Early on in the Trump Administration’s initial months, manufacturer associations seemed happy to work with some of the president’s “America first” policies. Getting excited about rebuilding U.S. infrastructure, like roads and bridges, was one of those areas they saw as good for all, including themselves. It’s hard to argue with the value of that aspect of things.
By this week, however, things looked very different. As a follow up to a series of TV commercials it ran a few weeks ago that were aimed directly at the president, the AEM (Association of Equipment Manufacturers), which includes most of the major ag equipment brands, released a blunt public statement that read, “Starting a trade war with three of our nation’s largest trading partners and strongest allies will disrupt the entire global trading system, placing American manufacturing jobs at risk. These harmful tariffs will directly contribute to higher steel prices, increase costs for agriculture and construction machinery, wreak havoc on the business operations of equipment manufacturers and jeopardize many of the 1.3 million good-paying jobs our industry supports.”
That was the also message the G7 leaders apparently tried to convey to him in Quebec—with no more success than AEM. Instead, he and his administration’s spin doctors made numerous public TV appearances saying it was really every other nation and world leader that was the problem plaguing trade. That’s no surprise. Spin, misrepresentation, and demonstrable lies have consistently been the go-to tactic for this gang on a near daily basis.
According to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, the Pinocchio nose stretchers coming directly from the president himself, never mind his “alternative facts” spokespeople, numbered 3,001 at the 466-day mark of his presidency—that’s an average of 6.5 per day! After his latest Tweet storm this week, that number is bound to jump again.
Even as most of the western world shook its collective head in disgust following the G7 meeting, the assault on the truth continued unabated. Trump’s childish Twitter rant against Prime Minister Trudeau was just an extension of that.
As the president’s BS offensive rolled along, one statement made on TV news caught my attention, not for what it claimed but for how it was spoken. “There is a special place in Hell for any leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump…” said Peter Navarro, a senior economic advisor to the president.
Aside from the fact it’s over the top and ridiculous in any number of ways, I noticed this: he didn’t just say that special place was for anyone that engages in bad faith diplomacy, period, and leave it there. He didn’t say against western democracies or even the people of the nation. He emphasized the president’s name, including his middle initial. That is remarkable.
It seems to imply that the president personally is the aggrieved party, raising him to some elevated status, more important than the nation. It’s the kind of statement you would expect to come out of North Korea from Kim Jong Un’s spokesperson.
Was his staff just trying to publicly elevate him to the cult-like level of Chairman to match the supreme authority of the North Korean leader ahead of that summit? Which would mean the phrase “Hail to the chief” might soon take on an entirely different meaning than was ever intended.
Whatever the reason, after seeing Chairman Trump insult our prime minister in the manner of an elementary school bully, I think all Canadians now have one parting thing to say to him and his entourage: don’t go away mad, just go away.