By Jason Taylor
It’s difficult to describe the degree to which the Trump administration is floundering, bewildered, in the face of a global system it clearly doesn’t understand. This is why, despite Republican adoration for them, business people tend to make bad political leaders — they come from a world of zero-sum, winner-take-all capitalism and are thrust into a world where you have to trade and compromise, often with delicate diplomacy, if you want to get ahead. Millions of Americans thought that because Trump ran a business it meant he could run a country. Now we’re all learning the hard way that the opposite appears to be true.
We are no longer a manufacturing based economy, so we don’t have as much to sell as when we were. We import huge amounts of electronics and consumer goods from abroad because we cannot make those products here at competitive rates. Clothing too. We want to pay Wal-mart prices for everything, so we import. The “buy American” concept doesn’t work because each of us has a budget to work with and a dollar only goes so far. One side of the trade deficit that Trump doesn’t talk about is the prices we are willing to pay for goods, vs. the labor rates we are willing to accept if we were to make those same products here at competitive prices.
The best thing Trump has done since coming into office is to leave the economy alone and let it function on its own. But now that he has decided to meddle with it (the Fed.,taxes, the banks, trade), it will start to fall apart. He has a golden touch to screw things up.
Donald Trump embarrassed himself and the United States at the G-7 meeting in Quebec, and he gradually realized it while it was happening. Once on the plane and making his early exit, Trump began lashing out. His dutiful sycophants, Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro, quickly joined in trashing the G-7 host, Justin Trudeau, and America’s traditional allies. Now, having made the strategic mistake of giving North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, unprecedented status by agreeing to meet with him personally, Donald Trump has backed himself into another corner. There will be nothing more than a temporary illusion of success in Singapore for Donald Trump and the United States. Kim has already received what he wanted — the meeting itself. Anything more will be gravy for North Korea.
President Donald Trump has made a shambles of U.S. foreign policy, badly weakening our country. In the days and weeks ahead, we can expect Trump and key Republican supporters to scurry around and furiously blame the mess on Democrats.
In taking cheap shots at Justin Trudeau, the president is describing himself as well as Jeff Sessions. The president’s limited vocabulary is equaled only by his meanness and pettiness when he can’t have his own way. It’s hard to see how he can endear America to her allies or even bring hostile regimes to the negotiating table. This man is a walking, living tornado. He promised to isolate the US if elected president and this is one promise he has lived up to.
“Mr. Trump’s strategy for pressuring Mr. Kim to give up his nuclear weapons has depended on isolating North Korea, but he arrived in Singapore looking isolated himself.”
Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. Trump’s unbelievable histrionics in Canada were totally uncalled for and indicative of a man who gets fixated on some erroneous economic “facts” and pushes them to the max even though they’re wrong. He has a couple of hours alone with Kim Jong Un who probably has figured out that the president’s mercurial and emotional personality makes him ripe for the plucking.
I predict Donald Trump will come away from this meeting thinking he trumped the dictator of North Korea when it will be precisely the opposite. If you focus on optics and “feelings” instead of hard policy issues, you’re able to be easily played. On the other hand, with his affinity for dictators, perhaps he’ll feel Kim Jong Un is more trustworthy than Justin Trudeau.
And in that, he’ll be wrong. Different culture, different language meanings, different histories — will Donald Trump be prepared to understand what he is, or isn’t agreeing to?
If Canada is any indication, I’d say, absolutely not.