But he can’t take it.
We have an Oval Office Autocrat who governs in the persona of a decidedly unfunny insult comic, but when it comes back at him, he folds like the craven coward he is. Typical fat fifth-grade boy bully pattern. The terror of grade school recess waiting to pick on the skinny boy with glasses, but now in the White House, transmogrified to the tweet-lashing Lyin’ King.
Transactional Trump gives offense without thinking about it, lies when it’s handy, and of course when any of that is pointed out he fumes and strikes out.
His targets cut across all lines, slandering friends and foes alike, in a hate state of psychological primal amygdalic cyber-guttural foam. Katie Couric is a “third rate reporter.” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s “mind is shot.”
The libelous nicknames are right down there in the seventh-grade swamp, juvenilia from the White House: “liddle Bob Corker.” “Sloppy Steve” Bannon.
The USA has always had the potential weakness of an out-of-control, stupid, loutish, lying, promise-breaking president, but no one really thought we’d get one. Now we do and the entire world is wide-eyed embarrassed for us. Trump breaks the word of the U.S. with rash impunity — backs out of what we committed to with the Paris Agreement (against the strong advice of all scientists with integrity), nixes the TPP, and now makes the U.S. the pariah nation that breaks its word to Iran, Germany, the EU, the UK, Russia and China by pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal with zero evidence that Iran has not fully complied.
The world now knows the U.S. cannot be trusted.
It took enormous work to get the Iran deal signed by the president and ratified by the Senate — this was not just flipping an Obama Executive Order — and Trump just showed the world that the word of the United States of America is not worth the paper it’s printed on.
I wonder how the Boeing workers are going to feel, now that Trump has ended the sales of civilian aircraft already contracted to Iran, $20 billion in contracts that Boeing won and now are lost. Thanks, Dear Leader. Another brilliant Art of the Deal move.
Naturally, hardliners in Tehran are given ammunition and have done their usual Death to America chants, but joined by more and more Iranians as they now are convinced that the U.S. cannot be trusted. Make America the Great Satan Again!
Linking all issues to the nuclear deal is now, and always was, a loser. Yes, we want Iran to be following perfect practices in human rights, civil rights, and democracy. But they are well along the path toward having a nuclear arsenal and the Iran deal nixed that for as long as the deal lasted— and the intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency proved that Iran was indeed complying and the deal was working.
Trump has now permitted Iran to build nukes. Obama stopped them peacefully. Bolton wants to do it by bringing war. One way is inexpensive in blood and treasure; the other is horrifically expensive in all ways.
Really, Bolton wants war? Yes, he has been outspoken about just that and it is not any coincidence that Trump fired H.R. McMaster and brought Bolton in just as the Iran question is called.
This regime is chaotic, warmongering, lying, insulting, embarrassing and entirely corrupt. Americans are called to replace it or be rightly seen in just that light. The blessings and curses of democracy.
Tom H. Hastings is Founding Director of PeaceVoice.