The final day of the 2019 Group of 7 conference has concluded, and it’s clear that once again President Trump’s disgraceful behavior has left our nation humiliated in the eyes of the world.
Such is the assessment of the Center for International Governance Innovation, a nonpartisan think tank, whose experts declared that the biggest takeaway was that the United States’ leadership has “totally disappeared” and that Trump led on “nothing.”
“The most important takeaway from #G7Biarritz is that US leadership has totally disappeared,” says CIGI’s @tombernes. “Other leaders, Macron in particular, are learning how to fill the gap.” pic.twitter.com/Rf1yStfWFO
— CIGI (@CIGIonline) August 26, 2019
Right from the get-go, the President and his aides tried to dictate the agenda of the meetings in an attempt to switch the focus away from the climate change emergency and its accompanying ecological apocalypse and on to the President’s petty trade wars with China, which he drastically escalated during the summit in an attempt to look tough.
Trump harped on the need to readmit Russia into the G7 group, from which it was expelled following the annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. While the rest of the group made it clear that this wasn’t going to happen, Trump continued to recite Russian talking points and bizarrely attempting to shame President Obama for being “outsmarted” by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
His utter contempt for the consequences of climate change was made clear when he refused to show up at all for the G7 climate change roundtable and gave a shamefully transparent “excuse” for his absence (he said he was having bilateral talks with India and Germany, both of whose leaders attended the climate meeting).
The other leaders moved on and held the meeting without him.
While Trump has taken an unnecessarily belligerent approach to dealing with the Islamic Republic of Iran, French President Emanuel Macron invited the Iranian foreign minister to hold talks without consulting Trump. He similarly did not consult Trump when he promised to uphold the terms of the nuclear peace treaty forged by President Obama, which Trump petulantly withdrew from earlier this year.
With Trump withdrawing from the leadership role traditionally held by the United States and going back into his room to watch television and tweet about 2016 election conspiracy theories, France is taking up the mantle of leadership that he has abandoned.
It is a truly sad day to see our international standing being dragged through the mud so publicly; but if Trump isn’t willing to be a leader, someone else has to. The issues facing our world are far too urgent to be put aside in favor of soothing the ego of a sundowning narcissist more interested in hearing himself be praised than doing any actual work.