If it ever seemed unlikely to you that we would, as Americans, constantly be attempting to practice amateur psychoanalysis on a man whose job it is to lead our nation, perhaps that’s because it never occurred to you that we would someday elect a reality television star whose experience with war consists of deferments, whose economic principles are guided by the same impetus that drives someone to a casino, and whose diplomatic skills include thinking that calling Jews money counters and “short guys in yarmulkes” is a compliment.
That’s a pretty toxic mix of traits, but it’s the combination of attributes that explains Donald Trump’s fascination with threatening foreign countries — most recently, Iran, just before midnight last night on his Twitter account.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
And it wasn’t just at midnight last night, either, according to his UN Ambassador John Bolton:
— Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) July 23, 2018
If that sounds like Trump’s rhetoric on North Korea to you, you’re not alone. Many regarded his “tough guy” posturing toward the tiny dictatorship as a bluff — one that’s now been called, after having given NK leader Kim Jong-Un all of the propaganda he could possibly want by meeting with him without conditions.
But because of those three toxic traits, Trump is unable to see that his tactics won’t work on countries in which war has a very real cost.
The President, like many of us, loves action movies. Perhaps he thinks the world is a bit like his favorite movie, “Bloodsport” — a competition to be wagered on, fought between all comers, with a single winner at the end.
And of course, the “funny hats” worn by people of any country other than America (where red ballcaps are the preference of his crowd) make them inferior contestants in the Bloodsport of global politics. Trump understands the tactics of threatening or even invading a country seen as politically or militarily weaker than the United States. We know, because he used to accuse Barack Obama of using those tactics:
If Americans understand that Trump’s tweets are those of a man who doesn’t understand war, loves to gamble, and hates foreign cultures and people, withdrawing support for this President should be easy: You just look at American history and see how much worse Trump is at it than everyone before him.
Featured image via screen capture