Conflicted about Trump
This last week has seen lots of controversy involving US President Donald Trump. He has been accused of disrespecting world leaders at the G7 summit. Very undiplomatic.
So there are all these cartoons and photos showing Trump as being immature and childish, and how bad it will be for the USA if he annoys these important world leaders who are supposed to be US Allies.
And then I recall that in the past when these G(numeral) summits have been held there have been massive protest demonstrations at the summit venues, which have tended to be very disrespectful towards the gathered world leaders. I don’t recall reading about such demonstrations this time. Perhaps they were there, but if they were, the media didn’t report on them much. According to the media reports, the one carrying the anti-globalisation flag this time was none other than the much-despised Donald Trump.
Now Trump is meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
And on TV there is this bloke complaining bitterly that Trump is not going to demand that North Korea give up nuclear weapons totally and unconditionally Not that he expects that the US would offer to give up nuclear weapons unconditionally itself as a quid pro quo. That seems to be quite unthinkable in the eyes of the media pontificators. Previous US presidents were criticised for being too imperialistic, but now Donald Trump is being criticised for not being imperialist enough.
So if a world leader like Donald Trump does the right thing for the wrong reasons, is he any worse than his predecessors who did the wrong thing for the “right” reasons — like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair with their “humanitarian” wars?
I’m conflicted a bit, as well. I’m no globalist, and don’t carry water for the G_. The lack of protesters could be a related to the remote venue location, but that is just a guess. But I usually come down on the side of civility, and Trump’s behavior was typically rude, crude, and boorish.
And yes, the media’s heads are spinning, condemning the very things they advocated up until the time DJT did them (of course, the flip side is even more true–Fox News lauding DJT for the very thing over which they excoriated Obama.)
But we are in Bizarro World these days. I have no idea what will come of this–good, bad, or indifferent; and I don’t think anyone else does either. I am pleased to see the de-escalation of tensions, leaders sitting across from one another rather than hurling taunts at each other. And to the extent that DJT deserves any credit for this, then I believe in giving credit where credit is due. (Of course, the cynic would note his role is the very escalation of tensions, but no matter.)
Now, what I wonder is this: why cannot this template of flexibility and openness to dialogue be applied elsewhere? What about a similar approach to Iran? I’m not going to hold my breath.
Yes, it all seems to be about personalities rather than policies these days. It doesn’t matter what they do, what’s important is who does it.