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Monday, 6 February 2017

The 45th President of uncomfortable truths

I continue to be surprised by the anger towards Donald Trump's statements. Is Donald J. Trump really a moron (Andy Borowitz), a "danger to the world" (Herman Van Rompuy), or "an existential threat to Europe" (Donald Tusk)? Or is the anger based on his uncomfortable truths?

It's hard to keep an open mind and listen to someone whom you dislike on a personal level. It's much easier to hear the same words from a friend. A friend would have the decency not to say these things in public. Trump is the school yard bully whom we know from our past. It's much easier to deal with the private advice from a friend than public bullying. The difference is in impact and timing

Some of Trump's remarks are reverse psychology and can thus easily be rebutted. Forbes: "Trump reportedly praised Germany’s automakers, but said that Germans were not reciprocating by purchasing cars made in the U.S., making the trade unfair. To this Gabriel replied with a challenge to American auto manufacturers: “the U.S. needs to build better cars.” So true.....

Donald Trump's attacks on Germany and Angela Merkel are also interesting given his grandfather's banning from Germany (eg, Guardian, Telegraph) for failing to do his military service. Essentially, Donald Trump acts - again - like a hurt child who has been treated unfairly.

Other Trump remarks, however, contain some uncomfortable truthsGuardian: "in a joint-interview with the Times and the German tabloid Bild, Trump said the EU had become a “vehicle for Germany”, and predicted that more EU members would vote to leave."

What is wrong with these Trump remarks? I believe many Europeans would be glad to see some European countries leave the EU. I also believe many of us are glad that Angela Merkel's Germany is driving the EU, especially in the absence of others. 

Some more uncomfortable truths: "In his first interview with mainland European media, Trump told the tabloid Bild that while he had “great respect” for the chancellor, calling her “magnificent” and a “fantastic chief”, she had made an “utterly catastrophic mistake by letting all these illegals into the country”, according to a translation from the German version of his interview." (Guardian)

Again, what's wrong with Trump's remarks? Most Europeans would agree with these words - if spoken by a friend. Essentially, the Dutch PM has said the same about Angela Merkel but in decent, kind words, as a friend would do.

Donald Trump (1946) will be 71 on June 14. Creating a legacy usually takes time. Trump knows that he is running out of time. Hence, the hurry and the apparent chaos. People underestimate Trump because of his childish behaviour. Others claim Donald Trump is just a fool near Capitol Hill.

There's a Dutch saying and a Mark Twain quote: “Children and fools always speak the truth.”

Fool on the Hill (1967) by Paul McCartney - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Day after day, alone on the hill
The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he's just a fool
And he never gives an answer