“Well, he didn’t totally embarrass us,” a member of the GOP said after watching The President of The United States speak before the United Nations General Assembly this week, proving once again the bar has been set so low that as long as the President didn’t actually start a war or begin spitting blood, everything would be okay.
Trump said he would, “Totally destroy North Korea,“ if he was forced to do so–almost taunting Kim Jong Un to make a move Trump didn’t like. He also referred to Un as “Rocket Man,” thus probably angering Bernie Taupin and Elton John–or at least prompting them to seek royalties every time POTUS uses this nickname.
For some of us, it ruined a great old pop song.
Trump did say the UN – if it lived up to its creed could solve a lot of problems and he encouraged the UN to do so because parts of the world are, in his words, headed for Hell. Never mind we’ve had our hand in guiding parts of the world in that direction.
Trump also said “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission.” Though he was talking about North Korea, those I spoke with in the GOP fear it could serve as a metaphor for the Trump administration as well. (Today, Un responded with his own insults, calling Trump ’a mentally deranged dotard.’)
Whatever else Trump’s speech was, it definitely was unprecedented. And it occurred in a week of unprecedented activity for the U.S. Our president proposed a Soviet-style parade showing off our military might marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, threatened to bow out of a nuclear agreement with Iran and threatened to blow North Korea off the map if its leader so much as twitched. In effect, he was threatening war with two nations at once. Third World despots do such things.
Our UN ambassador Nikki Haley told the White House press room last Friday before the President left for New York that he would “slap and hug” people at the UN. And while some say Trump’s preoccupation with American military might and his less-than-subtle attempts at saber rattling are counterproductive and anti-American, POTUS is sure it’s just a way of shining our light for everyone to see.
This new American attitude left me pondering something Isaac Asimov wrote; “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
The attitude in this administration goes far beyond hypocrisy. When you wed yourself to “alternative facts,” and spin reality to fit your warped vision for eight months, you risk spinning yourself out of control. Self delusion is a bitter drink best served never, especially when it comes to the supposed leader of the free world.
That’s where we are and it is a truly frightening place to be. While the president tosses his Twitter litter down to amuse, frighten and enrage us along with his obtuse military posturing, his current and former staffers continue their march into oblivion in lock-step, unable to see where they are going.
For six months Sean Spicer walked up to the podium on a daily basis and lied to us, a fact he as much as admitted when he played the fool before the Emmy crowd this week. While I like Sean and always felt he was put into an impossible situation, he did stay for six months in a job I would’ve walked away from the moment I had to lie about his crowd size.
I don’t think Sean understands the depth of the deception with which he was involved, but unlike others, I think he’s concerned about it. Which is far more enlightened than anyone else in his circle. Others like Sarah Sanders are still intent on beating people into submission on the President’s behalf and show little or no remorse for doing so.
It would take volumes to fully explain this disconnect with reality. Philosophers and psychiatrists could make fortunes trying to figure it all out.
But the truth was readily apparent as Trump spoke before the UN Tuesday. A government that used to pride itself on being the adult in the room, a nation that prided itself on restraint and justice for all has bared its soul as the biggest bully in the room, ready to flex its muscles and incur the wrath of those who have nothing to lose. As much as Trump would like the rest of the world to see us as an example – it isn’t the example many of us want the world to see. We used to help the developing world. We began the Peace Corps, we had a Marshal plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. We stressed peace, education and understanding. Now we’re the junk yard thugs with the thin skin of a pampered and sheltered pre-pubescent in public school for the first time.
Occasionally Trump will stumble across an issue and make some sense – much like a drunk is able to stumble into a bar and cogently order his favorite drink. For the moment you think him to be sober – then everything else gives him away.
The overriding concern is when he becomes drunk with power is he going to drag the rest of the bar into a fight that will be next to impossible to quell–and does he even care? Rocket Man is on a suicide mission, all right. But I don’t want us to be Slim Pickens riding the rocket.
… And the Mueller investigation continues.