Note to Future Self: Donald Trump, Part 1

Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons under a CC-by-SA 2.0 license.

Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons under a CC-by-SA 2.0 license.

Dear Future Self,

This letter is dated December 3, 2016. It’s been almost a month since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Before the election, you had some concerns about the wisdom of electing him President. Because of those concerns, you didn’t vote for him. As it turns out, he’s doing things that justify those concerns.

I’m writing this note so that you’ll have it clearly labeled for reference when you need it in 2018 and 2020. My earnest hope is that not too many of these notes will exist. However, I’m writing this one while he’s just President-elect. He hasn’t even taken the oath of office yet. Keep that in mind as I remind you of the following. Feel free to use this as evidence for why you are not inclined to vote for him or anyone that might enable him in the future.

Mr. Trump isn’t using the State Department’s advice before talking to foreign countries.
This link is to a news article showing China reacting to a phone call that Mr. Trump had with the President of Taiwan. It is in violation of U.S. standing diplomatic policy regarding not talking directly to Taiwan. We do this because China is a big country with a huge military and a good economy to back that military up. Diplomatic failures with them could theoretically result in some awful things happening, from cold wars to really hot nuclear ones.

The article also relates how Mr. Trump isn’t using the State Department to brief him on how to conduct diplomacy. Imagine having an entire segment of government dedicated to not screwing up good relations with other countries. All they think about is how to put us on the best foot with other countries, and they have a wealth of knowledge stored up from hundreds of years of service. The best part is that they’ll come to you and talk to you if you’re too busy to call, email, write, phone conference, messenger, instant messenger, bike messenger, carrier pigeon messenger, smoke signal, telegraph machine, fax, or use any other method of communication imaginable. They might even have one of those old school copying things like you had in school with the blue ink that smelled weird. But I digress.

He’s not using any of it. Rather than use that branch of government dedicated to diplomacy, he’s going to Twitter to brag about violating a long-standing policy. That reminds me of the other concern you had.

He’s already back on Twitter, and it’s just as bad as you thought it would be.
I cannot stress the fear and apprehension at watching a President-elect brag about pissing off a foreign power. Even if the country was small, this would still be frightening. But when the level of clear thinking is needed with regards to larger countries, this mistake makes zero sense. Instead of using time to allay fears of the majority of people that didn’t vote for him (I’m including everyone who did not cast a vote for him), he’s spending time pissing off a country.

Which reminds me, if the world has lost all sense and you’re able to influence Twitter, hopefully you’ll have deleted Mr. Trump’s account by then. You’ll be doing the world a favor. Remember back when you lived in West Germany and you were worried that the Soviets could initiate a nuclear holocaust if they wanted to? That was scary. I’m thinking “mortifying” might come close to describing starting a nuclear war with Twitter. So yeah, delete his account. Pretty please.

The short version, because we both know you probably won’t read the long version.
Trump isn’t using the State Department’s help to conduct diplomacy.

He’s bragging about sucking at diplomacy on Twitter.

China is the second country he’s ticked off, and he’s not even a real President yet.

“Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Hillary” might be a thing when you read this.

You’re Welcome,

Your Past Self

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40 thoughts on “Note to Future Self: Donald Trump, Part 1

    • I keep forgetting those threats because they’re so freaking common near where I live. You’ll even see people get bent out of shape over hypothetical flag burning.

      I try to remind people that even if someone burns a flag, they had to buy it from somewhere. They’re helping the economy by keeping flag prices down.

      Like

  1. Let’s hope we’re still here to read this in 2018. You do understand that if he has a hissy fit over all the people making fun of him and disagreeing with him, it may be the end of the internet in the US, right? If that goes, and free speech goes, you won’t even see it coming. Which may be a good thing. All we in Canada will be able to do is duck.
    On the bright side, we won’t have to worry about global warming anymore.

    Liked by 4 people

    • The First Amendment actually makes it really hard to do anything meaningful to people. Most likely, he’ll just get into Twitter feuds, which might be worse. I don’t know.

      Maybe he’ll just be a puppet and we can tell other countries that whatever he says isn’t actually the views of the U.S. government. I’m hoping we might have that to fall back on.

      Like

      • I keep hearing people say there are systems in place to stop him doing whatever he wants, (like meaningfully doing something to people re: the 1st amendment) but I have yet to see anyone actually stop him doing whatever the hell he wants. And this is still with Obama’s administration in place.

        Liked by 5 people

      • What I’m getting at here is that he’s limited in an official capacity. So he can’t limit free speech on his own; he would need a constitutional amendment for that. As for his Twitter mismanagement, that’s not official action, so there is nothing preventing him from abusing it (for now).

        The biggest risks, then, is that some foreign country mistakes what he’s doing as official policy. There are some sensitive areas in the world, and they need a gentle hand, not some dude using his phone to make things worse. This puts us having to trust other nations to do the right thing, and other nations can’t trust us to do the right thing. I have no idea where that will end up going.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Also be reminded this call may very well have included discussion of Trump’s desire to construct luxury hotels in Taiwan. After all, as one news article put it, the two “shared ideas and concepts” on “promoting domestic economic development.”

    Liked by 2 people

      • No, they voted because they were sick of the status quo that can’t get worse. Okay, tell me I’m talking out of turn, but I can understand it. And no, in a zillion years, that arsehole would not have got my vote.

        And on Taiwan. That seems like a bit of a stretch to say, America should abide by some agreement made years ago, when Taiwanese people voted this century for the status quo, ie not PRC. Self-determination, is/was, I thought a UN principle. After all, the UN is attempting to end colonisation. So, tell me, what’s wrong with the president-elect of the western world USA, chatting to the Taiwanese leader? Unless it was about dubious investment of course. Rule No 1 Donald. Declaration of interests. But, one could equally say, he was talking about freedom and democracy. Unlikely, I know, more likely to be $$$$$$$$$$$. Still, I’m not convinced about the ban on communications at China’s will. Do you think that is ethical?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Some of them voted because they thought things couldn’t get worse, but there are plenty of people I know where I live that actually thought he’d change things for the better. Whether it’s building walls, encouraging business growth, or curbing corrupt politicians, I’ve seen people with a straight face claim Mr. Trump would address these issues to the public’s benefit. What you’re getting at here isn’t mutually exclusive to people who thought they’d get positive change.

        With regards to Taiwan, the problem is that Trump is abandoning diplomatic protocol when he doesn’t even have to. In effect, he’s souring years of diplomacy for no other reason than his ignorance. That shouldn’t inspire confidence in anyone.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you. I look forward to how these posts compare to what we all fear is going to be a horrible reality in the very near future. Oh I really don’t know what to say that is uplifting at this point. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right now I’m cataloging the demonstrably stupid antics of a President I didn’t vote for. Who knows what the future will bring?

      The thing that I’m not liking is that Mr. Trump is taking an unnecessary risk. But I can allow there might be a method to the madness. Like anything else, it would take making too many assumptions. So right now, I just try to record it so I won’t forget in 2018.

      Really, 2018 is the election to watch. If the Dems can get enough of a majority in Congress, then Trump can be blocked from doing major damage. It’s just going to be a little tense for two years.

      Liked by 1 person

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