It wasn’t unpredictable that Donald Trump would choose to pretend that other international leaders were in lock step with him — and to do so by avoiding the G7 meeting on climate change, as well as to arrive late — and interrupt a woman speaker during the session on gender equality. The Great Pussy Grabber can’t be expected to show respect for anyone or anything that he has not originated.
But it’s clear that other world leaders have his number. From Angela Merkel’s stare to the mark-leaving handshake Macron gave to Trump the gloves are off and they aren’t particularly interested in playing his games. Life is a serious business; there are real problems to be dealt with and if Donald chooses to ignore some and exacerbate others they aren’t going to play along.
I can’t help but think about the thousands and millions of people who live each day in ways to make the earth a better place, who are at the forefront of ecological efforts to preserve and protect our planet — people in small communities that no one ever heard of who do without, who find better and less impactful ways of going through daily life all in the hopes of having a decent place on this planet to pass on to their children. And by contrast we have an occupant of the White House who is angry at everyone, who thinks disruption is the best way to get anything done and who does not earn the respect of others because there is nothing to respect.
I have no idea what will come of the peace talks with North Korea. It would be nice if by some miracle they were to produce some lasting positive result. But even if that were to prove true I don’t know that the world will ever see the accomplishment as being something Trump did. The North and South Koreans have been talking between themselves. They have greater reason to find a way of getting along than the U.S. does. After all, a lot of military contractors make a bundle of money keeping 28,000 U.S. troops on the ground in South Korea. And we dare never forget that war in 2018 is more about money than it has ever been. People get rich during wars. Banks collect interest during wars — from both sides of the conflict. And a real live shooting war on the Korean penninsula would change the world dramatically. It is something to be avoided at all cost.
Trump has a track record of talking one way before an event and behaving quite differently during it. I’m sure this will be no different. Putting two egotists in a room is going to be an interesting experiment. The Koreans have scored more points in the run-up to the meeting — proving that they are better at the game of one-upsmanship than many would have thought. But the thing about bargaining with an unpredictable egotist is that you have no idea what to expect. Trump has already proven that his word can’t be trusted. Why North Korea would think that they could rely upon a promise he made is unexplained. He backed out of the Paris Agreement, He has backed out of trade agreements. He has backed out of the Iran accord. Expecting him to live up to his side of any bargain is like spitting into the wind.