Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Spiegel -- Donald Trump's Triumph of Stupidity

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other G-7 leaders did all they could to convince Trump to remain part of the Paris Agreement. But he didn't listen. Instead, he evoked deep-seated nationalism and plunged the West into a conflict deeper than any since World War II.” By Spiegel Staff

Here are Dan Rather’s remarks:

Depravity is not depth, nor is it a strategy.

Careless statements that deepen divisions are not leadership. These truisms as I ponder today the recent terrorist attack in London. These vicious attacks are a threat to an open and free society. Coping with them, trying to counter them--to defend against them--is extremely difficult.

This much we know: we stand in solidarity with our allies, the great British people. Also, we must process and think carefully about how our President publicly responded. Understandably, many people around the world viewed his remarks as insensitive and peevish, mixed with flagrant misrepresentations of facts. It is important for the world to know that his statements do not represent the sentiments and reaction of most Americans.

The democracies of the world, the societies who promote rationality, science, the rule of law, and human rights, are fearful of what they believe is happening in and to our country. They fear that we have a head of state who consistently disappoints in word, thought, and deed when it comes to expressing and demonstrating the best of what has been traditional American values; that the tone and substance of his leadership is alien to what the world had come to know as Americanism.

Besides the President’s outbursts over the London attacks, the damage done by America’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement on climate change is real. It threatens to tear apart an order that was built by Republican and Democratic Presidents over decades.

Where are the self-described serious foreign policy minds in the GOP, the ones who often lecture the nation on the meaning of patriotism and leadership on the cable talk shows and Sunday morning public affairs programs? They have enabled an administration that strikes many people in both parties as unmoored from many of the norms of our Constitutional Republic. The arc of history may very well judge them all with the broad brush of complicity if they do not stand up now and say that this has gone too far. (Some Democratic party leaders have also been too quiet and/or hesitant to voice strong opposition. This is noted with no intention of falling into the trap of false equivalence.)

Sometimes it takes a view from outside one’s circle to bring clarity in a moment of crisis. I suggest you read the following article in the German news site SPIEGEL ONLINE. I don’t necessarily agree with everything in it, but it is well reported and, taken as a whole, rings with some tones of truth. Unpleasant truths, to be sure, but truths nonetheless. It’s long but worth the length. It shows what the leaders of our allied nations think when they are confronted with President Trump, his words, and his actions. And it outlines where we may be heading, an unprecedented path into an unknown and disquieting future.

Donald Trump's Triumph of Stupidity