As Trump Unravels – Astonishment & Concerns Mount (#96)
Trump’s failures are piling up. China not only picked up Trump’s trade-war gauntlet but has repeatedly smacked him with it by openly declaring it will not give an inch; and by retaliatory tariffs that have hurt Trump where it counts, his ultra-fragile ego, his international public standing, his credibility as a master negotiator, and with some of his (now former) supporters, like the mid-western farmers.
And just as Trump finished declaring “we are winning”, China smacked him again with additional tariffs on $75 Billion of American goods, underscoring the point that far from being brought to heel, it is still willing to bite back. That retaliatory bite immediately sent Trump into a manic dive into irrationality, ordering American companies to find alternatives to China and to leave. And he followed that ‘order’ up by predictably threatening to put additional tariffs on Chinese goods.
China understands that by openly and publicly defying Trump it not only humiliates him but in the run-up to the coming election in 2020, it puts tremendous pressure on him to take ever more drastic measures, which will hurt China (which it is determined to bear), but it will also, and more importantly, hurt the American economy and possibly tank the high-flying stock markets, which are the gauges by which Trump has been justifying his claims to success as President. Tank those two things, the economy and the stock markets, and you tank Trump.
By damaging the American economy and bringing down the stock markets, China effectively increases the chances of Trump’s defeat in 2020. With Trump out of the way, the reasonable presumption would be, China can then deal with a much more ‘reasonable’ President, whether Democrat or Republican.
This is a trade-war that China is turning into a regime-changing exercise in America.
But Trump’s failures don’t stop with just China - but the ‘Wall’ isn’t built, nor is it near funded; North Korea is not only still a fully nuclear-armed nation, but is back to its former belligerent, abusive self, lashing out at South Korea, and lobbing missiles into the sea in defiance to Trump’s insistence on denuclearization; a new healthcare plan for Americans is now a cliché for dysfunction and crass Republican cynicism; the coal industry never revived, neither did the steel industry; the drug prices are still unreasonably high (some of the highest in the developed World); the jobs never quite returned to America; and the Obama two terms of unbroken economic growth and stock market trajectory, are now both faltering and showing weakness, which till now has been claim to success.
Additionally, Trump’s big tax cuts for the rich and the corporations never produced the sustained economic stimulus that he promised they would; and all his foreign policy initiatives have been a disaster, from the Iran Nuclear Deal which the other five signatories didn’t back, to North Korea, to China trade war, to his general trademark declaration, ‘tariff wars are easy to win’ theme; to the immigration fiasco that now stands as a black mark on America’s historically cultivated image of tolerance and compassion; to ending the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan - and to the big one – peace between Israel and the Palestine - all verifiable failures on the international stage, and all damning flops steadily piling-up on his tattered Presidential resume.
On the domestic front the picture isn’t any prettier.
The country is not only fighting with itself, and its historical image of itself as a progressive, liberal, compassionate, welcoming, leading Democracy - and the leader of the Free-World that not only fought the Alt Right-Wing Fascism and Nazism, but was instrumental in helping to defeat it; to now being on the defensive, as a supporter of Right-Wing Fascism and Nazism under the Trump administration and the ever sycophantic and silent Republican Party, in front of the rest of the Western Democratic World.
To the other Western Democracies, Trump’s America is now an outlier, a virtual pariah of the Western Progressive World, which is hoping to survive Trump’s term as the US President with as little damage as possible. That leaves Trump with few allies in the civilized World (as he is about to find out at the G-7 meetings now on) and a decreasing base of national supporters as his popularity wanes in the polls, even as his dysfunction and irrationality ramps up.
Lately, as the failing Presidency threatens to derail him, he reacts in the typical Trumpian fashion. His latest personal outbursts, and twitter vitriol, went from deeply offensive to downright embarrassing, as he recently embraced outlandish titles of deification bestowed upon him by a controversial radio host Wayne Allyn Root – as the ‘Chosen One’, the ‘King of Israel’, and the ‘Second-coming of God’, all of which Trump accepted and repeated as compliments to himself, to the bewildered astonishment of all, and to the outrage of some.
Now, after China’s latest retaliatory tariff smack, Trump is ‘ordering’ American companies to leave China and escalating the tariff-war, is calling the Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell the ‘Enemy’ comparable to China’s President Xi; has insulted Denmark and its Prime Minister for having the audacity to reject out-of-hand his impromptu offer to purchase Greenland from them, and is on a bitter personal feud with any number of people, via twitter, when he is not name calling someone, or undermining his own top officials in matters of trade, foreign policy, monetary and fiscal policies, or any number of other issues.
These daily cringe worthy episodes are not only embarrassing, in the context of the World’s leading Presidency, but they are also deeply worrying as they increase in frequency and duration. This President happens to be the most powerful leader in the World, with the most deadly conventional and nuclear arsenal under his direct command; therefore his startling mental instability is not providing any comfort to anyone. Apart from the damage accruing to America and the rest of the World from a failing US Presidency, increasingly, Americans and the rest of the World are beginning to seriously worry about his irrationality and his mental stability posing a grave threat to World trade and global security. And one can bet, as the pressure continues to mount, it is certain that Trump will only unravel faster.