This week’s G-7 meeting of top world powers was turned into the G-6+1 with the outrageously rude and undiplomatic behavior of President Trump, who arrived late to the party, left early, invited uninvited guests, and may as well have vomited on the hosts’ clothes.
Despite the potential significance of the meeting as the formal end of the world power structure that has maintained relative stability in the Western world at least since the end of World War II, German Chancellor Angela Merkel retained at least a smidgen of a sense of humor as demonstrated by the emblematic photo she posted on Instagram that perfectly distilled the essence of the contentious meeting of what now may be our former allies.
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Poised on the edge of the table as if she’s about to leap over it and throttle the smug representative of a nation that was once Germany’s strongest ally, the photo, taken by Chancellor Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert, perfectly symbolizes the rift that Trump has opened with his abandonment of all the rules of international diplomacy, including the use of actual facts in discussions of trade deficits, respect for other countries and their people and cultures, and the use of intelligence in debates over issues.
Merkel’s sharing of the photo on social media indicates that she is not only unafraid of confronting the increasingly isolated U.S. president, but is happy to portray him as the intransigent dummkopf who is inexorably transforming his slogan of “America First” into “America Alone” without having the intelligence to understand the consequences of his actions, not just on the American people and economy, but on the rest of the world that he cares little to nothing about except to the extent that he can personally profit from it.
Trump’s vacant stare in the photo demonstrates that he’d rather be anywhere but in this meeting of world leaders. In that regard, a large portion of the American people agree. He should be nowhere near a meeting of world leaders and the sooner he stops pretending that he deserves to be among their ranks, the better.
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