It’s hard to imagine Donald Trump retaining one shred of anyone’s respect after the spectacle played out on television last month.
It actually made me cringe with shame for my many American friends.
It was five days that began with the man that has bragged of multiple sexual assaults interrupting a G7 conference on gender equality by tastelessly arriving late and disrupting the session.
It would end with Trump, the commander-in-chief f the American armed forces, for God’s sake, actually parroting the North Korean despot Kim Jong Un by referring to his own military exercises with his supposed ally, South Korea, as “provocative war games.”
Exercises that he caved into scrapping after a mere 40-minute chat with the “funny guy” with the “great personality” who is known to have killed and imprisoned in concentration camps tens of thousands of his own citizens.
Oh – and cancelling them without consulting or informing either his partner, South Korea, or his own military leaders.
Trump’s right about one thing. Only he could have done it.
It’s hard to picture the American president being more naïve and destructive even if our southern neighbours had elected a nine-year-old juvenile delinquent as president.
Trump’s inglorious day of toadying up to the 34-year old dictator ended with Trump describing Kim as a “great negotiator.”
What an understatement.
With nothing more than a smile, Kim managed to strip the American president of dignity, elevate himself to the level of a senior world statesman by the very act of meeting the U.S. leader, and put an end to the joint U.S.-South Korean annual military exercises that had acted as a bulwark against potential aggression from a renewal of the 68-year-old war between north and south.
A war that has never officially ended.
Trump even, stunningly, indicated his ultimate plan to withdraw the 30,000 American troops currently based in South Korea.
Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed master of the “art of the deal,” came away with nothing but the North Korean’s tired old promise to “work towards denuclearization.” It’s a promise that the world has heard before from the Kim family – with predictable lack of results.
To their shame, he may be America’s leader, but this is no leader to be emulated.
Kim, we are told, has read The Art of the Deal. No kidding.
It makes you wonder whether Trump, who is known not to read, has ever actually turned a page of the book ghost-written for him.
But before leaving the G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec early as he hurried to star in the spectacle that he loves above all, Trump managed to strike a blow at the Western Alliance that emerged from the ashes of the Second World War and outlasted the perils of the Cold War.
First, he bellowed his support for Vladimir Putin, the man whose interference in the American election actually put Trump in power, to rejoin the G-7. Russia was earlier ejected from what was formerly the G-8, following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and unlawful annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.
He did so, again, without the courtesy of discussing the idea with America’s supposed allies.
Following that, he continued to insult the leaders of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and others. Worse, shortly after being airborne for his meeting with Kim in Singapore, he threw a full-blown tantrum after hearing Justin Trudeau state that Canada would not be cowed by his usual obnoxious bullying.
And yet, astonishingly, the men and women of the Republican House of Representatives, now heading towards the nation’s mid-term elections, sit back speechless and watch it all happen. Voluntarily surrendering their electoral futures to the Cult of Trump, they neither criticize nor condemn as their leader preens, openly coveting the Nobel Prize that he can’t take from the hated Obama but which he believes he has “earned” by his appalling display of sycophantic appeasement in Singapore.
To the shame of many, Trump is clearly America’s leader – at least for another 30 months.
But this is no global leader of free men, and we should stop dignifying Trump by gracing him with that unearned title.