The New York Times’ editorial board has got this to say about President Donald Trump and his recent international trip: He “turns to mush” in the presence of “strongmen.”
In the past couple of weeks, President Trump has met the leaders of China, Russia, and the Philippines. These are leaders and politicians who represent nations riddled with human rights violations and untethered child labor, tyranny, and where authoritarianism by governing powers goes unchecked. It’s a scenario where many would expect President Donald Trump, the leader of the United States of America, to reel in these leaders and speak truth to power about democracy and diplomacy.
This did not happen, and the editorial board for the New York Times took notice. In a column published this past Monday, the board wrote that President Trump has a penchant for bullying people, but he quickly turned to “mush –fawning smiles, effusive rhetoric — in the company of strongmen like Xi Jinping of China, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.”
The board also noticed how he was so quick to fawn over “the world’s most unsavory leaders,” while forever picking fights with America’s international allies.
Trump’s Recent Trip Abroad
On one of his trips, President Trump had the opportunity to meet with Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. The president claimed that he asked once again if Putin interfered with the 2016 elections. Putin denied these claims. President Trump then turned around and simply stated that Putin was sincere — case closed. This was a direct insult to the intelligence community.
President Trump also praised Rodrigo Duterte, the 16th and current president of the Philippines. His tenure has been inundated with human rights violations, with Duterte being a supporter of extrajudicial killings of drug users. President Trump said that the two have “a great relationship.”
The editorial spotlighted the role of the president – any president, for that matter. “Still, whatever their strengths and weaknesses, these past presidents worked within a structure of longstanding alliances and, in varying degrees, espoused support for democratic values, including the rule of law and human rights, all the while trying to nudge the autocrats along a similar path.”
Our current president doesn’t seem interested in this path.
Featured image via Flickr.