Two Western Leaders came to Washington

Last week, the two leaders of the western world met with the US President, who has ceded the US role in the world. Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, and Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany visited with Donald Trump.

Of course, the US has the most powerful military in the world. We’d better as we spend far more than other countries. Yet, with our pulling back on diplomacy and the number of diplomats, with our imposition of tariffs on even our allies, with our retrenching from global agreements and with an unprecedented level of untruthfulness, we have ceded our global leadership role to China, overall, and Germany and France in the western world. And, while the UK remains important and formidable, I am sad to say Brexit will precipitate its decline from these ranks.

Macron and Merkel beseeched the US President to remain in the Iran Nuclear deal signed by seven parties (including the four countries above). As with other issues, Trump does a lot of chest beating without the benefit of being factually accurate. John Oliver of “Last Week Tonight,” does a nice job of defining the terms of the agreement and noting three untruthful things the US President says about it.

And, at least Macron openly requested the US to remain in the Paris Climate Change accord. We know this as Macron was allowed to speak with Congress and did so with an eye to the future and a statesman like flair. Yet, Merkel did not get such an opportunity. It puzzles me why Trump does not like her as his contempt easily shows.

He dotes on Macron, but he looks like he would rather be elsewhere when he is with Merkel. Is he jealous because Putin will actually listen to her? Is he superficial to not like her because she does not have a model’s shape or looks? Or is it her policies of openness to refugees? Or, it may be she is a student of understanding issues and he is not?

Nonetheless, she sees the future in the appropriate light as does Macron. “Narrow-minded nationalism” is something we must guard against Macron said to the US Congress. Global trade and relationships make the world safer.

I firmly believe if Trump remains in office for four years (and God forbid eight years), history will judge this period as when the US gave up its leadership role in the world. And, this happened with others not firing one shot, just a well-orchestrated influence campaign by the Russians who want a weaker west. But, don’t trust my judgement. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and former State Department official Ronan Farrow has penned a book called “War on Peace” that notes the same premise with definitive examples. The decline in diplomacy is a huge mistake – we sent two people to a global issues meeting, while China sent twenty. They worked the rooms.

This is a sad state of affairs. We have listened to a populist President who does not care to know historical context and is not beholden to the truth. He has listened to people who want us to retrench. And, there is one thing for certain, we cannot shrink to greatness. It matters not what the ball caps say at Trump rallies.

32 thoughts on “Two Western Leaders came to Washington

  1. Very good post, Keith! As to why Trump doesn’t like Merkel … all of the reasons you suggest likely play a role, but the bottom line, I think, is that she is a woman with power. He likes women as sex objects, but does not think of them as his equals, does not believe they are qualified to lead nations.

    The world has shrunk, and there is no room for isolationism, which is the path Trump would lead us down. You are quite right that global trade and relationships is the only path to security and prosperity for any nation. Let us hope we do not have even 4 years, let alone 8, of this destructive “leader”.

    • Jill, I beat around the bush on the statement you made more obviously. He is a man who likes to trade in for a younger model and definitely likes to test drive other cars. I think he does not like her as she is everything he is not – very learned and caring and less egocentric. Keith

      • Hah! The older I get, the less likely I am to beat around any bushes. I think in part it is the awareness that time is running out and it is better to just, as my WP friend Mary says, “Call a spade a bloody shovel”! I feel sorry for Melania … at least until I remind myself that she married him for his money and for citizenship, and then I think she is reaping what she sowed.

        Merkel is twice the human that he will ever be, and somewhere under the narcissistic bluster, surely he must realize it. I wonder what he would have thought of Thatcher if he had to deal with her? That thought brings some mirth to my heart! 😀

      • Jill, you are a breath of fresh air. Can you imagine the conversations in the halls of leadership around the globe about the US President? Even in our own halls there are some conversations that would boggle the mind.

        I was reading a comment by an economist today who said about the tariff issues, Trump had caused uncertainty on a day-to-day basis and businesses do not like operating under this kind of uncertainty. Keith

      • Thank you, Keith!!! Yes, I would love to hear some of the conversations that take place both here and abroad about Trump. I wonder if he has people reporting back to him on just such conversations? It wouldn’t surprise me, for he is paranoid.

      • Jill, in private they likely share the comedic to the troubling. As we see, much of it would be funny, if it were not so sad and alarming. Any statue to him would have to have one arm patting himself on the back. Keith

      • So true. I was reviewing some of my really old posts from late 2015, when I was still laughing. Dark humour, as we now know. And I kept saying, with confidence, “it can’t happen, folks”. Sigh.

      • Jill, it boggles the mind we elected this man as our President. It seemed like a joke and now the joke is on us. Keith

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Last week, the U.S. hosted the leaders of France and Germany. Our friend Keith has written an excellent post, assessing those visits and how different the current U.S. policies are from those of Macron & Merkel. Please take a few minutes to read and think about the direction we are heading, as opposed to most of the rest of the Western nations. Thank you, Keith, for this thoughtful post.

