Meeting with a group of democratically-elected leaders — like those at the G-7 summit this weekend — is a difficult task for a president like Donald Trump — as insecure in his own capabilities as the public is of the legitimacy of his election.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that Trump’s behavior in Biarritz has been bizarre even by the low standards that he has previously set for himself.
As White House aides struggled to keep the president “on-message,” Trump retreated into a reality of his own making when faced with a gathering of intellectual abilities and competent governance quite unlike his own dismal track record.
Rather than taking advantage of the meeting to listen to different viewpoints from the leaders of countries that have long formed the basis of a global alliance that has ensured decades of relative peace and prosperity, Trump continued in reelection campaign mode, using the meeting with his global counterparts to further his attacks on the news media he disdains for their despicable habit of reporting the truth about the incompetence, corruption, and criminality of his administration.
After Trump posted a tweet claiming that world leaders shared his contemptuous view of the American press, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman couldn’t help but respond with a tweet that dripped with what could almost be considered pity were it not inspired by something so actually pathetic and damaging to our society.
I knew that the G7 would be psychologically hard on Trump, bc it wouldn't let him engage in dominance displays. I didn't expect such a blatant, painful-to-watch retreat into a fantasy world pic.twitter.com/3cir5DzFUz
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) August 25, 2019
Krugman’s expectations that Trump’s mammalian alpha-male behavior would be thwarted in an environment where gorilla-like chest-thumping is frowned upon matched the tenor of the G-7 meetings for the most part.
His failure to predict that Trump would retreat into his delusions indicates that perhaps Krugman hasn’t been paying sufficient attention to the rapid deterioration of the president’s mental state in recent weeks as the polls started predicting his defeat at the hands of multiple Democratic opponents.
By now, Krugman should expect that everything that Trump does will be painful to watch. Let’s simply hope that America votes against any of its latent masochistic tendencies going forward to avoid any further pain.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.