President Trump’s second address to the United Nations General Assembly went down a little differently than his administration probably expected it to.
This past Tuesday, President Trump commenced his remarks to the U.N. by boasting about what his administration had achieved over his almost-two year tenure as POTUS.
“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” Trump said, in typical fashion. Delegates of the General Assembly rewarded President Trump with hearty laughter, to which Trump remarked that he hadn’t expected that reaction, but — and these are his own words — “That’s OK.”
Is it okay, though? Is it really? Is it really alright to deliver prose so comical, that it draws laughter from a room full of individuals sworn to global unity?
Repeating falsehoods isn’t the same as telling the truth, or telling it like it is. Repeated falsehoods until the world can no longer take the United States seriously is toxic to our own national security.
Since 2014, businessman Trump gleefully dismissed then-President Obama as a weak leader who turned the United States into a laughing stock on the world stage. And yet, here we are, a short four years later, and President Trump is actually facing what he accused President Obama of: being laughed at on a global stage. The laughter is understandable too. Perhaps the delegates, well-versed in history were laughing at Trump’s grandiose claims because he seemed to be comparing passing a tax bill to Lincoln’s handling of the Civil War, or Woodrow Wilson and Truman’s re-building post-World Wars. Those seem evenly equated, right?
Whilst this may seem like a comical moment in our history, it’s indicative of something much darker. If world leaders are laughing at you, you can bet your bottom dollar that they aren’t taking you seriously. And the second you aren’t taken seriously, any ounce of influence you may have evaporates. You are no longer seen as a leader in diplomacy or a force for good. You are no longer seen as an ally to be trusted.
President Trump continued by touting an isolationist agenda, bragging about the construction of his infamous wall along the Mexican border, and blaming China for attempting to interfere in U.S. elections. Whilst it is true that Chinese hackers were caught trying to breach the 2008 campaigns of Obama and John McCain, lately, indisputable proof which proves that Russia had been running a sophisticated, and large-scale interference in the 2016 U.S. election has seen the light of day. Ignoring these facts, and completely flipping the situation around is a damaging tactic because it depicts a total lack of understanding of one’s reality. This renders the U.S. without allies and vulnerable to those who may mean us harm.
If it’s even possible, the situation got that much more ridiculous post-speech. When asked about the laughter, both President Trump and Nikki Haley, the current United States Ambassador to the U.N., doubled-down by claiming that they had intended for laughter when Trump bragged about his performance as the leader of the U.S. Haley even went so far as to claim that the laughter was a sign of respect. Respectfully, Ambassador Haley seems to have stumbled across a classic sign of delusion. President Trump’s own surprise at the laughter, as caught on video and documented for the world to see, is incredibly telling about how “intentional” the laughter was.
Repeating falsehoods isn’t the same as telling the truth, or telling it like it is. Repeated falsehoods until the world can no longer take the United States seriously is toxic to our own national security. These very basic tenets are something the Trump Administration needs to comprehend before too much damage is done.