PRESIDENT Donald Trump has quite a different perspective on what diplomacy is to that of most other world leaders. The US president railing against his G7 colleagues and threatening more trade tariffs, while cosying up to dictator Kim Jong-un, and effectively overlooking North Korea’s appalling human rights record, makes for strange bedfellows and was a slap in the face for his Western allies.
At this month’s 44th G7 summit in Quebec, he behaved rather churlishly towards his host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and was also scathing of the USA’s nearest neighbour on the southern front, Mexico, subsequently becoming embroiled in a controversy about children of would-be immigrant families trying to cross that border being separated from their parents. It was only when there was a huge public outcry and his wife Melania – herself an immigrant – intervened that this inhumane practice was abandoned.
It would seem that President Trump does not give a hoot about international relations, judging by the amount of gratuitous insults he regularly fires off at other countries in his quest to be seen to be making America great again. All this macho posturing is for his own internal political ends to try to ensure success for the Republican Party in the November mid-term elections, as he needs the GOP to provide the platform for him to get re-elected as president in 2020.
People looking in from the outside see Trump for what he is, but those living in the United State see the economy doing well and his tough guy international posturing looking like the country is re-asserting itself as a super-power. However, even the biggest players need allies and Trump is not helping the American cause by alienating his; defusing tensions would be better than confrontation just for the sake of it.