This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Asserting Trump Control

"MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change."
"[Most of other 28 NATO member states fail to pay their fair share of defence; [not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States."
U.S. President Donald J. Trump
Video for trump elbowing aside european leader
Stills from video with Trump elbowing Montenegrin president aside: I'm in charge here!

Is it because he cannot believe he actually persuaded enough American voters that he has what it takes to make America great again, to vote him into office, that President Trump throws his considerable weight around, in the process reassuring himself, while alternately infuriating, amusing and alienating other world leaders by his abrupt, uninformed, arrogant and insulting manner? Or could it even be remotely possible that this man thinks of himself as not only the first but the only authority among world leaders?
"The time when we could completely count on others is a little bit in the past. That is what I have experienced in the past few days. That is why I say that we Europeans must really take our own fate into our own hands ..."
"We have to know that we must fight for our own future and destiny together as Europeans."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

"[That interminable grip of a handshake] was not innocent. We don't make little concessions, even symbolic ones."
French President Emmanuel Macron

"The future of Europe is perhaps in our hands. [Europeans must] speak more forcefully than in the past."
"[But] that does not mean that we forget the importance of our transatlantic relationship. The United States remains an important ally but that does not mean that we renounce certain principles about which Italy is very clear."
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni

"Leaders who think we can hide from these changes [climate change, trade, refugees] or turn back the clock are wrong. It is our responsibility to harness these changes and make them work for people."
"[Yes, the stakes are high and] yes, the United States was an important part of the discussion..."
"We have to recognize that on matters of values and the desire to give our citizens the same opportunities, we share the same values as the United States."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
So a united G7 and NATO have become somewhat insecure and a trifle disunited of late. The United States has long been the essential glue that kept the disparate parts together in a common contract, based on similar values and aspirations. During the eight years that former President Barack Obama occupied the leaders' throne thee was a gap in the role and a little insecurity crept in now and again but goodwill remained constant and so did a self-assuring future that the compact was secure.

Now, the gruff and crude entrance of a man whose instincts are firmly lodged on his imagined personal magnetism that brooks no dissent when his abrasive rejection of all that the aggregate in the alliances rely upon to maintain integrity of purpose and trust has been destabilized leaving the others gasping for the oxygen of a leadership assurance that has been summarily kicked out of alignment. The parameters have been re-aligned and any who disagree will be shoved aside.

The issues of immigration, inter-faith relations, free trade versus protectionism, defence spending and the Paris Agreement on climate change have been yanked out of their common agreement and they lie in disarray, twitching in an agony of uncertainty. Just as Trump's first instinct was to deny American interest in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, leaving it dead in the water, the G7 are now wondering whether their alliance has been permanently pulled asunder.

As for NATO, the musketeer approach of "one for all and all for one" appears to be in jeopardy. The nation that always represented itself as the foremost among almost-equals appears no longer to be prepared to act as the big brother whom all the little brothers call upon to face up to the schoolyard bully. NATO's ultimate principle of self-defence lies in an agonizing funk of leaderlessness.

At least one thing has been resolved; the nervousness and trepidation with which other G7 leaders viewed the entrance of the new president has been resolved; he is every bit as churlishly ignorant in his state of arrogance as they feared.
President Trump at the NATO summit with world leaders in Brussels on Thursday. Credit Matt Dunham/Associated Press

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