
Trump is a big-shot POTUS
The more tweets we read…the more we’re persuaded that Trump has never been truly dishonest or two-faced. That would require self-awareness and careful calculation.
Instead, his life as a big-shot developer, billionaire, and media star taught him to say things that sounded daring and decisive. But they were just words to him; it didn’t matter what they meant.
A tree drops its leaves on the ground, but it can’t be charged with littering.
And Donald J. Trump…mocked and maligned as evil, grasping, and incompetent…and probably guilty on hundreds of counts of bad judgement, negligence, high crimes, and misdemeanors…may actually be the most innocent creature ever to nest in the White House.