Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday Week in Review

What else did Donald Trump do this week?

He lied about the circumstances of his phone call with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, according to his own team. Trump had insisted that the call had been initiated by Taiwan and was a mere courtesy, but aides later confirmed it was intended to be provocative and had been arranged weeks in advance.

He became irritated at how Time portrayed him in its "Person of the Year" feature. He objected to the idea that he was in any way a divisive figure, and also to the fact that the "title" was has been gender-neutral for the last 17 years. Prior to this year's announcement, Time had annoyed Trump by failing to pick him.

He lashed out at a steelworkers' union and its president for pointing out (correctly) that the number of jobs being retained at the Indianapolis Carrier plant was not "over 1,100 people" but only 730. Like many private citizens singled out by Trump, Jones immediately began to receive anonymous threats.

How are these bad things?

  • It's not great diplomacy to simultaneously claim that something was a harmless courtesy and a deliberate provocation.
  • It's not a good sign if being named "Person of the Year" isn't enough to satisfy a person's ego.
  • Lashing out at critics, knowing that supporters will take the hint and threaten them, is not what happens in a democracy.