I read an article in the Denver Post that most Trump supporters can only find one fault from an otherwise ideal leader in President Donald J. Trump. It’s with his obsessive tweeting in which he pours out much of his grievances — especially with the media.
It seems a bit much to them that his mean spirited ripostes have become so habitual. For Mr. Trump to actually stop or let alone cut back on tweeting would be a ‘yuuuge’ change for him in terms of personality, given the fact that he also said that he was not ashamed of anything he has posted in the past. And so coupled with being at his advanced age at this stage it would prove to be a remote possibility. Though Mr. Trump mentioned in an earlier ‘CBS 60 Minutes’ interview as a candidate that “I’m going to be very restrained, if I use it at all, I’m going to be very restrained,” he seems even more emboldened to continue speaking directly to his supporters in this fashion.
Jenna Washington of the Washington Post surmised the Trump supporters views by reporting that…
Many said they care more about some congressional Republicans not supporting the president’s full agenda, about liberals not giving Trump a fair chance and about the media seeming to ignore the victories that they see.
President Trump’s tweets should be the least of concerns for anyone, regardless of who support or disagree with his agenda and tactics as executive-in-chief of the United States. I for one consider the tweets to be quite revealing of his mindset and don’t mind them at all.
But then again I am not on Twitter. However active Twitter users don’t seem all that interested either. According to the report…
The president’s tweets earn far fewer likes than they did during the election — or even when he first took office, according to a Bloomberg News analysis. Those who engage with Trump are more likely to be left-leaners leveling criticism than right-leaners lavishing love, according to an analysis by the Associated Press and Cortico, a media analytics nonprofit group.
Clearly, many Trump supporters are either not well informed or in deep denial about our president’s actual ability and acumen on topics outside of being a real estate mogul. I implore everyone to read a transcript interview of a meeting Mr. Trump had with editors of the Economist on May 4th, 2017, along with members of his cabinet — Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, and Gary Cohn, the Director of National Economic Council.
Although Mr. Trump’s linguistic performance is rather noteworthy, it is the contextual substance of his remarks premising the matter that seems overly troublesome and much harder to ignore. Let’s just say that summarily it was hardly coherent.
Here is an excerpt of the discussion on the economy, specifically in regards to NAFTA . In this exchange President Trump is simply being asked to shed some light on what exactly makes this agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada so egregious and worth renegotiating.
President Trump: We have a problem because we have a ridiculous provision in NAFTA that we have, you know, to go on the fast track. Fast track is the slowest track I’ve ever seen. To go on the fast track you have to give notice. Well we gave notice 70 days ago. It’s called a cooling-off period, OK? But that’s not the way life works because when they call and they want to make a deal, I don’t want to have to wait a hundred days. So I put the papers in almost 70 days ago, to get the approval for fast track in Congress. And they still haven’t given me approval. And the reason they haven’t is because our trade negotiator, who, as you know, the provision goes with your negotiator. It doesn’t go from the time you put it in, it goes with your negotiator. So he just got approved. He’ll be in sometime, I guess next week?
Steve Mnuchin: Yep, yep.
President Trump: And the clock starts ticking. But here you have two people calling saying, “Can we negotiate?” I say yes and I have to wait for a hundred days. I don’t know what a hundred days is going to be like. What’s it going to be like? So NAFTA’s a horrible one-sided deal that’s cost us millions and millions of jobs and cost us tens of billions of dollars.
It sounds like you’re imagining a pretty big renegotiation of NAFTA. What would a fair NAFTA look like?
Big isn’t a good enough word. Massive.
It’s got to be. It’s got to be.
What would it look like? What would a fair NAFTA look like?
No, it’s gotta be. Otherwise we’re terminating NAFTA.
What would a fair NAFTA look like?
I was all set to terminate, you know? And this wasn’t like…this wasn’t a game I was playing. I’m not playing…you know, I wasn’t playing chess or poker or anything else. This was, I was, I’d never even thought about…it’s always the best when you really feel this way. But I was…I had no thought of anything else, and these two guys will tell you, I had no thought of anything else but termination. But because of my relationship with both of them, I said, I would like to give that a try too, that’s fine. I mean, out of respect for them. It would’ve been very disrespectful to Mexico and Canada had I said, “I will not.”
But Mr President, what has to change for you not to withdraw?
We have to be able to make fair deals. Right now the United States has a 70 — almost a $70bn trade deficit with Mexico. And it has about a $15bn dollar trade deficit with Canada. The timber coming in from Canada, they’ve been negotiating for 35 years. And it’s been…it’s been terrible for the United States. You know, it’s just, it’s just been terrible. They’ve never been able to make it.
