The Risks and Benefits of the Insane Tweets of Donald J. Trump

2018-01-04 – So many tweets! Each one can keep you spinning for days. I usually try to stay away from @realDonaldTrump. But one of his crazy tweets stuck in my mind this week.

Now, Donald Trump is nothing if he’s not an opportunist. People have been noting for quite some time that the guy claims credit for all sorts of things that he had nothing to do with. This isn’t like that. This is not like his taking credit for all sorts of Obama-era things that happened before he took the oath of office. This isn’t like his taking credit for aviation safety, which has been a thing for several decades.

Foreign policy is something that is his responsibility and the fledgling talks between North and South Korea is something happening on his watch. Never mind that, until now, he was opposed to talks. Never mind that he’s been threatening nuclear war in the Korean peninsula—even though he probably has zero idea of why we should be mad at the North Koreans. (Actually, I have no idea why we should be mad at the North Koreans. So I guess we’re in the same boat.)

What’s happening here?

Under Donald Trump, the United States has become a non-actor on the world stage. We’ve dropped out of trade arrangements and we’re threatening to drop out of more. We’ve given the finger to the global climate change accord. We’ve stepped away from the status quo on Jerusalem. We’re erratic and rudderless.

For the rest of the world, the training wheels are off. And this may not be a bad thing.

One of the few things from Donald Trump’s campaign that made sense was his complaint about the burdens of world leadership. Since WWII, we’ve be out there trying to run things. It’s expensive. Other nations are dependent on us. And we often don’t get any benefit for our own country.

The complaint made sense, but he had no solutions to the problem. Getting out of the world domination business doesn’t really go with his macho posturing. He seems to enjoy threatening nuclear war. And he can’t be seen dropping the reins.

But that is really what is happening.

He’s full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, as the Bard said.

And so some of the leaders of the world are picking up the reins to take charge of things that the United States dominated until a year ago. Hopefully, that is what is happening in Korea.

Business leaders and state leaders in this country are doing the same thing. Who knows where this will lead? It’s haphazard. It’s mindless. But if all these actors can avoid making the big mistake, maybe we’ll be in a better place . . .

. . . a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more . . .

 

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