TORONTO - Sometimes Inconceivable that a country once considered the apogee of Western Civilization - both heir and advocate of the very best contributions mankind has had to offer in thought, science, culture and commerce – would be seduced to vote for the antithesis of those values and its interests.
Yet, Americans did choose Trump to be their “front man” in the world.
He has betrayed them. Correction, he has betrayed the concept of loyalty to ideals, adherence to the idea of growth and improvement, working towards Constitutional principles of Life Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness for everyone, and generally advocating for the rule of law civility and justice world-wide.
He’s proven himself a boor of the lowest, self-indulgent variety – an embarrassment to anyone and everyone with any sense of propriety, of common good or even collective interest in the face of potentially lethal adversaries or enemies.
He is the apex representative of all things American. The democratic will of the people, we are reminded, chose him to be so.
Those who were (reluctantly, one expects) hopeful that he might learn the difference between the rigours of politics and the requirements of statecraft will have been sorely disappointed by his catastrophic performance on the world stage with respect to allies, international agreements, other foreign leaders, and, more immediately, by his rejection of American interests for the sake of currying favour with the most dangerous despot of the day.
Could one possibly foresee a President who would set aside, if not completely reject, the assessments of his country’s national (and international) security interest in favour of positions posited by Kim Jong-un, Vladmir Putin or some leader of an international drug cartel?
“Trump knows best”; his “advisors” have not dumped him yet.
Everything seems to be a game to him, from “building walls” – bricks and mortar as well as the psychological/sociological variety - to tearing up commercial agreements (NAFTA), military partnerships (NATO), to insulting monarchical figureheads (I am an anti-monarchist) while a guest in their home, to denigrating Europe and leaders as “enemies” even as he sits with them to “plan out” a common future.
He is behaving like a tumour feeding off the American body politic.
Now his guns are turned unto the American people, whom he blames for sour relations with the regime whose actions in the Greater Middle East have provoked more instability, war and displacement than at any time since the post World War Two era.
An unconscionable blanket condemnation of the failure of American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War, thirty years ago.
How empty is this barrel of a President?
Compare him with the synopsis of the meeting extracted in a post-Presser interview with a wily, cunning and utterly ruthless President Putin.
Russia conceded nothing on Ukraine, Syria, Europe, Interference in foreign elections - especially those in US, 2016, or on nuclear capabilities.
Russia is the USA’s only serious nuclear weapons competitor. Both countries have more than enough weaponry and delivery systems to destroy the world ten times over.
Trump prefers the “strong” denials or affirmations of Putin to the prudent analyses of his own professional agencies.
What does Putin think of him? One paraphrases his response: he’s a rich man; there are many of them in the USA.