Mixed Messages Spell Disaster: Trump vs The World

By April Horowitz

Traditionally during heightened times of difficulty, and unquestionably during a global crisis, the world looks to the President of the United States to demonstrate temperance and calm. He (or she) is the leader of the free world after all, and his actions have enormous impact. His words should be measured and precise, leaving no question of his objective, and he’s expected to carry himself with composure. Traditionally the presidency carries a high level of distinction, and whoever holds the office is expected to uphold this standard and be a paradigm for others to emulate. However these are not conventional times, and Trump is the antithesis of a respectable president. He’s void the character, morality, disposition and intellect to serve in its exceptional capacity.

Unfortunately the time has come, and the United States faces it’s first serious crisis under the presidency of Donald Trump. As the nation confronts the possibility of war, most are seeking leadership, and instead of finding restraint and encouragement, they’re forced to watch in horror as the adolescent occupying the Oval Office (or at his golf club) is actually provoking the battle. A President’s words matter, and they come with power and influence. Trump’s controversial statements sound less like a statesmen and more like a narration from an action movie trailer but this is reality. Nuclear war hangs in the balance, and Trump is unable to define or clarify what his words mean. Remarks like “you’ll see,” “what you think it means,” are ambiguous and leaves much to the imagination. This is not the time to parse words, and leaving people (hint, hint Kim Jong-un) to their own interpretations is very dangerous.

“Confusion leads to missteps and miscalculation”

The fact Trump and his administration are not on the same page in regard to North Korea is terrifying. This isn’t mixed messaging about Putin’s interference with U.S. elections, or transgenders in the military; this is the possibility of nuclear war. If you think Americans are confused, can you imagine how confounded our allies must be? Trump is thrusting the U.S. onto the precipice of a nuclear conflict and our allies (some who would be directly effected) are literally being told to ignore the President words, and listen to officials instead. This is unprecedented territory in which a President’s words can longer be taken at face value.

In the last 48 hours Trump’s irresponsible and dangerous provocations have done nothing but escalate an already volatile situation with North Korea. His impetuous actions are categorically undermining efforts of rational officials working behind the scenes attempting to ease tensions diplomatically. Not only is Trump’s language destructive, it’s corroding opportunities for sensible solutions. Undoubtedly, the sting of a proverbial slap across the face is being felt by the United Nations Security Council and Ambassador Nikki Haley. They successfully came together, made history and unanimously voted on a sanctions package to dissuade Kim Jong -un. By ramping up his acrimonious discourse, Trump interfered with a tactful resolution which required time to produce results.

The inconsistent messaging between Trump and his cabinet regarding North Korea is palpable. Trump’s the belligerent drunk starting a fight and his national security team are attempting to hold him back while telling the crowd to remain calm as he throws air punches. Assurances of restraint and diplomacy by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Gen James Mattis, are being eclipsed by a lunatic standing in the front “waving a gun.” It’s disheartening witnessing respectable men struggle with the burdensome task of consoling rising anxieties as Trump abrogates them at every turn.

Within the last 24 hours Trump has undoubtedly intensified his language. He’s been emboldened by his administration, Republicans,and supporters who manage to subvert his reprehensible warmongering by “interpreting” his words or explaining what they think he means. By default Trump sees this as supportive. He views any type of substantiation, and positive spin analysis as condoning, therefore he feels it gives him permission to take it further (hence fire and fury, to locked and loaded). Maybe if Republicans and White House representatives came out condemning Trump, or confronted him directly, he might not be under the illusion what he’s doing is acceptable. Trump’s claim that “everyone” supports him is fantastical at best. Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe and South Korean Moon Jae-in came out publicly voicing dismay and asking for diplomacy for “the safety and security” of their people. Germany’s PM Angela Merkal condemned Trump saying, “I consider a verbal escalation to be wrong,” “I don’t see a military solution to this conflict.” The list of dissenters is extensive, and hardly the glowing support Trump bellows about.

An important thing to remember is Trump’s approval rating or lack thereof, drives and determines his agenda. At a time when his poll numbers are at their lowest, the consummate narcissist is looking for a way to boost his numbers at any cost, including war. Trump garnered bipartisan approval for his decision to bomb a Syrian airfield in response to Assad’s chemical attacks on civilians, and although there was criticism on its effectiveness, Trump’s poll numbers were among his highest during that time. Trump is ready for his encore and even though the stakes are higher, it doesn’t matter. In Trump’s sick, twisted mind, he believes he can capitalize on the crisis with North Korea and he’s working diligently by taking every media opportunity to convince the public he has overwhelming support.

Only a deranged madman like Trump would dismiss reckless vitriol, calling it necessary during a time of such importance. Either his self-servitude blinds him from grasping the gravity of what he’s doing, or he understands but doesn’t care. Both are horrendous. Trump’s arrogance has caught up with him and he’s backed himself into a corner. Yesterday, during another one of his exuberant displays of incoherence, he issued another staggering ultimatum saying, if he (Kim Jong-un) “even utters a word of a threat…..” Utters a word?? Where does Trump go from there? If past is prologue Trump will never yield from the bravado, and if the alternative is war, pray for our allies in harm’s way, and pray that North Korea shows an inkling of submission so Trump can claim his great victory, and the world can move on to a quieter existence.

 

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