President Trump will take to the global stage tomorrow to deliver a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland tomorrow. It seems safe to expect that we’ll get the usual putrid potpourri of “America First” chauvinism, ego inflation, and geopolitical illiteracy.
The thin-skinned, authoritarian wannabe’s speech is unlikely to go smoothly though. Quartz reports that some attendees are planning to walk out in the middle of Trump’s comments in protest of his recent, overtly racist comments in which he referred to El Salvador, Haiti, and all of Africa as “shitholes” while expressing a desire for the United States to court more immigrants from Norway, a largely white nation.
Trump, who is infamously incapable of processing criticism of any kind will look out into the crowd and see his audience evaporating. It’s the only kind of attack he seems to understand: public humiliation. One can only imagine what kind of fit he will throw over the blatant disrespect. He’s unleashed incredibly unhinged Twitterstorms over lesser slights.
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The idea to boycott the president’s speech was first suggested last week by Bonang Mohale, the CEO of Business Leadership South Africa in an open letter. He rightfully called Trump’s comments a “stain” on the office of the presidency. One segment of the letter stands out especially because it so succinctly and damningly summarizes the problem with Trump’s America.
“Next week, when you arrive at Davos, Switzerland, to meet with world leaders and others in business and civil society, it will be clear exactly what it is you mean when you lay out your ‘America First’ doctrine. Rather than the laudable ethos upon which modern America is built, namely a nation of immigrants free to strive for excellence and success, regardless of their provenance, it appears you want to pull up the drawbridge for people who are not white, and engineer an exclusive, less diverse America,” Mohale wrote.
One can’t help read Mohale’s words without a pang of sadness. This is how the world sees American under our current leader, uninviting and cruel. Every day he remains in office we bleed a bit more of our reputation into the mud, and eventually, there will be no recovering from these degradations.
Mohale added that a large reason for the boycott isn’t just Trump’s deeply offensive comments, but his refusal to apologize for them. There can be no healing without admission of guilt, and it appears that the president is content to let these needless wounds remain open. When he takes the stage tomorrow, the world will send him a message.