#AmericanPrestige | #WhatTheyVotedFor
Ordinarily, a half-way competent president would manage to avoid quite so many international incidents, but Trump has managed to create these problems after just two months—in many cases, for reasons that are only obvious to him.
Remember, as we discussed a month ago, Republicans spent years investing enormous energy into the idea that President Obama hurt the United States’ international standing. The opposite was true, but GOP officials nevertheless argued, with unnerving vigor, that America had forfeited the admiration of the world.
During the Republican presidential primaries, for example, Jeb Bush insisted that during the Obama era, “We have lost the trust and confidence of our friends.” Around the same time, Scott Walker and Donald Trump had a chat about “how poorly” the United States is now “perceived throughout the world.” Mitt Romney added, “It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office.”
The point is pretty much the same, whoever makes it: For all Republicans complained about American prestige during the Obama presidency, it seems, like so many of their other complaints, precisely strange that they should have backed President Donald Trump. Then again, perhaps we should consider what that really means.
The Trump presidency is devastating American prestige. We ought to wonder, at this point, whether that is the plan. After all, as the president and his team wreck the State Department, assail their own intelligence services, propose to scale back our international outreach in general, and have managed to set about alienating international allies, partners, and neighbors before even being inaugurated—or, you know, elected, if we get right down to it—the only reason the question why remains puzzling is that the most likely answer is at least as unpleasant as actually acknowledging that, yes, this really is what it looks like. We can all pretty much see who benefits from all this, but there is a certain sense of threshold about the idea of actually finally invoking the proposition as accusation proper.
That is to say: Looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck; can’t be a duck, because that would be dehumanizing.
It is hard to say what needs to be said, this time. People seem to be waiting for it to fall out as some manner of accident so we can all just shake our heads at the requisite indignity and get on with the necessary business of resolving the spectacular indecency.
Note: Originally posted at #trumpswindle, 20 March 2017.
Image note: Donald Trump delivers his first news conference after winning the presidential election, 11 January 2017, in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Right ― Puti-Toots. (Image credit: Unknown)
Benen, Steve. “Donald Trump is running out of foreign leaders to alienate”. msnbc. 20 March 2017.