Politics

Our National Embarrassment

President Donald Trump has talked about one day having his face carved on Mount Rushmore, along with a few other great presidents. But perhaps he is far too modest. I think he should get his own monument, having earned it less than halfway through his term. His personal monument, also cast in stone, would be known as our National Embarrassment.

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Donald Trump speech at Davos National Embarrassment
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

 

If there were any doubts about his worthiness, surely our president has dispelled them just in the last few weeks. His outbursts and truculence at the G-7 meetings in Canada were outstanding.

One would have to go back to the Nixon tapes in 1974, or maybe the Soviet Union’s leader Nikita Khrushchev’s all-star performance at the United Nations in 1960, when he banged his shoe on his desk.

By the time of the summit meeting of the leaders of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels earlier this week, the entire world was waiting for our president’s other shoe to drop, as it were.

Donald Trump did not disappoint. His crude outbursts among America’s erstwhile-- allies, will long be remembered. Of course, he felt obligated to perform an encore when he met with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London by publicly insulting her – and by extension, the people of the UK. Indeed, only the Queen was spared.

Still, President Trump should be credited for acting with great restraint. Imagine the world’s reaction had he treated Angela Markel and Theresa May as he had treated Megan Kelly and Carley Fiorina during the Republican primary.

Trump’s boorish behavior has long been on display, especially since the beginning of the last Republican presidential primary. And yet, most of his followers – from the “deplorables and fundamentalists to the country club Republicans – are so happy with their leader – that they are still excusing his behavior, or at least looking the other way.

From the time of his tainted election, tens of millions of Americans hoped that he might at least tone down his act, and make a good faith attempt at acting presidential. But the Londoners who portrayed him as a baby blimp had his number.

Face it: the man has always been an embarrassment and always will be an embarrassment. But perhaps someday, he will be officially recognized for what he is – a national embarrassment.

About the Author

Steve Slavin has a PhD in economics from NYU, and taught for over thirty years at Brooklyn College, New York Institute of Technology, and New Jersey’s Union County College. He has written sixteen math and economics books including a widely used introductory economics textbook now in its eleventh edition (McGraw-Hill) and The Great American Economy (Prometheus Books) which was published in last August.