Mr. President, relationships matter … really, they do

If the president of the United States had any knowledge of diplomacy and geopolitical relationships before he took the oath of office then perhaps he might have established a different record early on in his administration.

Donald Trump had no knowledge of any of it when he became president. He has spent his entire adult life in pursuit of personal enrichment, personal success. He achieved both in huge quantities and as I’ve long believed, one doesn’t accomplish all that he has done by being a nice guy.

That means, to me at least, that he is not wired to work through diplomatic channels.

We are witnessing the consequence of that background in real time as the president bulls his way across the world stage.

His latest stunt was to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord. He has enraged virtually the entire world. Why? Well, the entire world — minus Nicaragua and Syria — have signed on to the accord. And until this week, so had the United States of America.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, I suppose. He pledged to “put America first.” His electoral base loves him for that. Trump loved the base back with his decision.

It’s part of a pattern of Trump’s behavior as president. He has scolded allies on three continents. Germany sells “too many cars” to Americans; Mexico is going to “pay for the wall” across our southern border; he spoke about imposing a tariff on Canadian timber imported into the United States; he hung up on a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The president of the United States does not understand, appreciate or comprehend the value of international diplomacy. He appears to govern the greatest nation on Earth as if it’s the biggest business on the planet.

This, I also submit, is going to exact a steep price on America’s standing as the world’s most indispensable nation.

See High Plains Blogger here.

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