Trump actually told the truth. Apparently nobody heard it. | THE POLITICUS

Trump actually told the truth. Apparently nobody heard it.

     Last week The Orange Julius did something I didn’t know it was physically possible for him to do. He actually came out and flat out told the truth. He lived! But the funny thing is that he did it so slickly that almost nobody seemed to notice. It wasn’t some grand, earthshaking truth, but could nonetheless be a window into what’s going on right now.

     Here’s the quick background. Last week the CEO of Boeing had the gall to come out and criticize Trump’s stance on China in his recent rhetoric, in the meekest possible terms, noting that Boeing sold more aircraft to China than they did in the US. Trump went into instant Twitter snit mode, complaining (and lying) about the cost of the government contract with Boeing for new Air Force Ones, and threatened to cancel it. Boeing stock took a dive then recovered the same day. I wrote a diary at the time posing the possibility of Trump leaking these upcoming rants to family and associates so they could “sell short” and make a killing when the stock dove.

     A day or so later, Trump escorted another vaunted visitor to his gilded cage down to the lobby, in front of the press. On his way back to the elevator a reporter shouted out a question about Boeing, which apparently caught Trump’s attention, as he turned around to answer. The question was about his questioning the Boeing deal, and Trump’s response was, “That’s what I was elected for, to make better deals”. This was the unvarnished and pure truth as Trump knows it. Then he turned around and attacked Lockheed Martin on Twitter over the cost of their new fighter program. This is the “Trump Doctrine”. Use Twitter, and the immediate economic impact on the company’s bottom line as a blatant threat to renegotiate.

     But it made me think. Could this be something larger? What if Trump is not just using Twitter to economically threaten companies with which the government is currently doing business, or a company who wants to do business with the government. What if using the media, both Twitter and other forms to apply pressure could be what he’s looking to do in his foreign policy?

     China is a perfect example. Trump has long been a critic of China, for our trade deals with them, and promised that he would be a tough negotiator with China to get better deals and fairer treatment from them. Recently Trump broke with decades of established “One China” policy in the US to take to Twitter to proclaim to all and sundry that he had just taken a congratulatory phone call from the President of Taiwan, a place where his company just “happens” to be considering expanding its footprint. Predictably, China was not pleased.

     Was this an example of how Trump is going to prosecute his foreign policy? What works with Boeing and Northrop Grumman will work with China? Stamp your foot and yell that you want a better deal, and then tacitly do things that will threaten their status quo via Twitter and wait for them to come groveling to you with concessions? With Trump’s myopic ignorance of foreign affairs, does he actually believe that countries will respond to pressure just like companies?

     There’s just two problems with this. First of all, companies are responsible to their shareholders for profits, they’re going to be very sensitive to something that could affect their bottom line. Countries are beholden to no one but themselves, and their perceived national interest. Social media pressure will have no particular pressure on them. The second is that a nation the size of China, with about 1.4 billion people, and nuclear weapons, along with an extremely insular, and even arrogant view of their place in the world is going to take no shit from Trump.

     This is why Rex Tillerson is such a disaster as a nominee for Secretary of State. Tillerson is just one more arrogant, rich asshole, with an inflated ego and a total self interest. Trump is especially dangerous in the arena of foreign relations, his total insularity and excessive self interest will make him immune to criticism that his attitude will ruffle sensitive feathers. What Trump needs in a Secretary of State is an internationally savvy version of Mike Pence, someone to walk around behind Trump with a broom, a dustpan, cleaning up his messes and then kissing everybody’s ass to make it all better again. We can fight our domestic policy battles as they come up, but this foreign policy battle could be critical to our nations safety and security. Don’t take your eye off of this ball folks.

     Thanks as always for reading, you are ALL the wind beneath my wings!

Issue: