A bull in a China shop breaks all the crockery and it has a rum time doing it. President Donald Trump is a bit bull and a lot of Winston Churchill, in his huffy grumpiness, with nowhere near the soaring rhetoric or intellect of the war leader.
As he tramples on convention and twists diplomacy into a pretzel, his life is appearing more and more like the man from Sydney, who drank until he injured his kidney but he drank and he drank till it shrivelled and shrank but he had fun doing it, didn't he?
Trump drinks deep of liquid hubris and enjoys himself on the heady path to self-destruction, which would be fine and his choice but how many millions will he take with him?
Churchill had the Nazis as a cause to carry him through the ranks of his adversaries and an English political-cum-royal concern that he was a dolt who would ruin England by stubbornly refusing to surrender. In the Hollywood movie Darkest Hour, in the train scene that never happened, a cross-section of Brits says 'never’ to giving in to Hitler.
At that moment, nothing could have been further from the truth and only post-war romance has given Churchill a pass into history. Besides, he did have one weapon and that is the grandeur and majesty of language, which he used like a crack SAS battalion.
For being opinionated, Trump is an equally dangerous man. He has no felicity of tongue nor any grand design even with North Korea, a meeting arranged with the casualness of a blind date where one is genially indifferent to the outcome. Nothing has changed and to fuel the Trump ego by acting as if it has changed international dynamics is a bad investment in the global future.
The scary part is not that they met but that two 'school bullies' played let's pretend to this new friendship. It is far too early to see it as a major diplomatic breakthrough. Simply because neither Trump nor Kim has the stamina to go beyond window dressing.
And the big error will be in hailing Singapore meet as a historic victory for the White House incumbent. This media frenzy stressing that he has done the impossible will only feed the monster. What has he done but exchange a few words? It was a photo op, we must stop getting so carried away.
Not kept in perspective, the bull in Trump will become even more unpredictable as he feeds his arrogance – making his G7 gestures of rudeness even more insulting by his signing a similar accord a day later with the United Nations. This is not a happy surprise, this is an unbridled conceit.
Just because you cannot second guess the man does not mean he isn't riding the world off a cliff.
Trump's refusal to accept Russian meddling in the US presidential elections, his administration's 'hire and fire' fractures, his ill-mannered and boorish attitude towards Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, his unsubstantiated hostility towards India, for example, over tariffs and the mark up and his uncanny ability to antagonise friends without even trying are far more serious and worrying to be offset by one meeting with North Korea.
'Peace in our times', said Neville Chamberlain, 'and war was on'. For the next five years. 'Peace in our times', says Donald, 'see how I have defanged Kim, you can sleep well tonight world'.
No, you haven't done anything near that. Just because it did not fall apart doesn't make it a milestone...what did one expect, Kim to fire a missile? The whole issue is fanned as a success because it didn't end in a fiasco, that is not a success by any measure.
Humpty Dumpty enjoyed a similar sense of misleading conceit as he squatted on the wall... and you know what happened to him.
Do not sleep well at night. There are now two petulant bullies with fingers on the button.
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Updated Date: Jun 13, 2018 13:35:03 IST