Foreign Policy

“People don’t want to be stupid twice”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump and his cabinet lackeys have floated the idea that China is just waiting until Trump is out of office so they can sign a trade deal with the next president under more favorable terms (or under any terms at all) but, even if that's true, they're far from alone.

Foreign diplomats including ambassadors who spoke Politico say they're not taking it for granted that Trump will be replaced by a Democrat because they don't want to be caught off guard -- again -- and they "don’t want to be stupid twice," but in the meantime they're not launching any new diplomatic initiatives with the United States because they believe it would be a waste of
time.

From Politico:

An Asian ambassador said that every embassy in Washington is working “on the basis that the president has more than an even chance at being reelected.” But he, like others, said the embassies have to prepare for either possibility.

The ambassador said some countries may choose not to launch new initiatives with the United States now because “the possibility of it coming to fruition aren’t high,” especially once campaign season kicks into high gear. “But if there’s something already in the process, you’re probably not going to stop,” he said. [...]

The diplomat noted that, on the one hand, Trump may lose interest in any sort of major policy moves in 2020 as the campaign heats up and takes up more of his time. Still, presidents often use foreign policy to make a mark when it’s clear they can’t get any legislation through Congress in an election year.

“But Trump is very hard to predict!” the foreign diplomat said. “We are always very surprised.”

No one can say definitely if Trump will lose next year, but I think we can say with some authority that the high point of the economy under Trump is behind us.

The forces of racism are often if not always greater than the forces of economics, so Trump will have a fighting chance regardless of what happens on Wall Street or Main Street.

For their part, foreign diplomats are probably just as hopeful as most Americans that Trump will be a one-term president. Working with our Large Adult Toddler in Chief is literally their job and they have to endure close proximity to Trump and every unhinged yokel in his orbit. They're subjected to more idiocy in a given week than most of us will experience all year.

For all our sake -- ours and the world's -- let's not fail in 2020.

  • Draxiar

    The United States is the parents at a restaurant with a screaming kid. The other patrons are the rest of the world looking on with sympathy but also know the reason the kid is like that is because of the parents.

    Essentially, the other sane nations are putting the U.S. in the corner until the tantrum is over.

  • muselet

    “But Trump is very hard to predict!” the foreign diplomat said. “We are always very surprised.”

    So is everyone.

    –alopecia

    • The one campaign promise that trump made and is keeping is the promise that he would use chaos to keep in power.