Politics - News Analysis
Trump Said He’s Cozier With ‘Tougher And Meaner’ Dictators, ‘Explain That to Me Someday, OK?’
The highlights from Woodward’s book are still spilling out.
Despite the fact that there remains little that can shock us about Donald Trump, certain details that haven’t been reported fill in details that give us a more complete picture as to Trump’s world view and the possible ramifications.
Much has been made about North Korea so easily rolling Trump with flattery. In the future, one might look back at a tiny, backward, nation and how it was able to keep its entire nuclear research program. It might be traced back to Kim Jong-Un calling Trump “His Excellency” and appealing to Trump’s vanity by telling Trump they were in the center of world history. Trump seemed genuinely impressed when Kim told him about placing his uncle’s body – with the head cut off and placed on the chest – right in an area where other government officials walked. This is Trump’s “love.”
Trump likes guys like Kim. Indeed, Trump knows he likes guys like Kim. According to Slate, LINK
At one point, when talking about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump tells Woodward, “It’s funny, the relations I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them. You know? Explain that to me someday, OK?” Woodward writes: “That might not be difficult, I thought, but I didn’t say anything.”
Well, for one thing, Trump isn’t all that tough – he thinks he is – but he damned well proudly carries himself around as the meanest SOB out there, so he likes that. Additionally, the tougher they are the more likely they might get tough back on Trump personally, so he goes out of his way to “get along” – it’s possible.
Trump’s preference might also have to do with the fact that the meaner fascist dictators aren’t concerned with doing the best job possible for their people, only for themselves. Dictators don’t answer to voters. Woodward continues to be fascinated by how little Trump prepares and his shallowness, which would perfectly match “mean” dictators, who don’t need to form deep policy analyses, only plan their personal way through it all.
Throughout the book, Woodward proclaims shock (though one wonders why) at how shallow Trump is. Asked about his strategy for dealing with the plethora of crises hitting him, Trump replies, “I don’t have a strategy,” except to “do a good job.” Trump says he knew that he and Kim would get along instantly, in the same way that “you meet a woman, in one second you know whether or not it’s all going to happen.”
This is the same Kim whose nation developed a nuclear weapons program specifically to intimidate the United States, the same nuclear program they still have despite this love affair. It is because Trump worried about his personal relationship and not the long-term ramifications to his own country. That’s about as shallow as it gets. That’s what having no strategy gets you.
Terrifying. And 42% of America thinks Trump’s the greatest president of their lifetimes.
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