Another week, another round of insults from the American clown, this time for two of America’s closest friends and allies.
What makes this cartoon from Patrick Chappatte, the editorial cartoonist for the International New York Times, so funny is not that Trump actually said this. It’s that we know only too well Trump is capable of saying anything and will then refuse to apologize when shown to be wrong.
Trump seems to love insulting other countries almost as much as he loves insulting anyone here in the U.S. who disagrees with him. But, as Rex Tillerson’s recent trip to Asia shows, the United States will pay a price for alienating those whose cooperation we need in containing dangerous threats like North Korea.
Mexico was the first country to incur Trump’s wrath and continues to be a special favorite even though the budget Trump submitted to Congress this week includes billions to begin work on his border wall. So much for Trump’s promise that Mexico would pay for the wall; you’re the only one who is going to pay for it, probably in part with money saved from cutting other programs like Meals on Wheels.
Money for Trump’s big, beautiful, wall or to feed Grandma and Grandpa? Now there’s a terrific choice for you!
But Mexico is not the only country Trump has insulted. Others include Australia, China, Japan, and Sweden. And this week Trump added two more to the list, the United Kingdom and Germany.
The U.K. was ticked off because Trump, citing a Fox News commentator, suggested former President Obama partnered with GCHQ, the secretive British intelligence agency, to spy on Trump.
The British were less than pleased by this suggestion, which they vigorously denied, as was Fox News itself. It disavowed its own commentator. Fox was not alone in doing this. The GOP and Democratic leaders of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees say they’ve seen no evidence to back up Trump’s claim.
But would Trump apologize or allow others to do so for him? No! Trump won’t apologize to Obama for lying about wiretapping Trump Tower. Why would he apologize (or let others in his Administration apologize) to the U.K.?
Meanwhile, back at the White House, Trump was refusing to shake Angela Merkel’s hand in the Oval Office. To make matters worse, after proclaiming he had a wonderful meeting with the Chancellor, he took to social media the next day to slam Germany, insisting that “Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”
That’s not true, of course, but Trump counts on no one caring about small details like the truth.
During her meeting with Trump on Friday, Merkel explicitly reaffirmed her commitment to nearly double Germany’s defense spending until 2024, an increase that would meet NATO’s requirement that member states spend 2 percent of GDP on defense by that year as agreed to three years ago under Obama.
The fact that we have a congenital liar as President is bad enough. More concerning perhaps is that Trump’s insults and crumbling credibility don’t just damage Trump. They damage America as well.
The percentage of Germans who view the United States as a trustworthy ally has dropped from 59 percent in November to 22 percent in February. In recent months, Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s outspoken vice chancellor and foreign minister, has even called Trump a “threat.”
This is a worrisome shift in a nation that has long considered itself one of the United States’ closest allies, especially since it’s mostly the U.S. that has benefited from stationing troops in Germany in recent years. We rely on bases in Germany like Ramstein for operations in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
But this is only one example of the damage Trump is causing. Rex Tillerson’s recent trip to Asia, which seemingly accomplished nothing at all, is another. Why should China cooperate on North Korea with a country whose President insults it daily?
But, then again, why should anyone care? The only person in the world who matters is Donald Trump and his fragile ego. Take it from the clown himself!