Set aside your political preferences. Blank out the names. Read the words and ask yourself how you would respond if you were in the room.
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!)”
“Let’s work out a good deal! You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will… Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!…”
Or this, about Jim Mattis, the president’s first defense secretary:
“…the world’s most overrated general.You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years, I captured them in one month.”
Or this, about this week’s meeting which included Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:
“Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her ‘upstairs’ or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very said to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person.”
And this about the Kurds, Syria and Russia:
“Syria may have some help with Russia, and that’s fine. It’s a lot of sand. They’ve got a lot of sand over there. So there’s a lot of sand that they can play with…The Kurds are much safer right now… They’re not angels, if you take a look.”
Again, to Nancy Pelosi at the same meeting:
“You are a third-rate politician.”
And to Ms. Pelosi and House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer when they stood up to leave the meeting regarding Syria with the president:
“Goodbye, we’ll see you at the polls.”
All of this on the 1,000th day of the Donald Trump presidency. The good news? Yes, believe it or not, there was a glimmer: The House of Representatives voted 354-60 to rebuke the president and his decision to withdraw the 1,000 American troops from Syria. The president couldn’t even get his fellow Republicans to support him; they voted 2-1 in opposition.
As much as this president tries to say and do differently, it still matters how you speak to people. Saying your wisdom is “great and unmatched” probably isn’t a good way to get other leaders to respect you, or to be their partner. Saying you will destroy another nation’s economy — because you’ve done it before — just convinces other countries to be defensive, which costs us more. Using the personal pronoun to claim credit for “capturing” ISIS makes one reach for the phone to dial 911. Saying the Middle East is nothing more than a bunch of sand, undeserving of our attention, is a belittling slap that pushes our allies into the orbit of our foes, Russia most specifically. When the president gloats about China desperately wanting a trade deal, only to ask “But do I?” It’s instructive when trying to understand the dangers of having a complete narcissist as president, someone who routinely puts our economy, and our form of government, at risk.
As the president’s behavior on his 1,000th day in office shows, this isn’t a red or blue issue. It’s about trust. It’s about respect. It’s about how we speak to one another. That should be something as central to the bluest of blue collar voter as it is to the most educated elite.
Perhaps that House vote is a sign that Americans are more than a little concerned about the person who leads us. If only.
by Emerson Lynn