Sunday, May 28, 2017

Robert Reich -- What we have learned about Trump and the world

Robert Reich writes, Trump doesn’t really like democracy. He’s an authoritarian who admires other authoritarians with total control over their countries. He has never been accountable to anyone but himself (even Trump’s business is privately-held), and he aspires to turn America into an authoritarian country.

What have we learned about Trump and the world? Two big things:

1.Trump admires totalitarian strongmen – he praises the rulers of Saudi Arabia, loves Turkey’s anti-democratic strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who visited the White House a few weeks ago while his security detail beat up protesters outside Turkey's U.S. embassy), is proud of his “wonderful relationship” with China's autocratic President, Xi Jinping, congratulates thug Rodrigo Duterte on his brutality in the Philippines and invites him to the White House, and secretly reached out to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin just days after being elected.

2.But Trump seems uncomfortable with America’s traditional friends – other democracies and their presidents and prime ministers. While in Europe, he lectured European leaders on not paying enough for NATO, he failed to restate America’s commitment to Article 5 the NATO charter (which pledges all 28 NATO members to treat an attack against any of them as an attack against all), and he refused to recommit to the Paris climate accords.

What attracts Trump to the world’s tyrants and what repels him from democratically-elected heads of state?

A charitable view would be that Trump likes to make deals, as he did as a real estate developer. And it’s easier to make deals with dictators than with leaders who must be accountable to their citizens.

Trump Made This G-7 a Lot Different Than the Last

By Marc Champion