Again, we're only about four months in to this appalling administration, so Trump has plenty of time to appall us even more. But I must say that the past week has been the most appalling yet. Atop a mountain of domestic abominations such as his exceedingly abominable budget, Trump has peered across the globe, seeking friends to abuse and foes to admire. At that, he's done a magnificent job.
"What possesses him to treat America’s allies so badly?" asks the NY Times's editorial board. Trump offers an "enthusiastic embrace of countless autocrats, among them Vladimir Putin of Russia and King Salman of Saudi Arabia," while slandering our European friends of 70 years.
And slander it is, since he was intentionally misleading in his assault on those friends. As BBC News remarks: "He spoke again of countries who fall short of the Nato defence spending target as 'owing' money from past years - which is not how things work at all…. Nato states' contributions are voluntary and a target of spending 2% of GDP on defence is only a guideline."
No doubt Defense Secretary Mattis has patiently explained this many times to his petulant boss. But what does Trump care? The Europeans are effete losers in the president's book, which was scribbled by a pseudointellectual punk of Breitbartian sewage. No, when on the road Trump reserves his admiration for tough guys, such as the Saudi monarch, who has rolled Trump but good. Writes Fareed Zakaria:
This week’s bombing in Manchester, England, was another gruesome reminder that the threat from radical Islamist terrorism is ongoing. And President Trump’s journey to the Middle East illustrated yet again how the country central to the spread of this terrorism, Saudi Arabia, has managed to evade and deflect any responsibility for it. In fact, Trump has given Saudi Arabia a free pass and a free hand in the region….
[What's more,] almost every terrorist attack in the West has had some connection to Saudi Arabia.
"Virtually none," continues Zakaria, "has been linked to Iran," on which Trump focused his uninformed ire. And in so doing he poured more American fuel on the flaming Sunni-Shia conflict.
Iran is at least struggling toward a democratic future, and of course Europe is already there. So naturally Trump aligns with autocratic Saudi Arabia and Europe's 70-year-old menace, Russia.
Trump is a vast embarrassment to the United States and some would add perplexing. Not I. He's an embarrassment because he's an imbecile. That's the short but sufficient explanation of this wretched horror of an ignorant little man.