  3. Hey, Keith,
    I don’t get “Last Week Tonight” where I live. What were the three lies Deceiving Truthteller told about these meetings?
    Oh, and by the way, don’t you just love his claim that he had everything to do with the summit meeting of the Koreas. This man’s ego needs constant bolstering, even if he has to provide it for himself! When is going to realize his ego was deflated years ago…

    • Thanks for commenting. As for your last comment, Trump will assume credit for anything even when unjustified. Kim Jong Un stands to gain an awful lot, just by appearing more statesmanlike. We shall have to see how this unfolds.

      As for Iran, here is a YouTube link to the John Oliver segment. The lies include they are policing this on their own – they are not and must be subject to inspection. We got nothing for this – not really as Iran got rid of a significant amount a uranium. And, they are not biding by the terms – actually they seem to be. There was something else about giving them 24 days to fix something which Trump misconstrued, but I will need to watch it again. Keith

      • Oops, that video is not available, at least not to me. Is the Damned Thief already stealing videos from bloggers who do not support him… Oh, if only I could prove that…. LMTD. ..

  4. He only listens to his overgrown ego and to everyone who supports it. He creates separations and irritations in the world and this will definitely NOT make America first in the long run. Yes, God forbid 8 years!!

    • This man divides people, plain and simple. Look at any footage at his campaign events (which he is still having), and it is everyone else is against you, but me. Saturday night he said the media and Democrats hate you. Really. Maybe they hate lying, demeaning, womanizing, degrading of people.

  5. Note to Readers: Per my discussion with Erika, I make reference to Trump’s campaign like events. In essence, he likes running for President better than the duties of being President. He gets criticized on his job, but gets adulation at these events.

    So, with such an enormous and fragile ego, he started his campaign for 2020 about a year ago. With his penchant for lying and wanting applause from his adoring fans, I would ignore anything he says at these events. In fact, I would say they should not be covered at all as they are not utile for governance. If you don’t feed the beast….Keith

  6. Note to Readers: Have you noticed other leaders like Trudeau, May, Abe, Moon, Macron, Merkel, etc. don’t demean opponents and lie as much as the US President does? People disagree with them and they get bad press, but they are not known for treating folks poorly.

  7. I am grateful to Jill of Filosofa’s Word for introducing me to your blog. Your writing and my thinking about the recent visits are in total agreement. I’m amazed that Trump finds time to do anything, as he seems quite immersed in campaigning for 2020 and spewing more lies. Thank-you!

    • Ellen, many thanks for coming by and commenting. Any one who frequents Jill’s blog is an informed person. Please do come again and never hesitate to share your opinion. All the best, Keith

  8. Dear Keith,

    I wonder if Russia is approving of President Trump getting cozy with Israel where Iran is its arch-enemy.

    Israel is pushing for the president tearing up the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal. On our local PBS channel where an Israeli spoke on the Christiane Amanpour show. He said that according to Israeli officials, the president has already made his mind up to renege on the Iran deal over the opposition of his own Defense Secretary General Mattis. The show by Benjamin Netanyahu was done in support of this decision.

    Now here’s the question. Which country is making US policies, Russia or Israel in cahoots with Saudi Arabia and UAE?

    It is NOT in the US national interests to get embroiled in a war with Iran which is what Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE want.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, I had the same feeling about the staging. Trump is not being totally truthful about what the deal does. It is not perfect, as any deal with seven countries involved.

      Here is what is not being considered. The median age in Iran is age 35. So, by doing commerce, we have a chance to have people amenable to the US for fifty years. If we beat on our chest, we will alienate this group.

      But, here is the question. If we do not have a deal, what do you propose to do Messers. Trump and Netanyahu? Are you going to attack? What if the other six parties continue the deal without the US? Keith

  9. Macron is more right wing than Merkel he is already battling with the train drivers to curb their desires for more and more . They want early retirement ,big pensions , high wages you would think they were politicians the way they behave. Merkel is far more conciliatory she welcomes migrants and endeavours to come to terms with Islam. I fear her days are over Europe is moving to the right on the principal what’s mine is mine. She has little in common with the great Trump but if she was younger with an hour glass figure I’m sure he would welcome some dalliance being like many men who are unable to control themselves.
    We must remember German history and the great scar that Hitler left on the German people so they are slower to repeate the experiment having suffered remembrance of it ever since.

    • Kertsen, your points are valid. Neither are perfect, but they at least keep the car between the white lines. The US President puts it in the ditch. Keith

  10. Thank you for a good summary of the visits and their possible meaning. Macron is interesting. I was particularly fascinated by the contrast between the two wives and the collusion on dress. I do think Trump is thoroughly confused by Merkel as she does not fit in any convenient box – as a woman she breaks all his rules. Even Teresa May, thought too old for him to regard her as an attractive woman in his sense of the word, takes trouble to dress interestingly – well, in her own style 😉 (which would not be not mine) Sadly, I agree with what you say about the UK too. We are condemned to live in these interesting times. Thanks, again, for sharing these insights and to Jill for sending us over here!.

    • Many thanks for stopping by and commenting. When Merkel came the first time for a visit, the man would not shake her hand on camera, even with reporters goading him to do so. When I see the two of them, I think of a conversation between the Valedictorian and the guy voter Most Popular. We have to remember, Trump used to pretend to be his own publicist and call into a New York radio talk show to brag (as the publicist) of his boss’ social exploits.

      Cheers, Keith

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