Op/Ed

Editorial: ‘Absurd’ it was; idiotic too

The wonder of the Trump presidency is how he has been able to screw up so many things so quickly and still maintain the core of his party’s support. The aftermath of his presidency, we wager, will be the party faithful reflecting on why they didn’t speak up more forcefully against his ruinous policies and that they gave credence to the idiocy of his whacked-out ideas.
Buying Greenland is just the latest example. It’s not that buying Greenland would be a bad investment, it’s that the very idea is repugnant in today’s world. In the 21st Century, one nation doesn’t just buy another’s land and its people. That Trump doesn’t understand that most fundamental of principles is what’s so shocking — and insulting to the Danes and citizens of Greenland.
Then, adding insult to injury, our thin-skinned, whiny, oh-so-ignorant president is the one who acts offended by claiming Denmark Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen shouldn’t have insulted him by suggesting his idea was, as she put it ever so nicely, “absurd.”
“Idiotic” was the better word, but she was too nice to say it. “Arrogant,” “imperalistic,” “insensitive,” “outrageous” and “ridiculous” would have been appropriate as well.
And yet even when he is so knowingly out of bounds, so beyond the pale of what is considered diplomatic, he takes offense and doubles down. Rather than making light of an idea that obviously was offensive, he compounds the slight by cancelling the trip to Copenhagen and whining about the Danish president’s “nasty” response. Seriously?
When the history of this presidency is reviewed years from now, Americans won’t believe we elected a leader so shamelessly self-absorbed he couldn’t distinguish right and wrong on the most elemental levels.
And yet he can’t.
Because the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts he gave to the wealthy didn’t actually encourage businesses to invest in the economy, the temporary “sugar-high” from that stimulus is fading. It was the wrong thing to do for the country (because it knowingly created a larger wealth gap), and the wrong way to stimulate the economy. (It is also causing the largest budget defict the nation has ever seen and it’s ballooning out of control at a far faster rate than previously predicted — ready to hit $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year.) Because trade wars aren’t that “easy to win,” as Trump once claimed, his fight with China is costing America’s farmers and businesses billions — and consumers will soon feel the pinch. After the latest mass shootings, he initially promised progress on gun control, but showed his spinelessness by buckeling (again) to the NRA’s talking points — a coward in the face of obvious wrong.
And, once again, he’s advocating to benefit Vladimir Putin and Russia by pushing their re-entry into the Global 7, even as they are seeking to destroy and disrupt democracy around the globe and actively working to interefere in the next U.S. election. (And all that in just the past few days! Over the past two years, the list of misdeeds is egregious.)
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What’s good for the country, and what is not, is not that difficult for most Americans to grasp. Most recoil at Trump’s racist and sexist comments. Most harbor far more compassion than Trump does for persecuted immigrants fleeing to the U.S. for safety. Most would never approve willfully separating young children from their parents for days or weeks at a time, let alone months. And most Americans recoil at Trump’s calls for violence and hatred toward his political foes, and yet Trump does it time and again.
It is clear by now that Trump is so bankrupt of any moral compass, that he loses his way at every turn. And yet, too many Republicans refuse to call out his faults, even as they see them coming more plainly into view.
But back to Greenland. If Trump had a shred of humility, he could pivot and recover; he could preserve the two countries’ long-time relationship and make that alliance stronger. The visit was originally booked as an “offbeat thank-you to a small country that has been a stalwart NATO member and one that has supported U.S. military actions,” said the Washington Post. It was an important visit to reaffirm that relationship, particularly in light of the growing interest from China and Russia in Greenland’s resources. Yet Trump makes the wrong call — just like he has on so many other issues.
Americans who give Trump the benefit of the doubt and support his worst impulses, don’t make America great. Rather, they hasten America’s decline.
Angelo Lynn

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