Does that $70bn deficit have to come to zero to be fair?
Not necessarily. And certainly it can come over a, you know, fairly extended period of time, because I’m not looking to shock the system. But it has to become at least fair. And no, it doesn’t have to immediately go to zero. But at some point would like to get it at zero, where sometimes we can be up and sometimes they can be up.
You’ve talked about reciprocal taxes. Do you imagine that with lots of countries on lots of products or is that a negotiating tool?
No, I think it can be conceivably with lots of countries. The thing that’s bad about the hundred days is, I said the other day, I said, “When do we start this negotiation?” They said, “Sir, it hasn’t kicked in yet” because it goes with [Robert] Lighthizer, who’s our, you know, our representative, who I think is going to do a very good job. I said, “You must be kidding.” So it’s a real deficit. Now that’s a NAFTA thing. Because everything in NAFTA is bad. That’s bad, everything’s bad. But in the case of South Korea we have a deal that was made by Hillary Clinton, it’s a horrible deal. And that is the five-year anniversary and it’s up for renegotiation and we’ve informed them that we’ll negotiate. And again, we want a fair deal. We don’t want a one-sided deal our way but we want fair deals. And if we can have fair deals our country is going to do very well.
Some people think this is a negotiating tactic — that you say very dramatic things but actually you would settle for some very small changes. Is that right?
No, it’s not, really not a negotiation. It’s really not. No, will I settle for less than I go in with? Yes, I mean who wouldn’t? Nobody, you know, I always use the word flexibility, I have flexibility. [Goes off the record.] [Our] relationship with China is long. Of course by China standards, it’s very short [laughter], you know when I’m with [Xi Jinping], because he’s great, when I’m with him, he’s a great guy. He was telling me, you know they go back 8,000 years, we have 1776 is like modern history. They consider 1776 like yesterday and they, you know, go back a long time. They talk about the different wars, it was very interesting. We got along great. So I told them, I said, “We have a problem and we’re going to solve that problem.” But he wants to help us solve that problem.
Now then you never know what’s going to happen. But they said to me that on the currency manipulation, “Donald Trump has failed to call China a currency manipulator”. Now I have to understand something. I’m dealing with a man, I think I like him a lot. I think he likes me a lot. We were supposed to meet for ten minutes and they go to 40-person meetings, OK, in Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach. And the ten minutes turned out to be three hours, alone, the two of us. The next day it was supposed to be ten minutes and then we go to our 40-person meeting. That, too, he was, no…because you guys were waiting for a long time. That ten minute meeting turned out to be three hours. Dinner turned out to be three hours. I mean, he’s a great guy.
Now, with that in mind, he’s representing China and he wants what’s best for China. But so far, you know, he’s been, he’s been very good. But, so they talk about why haven’t you called him a currency manipulator? Now think of this. I say, “Jinping. Please help us, let’s make a deal. Help us with North Korea, and by the way we’re announcing tomorrow that you’re a currency manipulator, OK?” They never say that, you know the fake media, they never put them together, they always say, he didn’t call him a currency [manipulator], number one. Number two, they’re actually not a currency [manipulator]. You know, since I’ve been talking about currency manipulation with respect to them and other countries, they stopped.
Mr Mnuchin: Right, as soon as the president got elected they went the other way.
I am not sure what the takeaway is from that, yet Trump supporters seem satisfied and even more confident that the president has simply expressed it, even though it is substantively hollow and lacking. This blind leap of faith is considerably a mauvaise foi for the very same reasons that this sweeping right wing populism has so emotively espoused in response to an inaccurate and or erroneous assessment of globalization and its effects.
If there is an opportunity to renegotiate terms in the agreement that would make trade adaptive to current trends and therefore more favorable to both sides fairly, then I would find it to be agreeable to pursue amendments to NAFTA. I actually can appreciate that Mr. Trump has raised awareness and questions about the current applicability of agreements and its overall effects on American society, but I simply can’t go along with the blustering or incompetence with his approach. It is dangerously imprudent and undisciplined. Most importantly it lacks a sense of inclusion from within our electorate.
There is no reason to believe that a liberally conservative or conservatively liberal solution is not possible. But if you are driven to oppress and berate opposing views as sore losers then you stand to risk credibility as a democratic leader in favor of despotism which only seeks to privilege some at the expense of others. And that’s a different kind of American ideal that we have fought internally to overcome.
It’s not the tweets per se, it’s whether there is plausible intentions behind your actions that matter most as our leader.