Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin
Instagram



News from the Caribbean:




Back To Today's News

Commentary: Advisers treating Trump like that crazy uncle...
Published on May 5, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Anthony L Hall

It behooves everyone else to do the same.

Since day one of his presidency, we’ve been treated to the spectacle of Donald Trump blurting out outrageous and erroneous statements of policy only to have one or another of his advisers correct him. This was the case, for example, when he said he would

• Kick out NATO members who “can’t pay their bills”;
• Rip up the nuclear deal with Iran;
• Name China a currency manipulator;
• Abolish the Export-Import bank;
• Get Mexico to pay for his border wall;
• Defund Planned Parenthood.

In each case, his advisers prevailed upon him to flip-flop in favor of the more sensible policy. Sure enough, here is how this farcical dynamic played out again last weekend with respect to South Korea:
 

South Korea said the United States had reaffirmed it would shoulder the cost of deploying the THAAD anti-missile system, days after President Donald Trump said Seoul should pay for the $1-billion battery designed to defend against North Korea.

In a telephone call on Sunday, Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, reassured his South Korean counterpart, Kim Kwan-jin, that the US alliance with South Korea was its top priority in the Asia-Pacific region, the South’s presidential office said.

(Reuters, May 1, 2017)

Incidentally, Trump had pundits across the political spectrum in a state of utter bewilderment yesterday. This, after he declared that he would be “honored” to meet with North Korea’s menacing dictator, Kim Jong-un.

hall.jpg
Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian who descends from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He is an international lawyer and political consultant - headquartered in Washington DC - who also publishes a current events weblog, The iPINIONS Journal, at http://ipjn.com
But I have maintained for years that any president who meets with the repressive leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey cannot standoff on principle when it comes to meeting with the repressive leaders of other countries. Indeed, propagating the notion that US presidents only meet with leaders who have committed no human-rights abuses is as patently disingenuous as propagating the notion that the Olympics only permit athletes who have never taken steroids to compete.

This is why I took exception when these same intellectually dishonest pundits excoriated Obama for declaring his willingness to meet with the repressive leader of Iran. Mind you, Obama wasn’t so stupid as to say he would be honored to do so. But stupid is as Trump does. (Just call him Forest Drumpf!)

Then, of course, there’s the way Trump has his surrogates continually scrambling to clarify the stunningly stupid and often reckless things he says. This is especially the case with remarks that betray what I call his dictator envy. It refers to his untenable fondness for dictators, despots and demigods -- like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the aforementioned North Korean President Kim Jong-un, respectively.

I hasten to note here my unbridled contempt for TV commentators who are “making bank” by spinning into specious points the outrageous and erroneous things Trump says. Frankly, they are nothing more than political hired guns who couldn’t care less about the truth and consequences of their spin.

Of course, if the producers of cable news had any concern for the integrity of public debate, they wouldn’t put these commentators on air to shoot their crap. Unfortunately, the zeitgeist today -- in which the superficial and mercenary trends of social media predominate -- is such that crap sells. This explains why Trump is president of the United States, after all.

More to the point, everyone in politics seems interested only in making bank. This explains why only a handful of politicians seem bothered that Trump is turning nepotism into a virtue and the White House into a clearing house for his family businesses. Meanwhile, I had cause only yesterday to hail his “First 100 Days” as “mainly the feat of an idiot, full of lies and hypocrisy, accomplishing nothing.”

That said, many commentators are suddenly parroting the crazy-uncle allusion. But here is how I made it several weeks ago -- as I explained the implications of this farcical dynamic between Trump and his advisers:

Such blunders are becoming a feature of his presidency. This is why political and business leaders worldwide are beginning to treat him like a crazy uncle, who is liable to say anything. Instead, they are looking to his cabinet secretaries to explain official US policies.

(“Hail, Erdogan -- Nouveau Sultan of Turkey,” The iPINIONS Journal, April 19, 2017)

Beyond this, the world should thank God for the constitutional checks and balances that limit the damage a crazy president like Trump can do. But, to be fair, it bears stressing that he was sensible enough to appoint smart advisers to correct his congenital blunders.

As it happens, though, he had his beleaguered surrogates scrambling again yesterday. This, after he claimed that the Civil War would have been averted if only, instead of the “Great Emancipator” Abraham Lincoln, the “tough,” slave-holding, Indian-killing Andrew Jackson were president.

It’s fairer to honor Tubman by dishonoring Andrew Jackson, whose face now graces the $20 bill. …

Jackson owned slaves. He also nearly wiped out Native Americans in the Southeastern United States, highlighted by forcing thousands of Cherokees on the “Trail of Tears” -- which makes the Bataan Death March look like a Sunday stroll -- as the White man’s solution to their “Indian problem.”

(“US Putting Woman on Wrong Dollar Bill,” The iPINIONS Journal, June 22, 2015)

Trump has made quite a show of hailing Jackson as his historical mentor, much as Obama hailed MLK as his. Except that Trump appears to have nothing more than sound-bite interest in Jackson, which is the kind of interest he shows in most things. Because just browsing the very entertaining Jackson biography, American Lion (2008), would have disabused him of such glaring ignorance. Especially given that it was written by Jon Meacham, one of the TV pundits he treats like political tutors.

In any event, resigned indignation with these dynamics of his presidency would spare us venting pointless outrage every time Trump acts like that crazy uncle; you know, the one who is always speaking with absolute authority and complete conviction on things he knows nothing about.

Related commentaries:
First 100 days
Erdogan
Dollar bill
Putin
Jong-un
 

 
Reads: 2798





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!




Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

As a result of our comments feature being overtaken in recent weeks by spammers using fake email addresses, producing a large number of bounced verification emails each day, we have reluctantly decided to suspend the comments section until further notice.

Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.




Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: