Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mr. Trump Goes To Europe As The Whole World Watchs

It seems President Trump has learned little in the way of humility during his time in office and he made that clear during his recent visit to the Euro-zone where he has stepped on quite a few toes. Too clever by half is an old British saying, it refers to someone who is too confident of their own intelligence in a way that annoys other people. Often the reason a person gets labeled this way is because they come across as arrogant. The word braggadocios has been used to describe Donald Trump, synonyms for this word according to are blowhard, boaster, bragger, show-off, and windbag. None of these are very flattering and over time such behavior has a way of wearing on people which often results in a backlash accommodated with negative consequences.

Anti-Trump Protesters Made Him Feel Unwelcome
Following a meeting with NATO where he may have stirred up some rather bad feelings, he has moved onto the UK. In a visit that has been described as contentious by many mainstream media outlets Trump's tendency towards arrogant behavior has him coming across like a bull in a china shop. This only adds fuel to the fire within the thousands of people who are taking part in a series of protests during his stay in the UK. Trump’s lack of decorum, dignity, and statesmanship emerged in an interview with The Sun timed to coincide with his UK visit. After Theresa May rolled out the red carpet for President Trump and wife Melania during their first night in Britain, Trump came out swinging and bashed her by mounting an extraordinary attack on the PM’s exit negotiation. Trump also revealed she had ignored his advice on how to toughen up the troubled talks and said he believes Mrs. May has gone “the opposite way.”

Going even further Trump warning Mrs. May might have killed off and made a lucrative US trade deal very unlikely. Trump said: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.” Trump then suggested former foreign minister Boris Johnson, who quit May's cabinet on Monday, would be a better leader than May, and criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan as "terrible" and unwelcoming. Donald Trump’s damaging comment that could severely damage Prime Minister May, highlight what many of his detractors see as a total lack of decorum. During the interview, it is said Trump also;
  • Accused EU leaders of destroying its culture and identity by allowing in millions of migrants
  • Tore into London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not standing up to terrorists
  • Blamed Khan for spiralling crime in the capital
  • Insisted former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson would make “a great Prime Minister”
  • Denied once branding Theresa May a “bossy schoolteacher”
  • Maintained he would keep ties with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin despite the Salisbury Novichok poisonings
  • Demanded Britain and other Nato countries spend more on defense
  • Spoke of his sadness at feeling unwelcome in the capital by anti-Trump protesters
  • Claimed millions of Brits backed his policies
The day after the interview Trump made an effort to roll back some of his harshest comment using the fig leaf of "fake news" for misleading people of his true feelings. While it is true that the media seems to revel in "Trump bashing," it could be argued he brings about much of this problem himself. Back in mid-April of 2017 in an article, I opined on how Trump often came across as a bit too clever for his own good. At the time the polls showed Trump lacked broad support and his favorability ratings couldn't seem to get out of the cellar.

Trump Often Comes Across As Too Clever By Half
Ironically his bombing of a Syrian air base in reaction to a chemical attack that killed children did receive kudos, however, it was from never Trump people, neocons, and liberals who believe in intervention. In fact, many of the supporters that constitute his base were a bit down in the mouth about getting involved. One way to gauge how President Trump's base is reacting to his moods is how they react to the tweets he sends out at any time of the day or night. When he twitters the President is able to bypass the mainstream media but it often gets their attention and a fair amount of negative coverage. Still more important is the reactions to the messages he twitters can vary greatly among those who voted him into office.

One thing many people find troubling is that after just a short time in office Trump has brought America to the brink of war, and I don't mean with just one country or foe. You can flip a coin as to whether it is the Korean peninsula that will light up with a nuclear glow, Europe erupting into conflict with Russia, or we will awaken to find thousands of American troops being dispatched to the Middle East. Years ago an attorney cautioned me that when negotiating a deal I sometimes came across as a little coy, I have always questioned his terminology, however, admit that when I was young and leaning far into the wind I might have gone a little too far. My point is when you play fast and loose the potential that you may lose control of events increases dramatically.

Some Trump Supporters Remain Concerned
Also feeding into his credibility is the issue of Trumps "flip-flops," needless to say they do not bode well for those seeking stability and wishing to go to bed at night wishing or thinking they will awaken to a world where little has changed. And let me be clear, we are not talking about what might be labeled as minor issues. We are focused on some of the key issues of the day leaving many of us a bit puzzled.

The mainstream media is quick to point out Trump's shortcomings and makes a big deal over ever falling out he has with his staff he remains brash and bold and supremely confident. While he claims he's running a well-oiled machine others give the impression that a revolving door needs to be installed to accommodate those rapidly becoming disenchanted with the way things are being run. Inside the White House, a bubbling cauldron of different ideas are competing for power and the President's ear. With this in mind, everyone should remember it was a populist message of draining the swamp that resulted in his election and while often discounted as "common folk" these voters are not necessarily as simple-minded as the pundits might lead you to believe. 

For many Americans supporting Trump was not easy or did not come naturally, however, they saw Hillary Clinton as even less acceptable. A series of recent flip-flops on positions are beginning to irritate and concern parts of his base. If this continues they will begin to doubt what he is really about. If voters who supported Trump become convinced he is playing them for fools it is likely they will loudly voice their discontent. In some way we are looking at a choice of style, Trump has repeatedly said he likes to play cards that are unexpected to keep the opposition off balance, however, when you unsettle those who support you it has a way to come back and haunt you.

Trumps failure to move healthcare reform forward in any real way coupled with Republicans pathetic excuse for an answer to improve healthcare has raised doubt about those currently in power to deliver on other issues. Trump's prediction that Democrats will own ObamaCare if it falls apart is no longer valid. A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows a majority of voters, 61 percent said they now blame Trump and Republicans for “future problems” with the healthcare law. Since the GOP is in control of the government “they are responsible for any problems with it moving forward.” The same situation exists as far the implications to the economy and national debt in coming years following his so-called reforms in how corporations are taxed.

While some of this can be explained away as a strategy change or that he is evolving it has and should raise concern. Part of the problem is we were promised better than this, and not only better but quickly, we were promised we would win so much we would get tired of winning. To hear Trump talk at times you get the idea he thinks it is all about him. For example, Trump has both praised and blamed himself for the strong dollar. “I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me,” said Trump. This means whether he realizes it or not, by taking credit for things not directly flowing from his position he also opens and creates the situation where he may also be blamed and have criticism heaped upon him for things out of his control.

It should be noted this trip includes the President's all important with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and he may be engaging in a bit of pre-meeting posturing. Still, considering just how polarized America is any event playing out poorly or a few bad news cycles can put Trump in a precarious position. A little humility on the part of Trump would go a long way towards defusing the anger that is beginning to smolder as his supporters witness a flip-flop here and a flip there. With Trump detractors eagerly awaiting the day when he fails and receives his comeuppance Trump best remember who his friends are and that in Washington he has very few of them. There will be bad days, there always are, and before they erupt Trump would be wise to remember the message he put before the people if not the populist most likely unleash their wrath upon him.
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