Donald J. Trump’s supporters like to say the president merely “tells it like it is.”
Others of us prefer to say he tells it like he thinks it is.
He is abroad, finishing up his first overseas trip as president and he’s managing — as only the president — to demonstrate a stunning lack of diplomatic skill.
Get this, his assessment of Germany, one of our nation’s strongest allies and trading partners: “The Germans are bad, very bad,” he said. “See the millions of cars they are selling to the U.S. Terrible. We will stop this.”
What? Stop it. How? He wants to start a trade war with Germany because it peddles cars to American consumers?
Vox.com is a known liberal-leaning website, but it offers an interesting analysis of how Trump’s lack of diplomatic skill is hurting him and the country he represents.
As Vox reports: “First, it’s worth noting that the language Trump reportedly used in the meeting is yet another example of his total lack of nuance or finesse. Trump likes to cast the world in black and white and use superlative language. Things are ‘terrific,’ or they are ‘terrible.’
“Trump speaks this way on domestic issues as well, but in international affairs his vulgarity as a speaker is amplified. Diplomacy requires gentle touches and subtle signaling that simultaneously maintains stable relationships while having the power to pressure or persuade. Slamming the Germans, a vital US ally, as ‘very bad’ and saying you need to ‘Stop’ them from selling cars to the US is, well, the opposite of that.”
Vox also notes that German automakers also operate many manufacturing plants in the United States, employing Americans and paying them well to produce these motor vehicles.
That the president wouldn’t recognize that is just another sign of his complete ignorance about the world and the inter-connectedness among nations.