The G-7 Fiasco It's Time to Isolate Donald Trump

The G-7 summit once again made it clear that U.S. President Donald Trump is intent on treating America's allies worse than its enemies. Europe must draw the consequences and seek to isolate Trump on the international stage.

U.S. President Donald Trump at the G-7 summit on Saturday
REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump at the G-7 summit on Saturday

A Commentary by


The demise of the West. The end of the postwar world order. The beginning of a new era. There are lots of dramatic claims making the rounds to describe what exactly U.S. President Donald Trump is currently up to. And all of them are both correct and incorrect at the same time.

The debacle at the G-7 clearly shows that the real problem with Donald Trump's policies is Donald Trump himself. There is no rhyme or reason to his actions aside from the desire -- the need -- to be the best, the most important, the biggest. The collapse of the West and the destruction of alliances that have held up for decades are merely the side effects of this unprecedented ego trip.

At the G-7 summit, Trump treated America's oldest friends as though they were enemies. At the same time, he fawns over Russian President Vladimir Putin and calls dictators such as North Korea's Kim Jong Un "very honorable." He sees the reflection of himself in such men. He does what he wants. Agreements with partners, the rules of the international order: None of that holds water with Trump.

Trump wants complete control and can't stand being contradicted. He always has to have the first word and the last. Indeed, it was far from surprising that he sought to impose his own agenda (the trade conflict and Russia) on the summit. The tweet he sent from his plane out of Canada, in which he revoked his support for the summit statement, was merely a logical result of his egomania. It's always just me, me, me.

Trump's crude view of the world, his image of an America that has allegedly been exploited and fleeced for years, follows from this conceit. Because Trump thinks he is the greatest and relies only on his gut feelings, he is immune to rational arguments. He only considers his own instincts and thoughts to the exclusion of all else, even though they are based on a lack of knowledge and prejudice.

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The problem facing the "West," or at least the West as represented by Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, et al., is that leaders end up playing the role of extras in this lunacy. They do so because they continue to try to hold up the old ideals and the old rules. They believe in the power of words, logical arguments and alliances. That might be honorable, but in dealing with an egomaniac like Trump, it isn't particularly helpful. One hopes they will have finally realized as much following the embarrassing end to the G-7 summit.

It was the French president who made perhaps the most prudent observation. "No leader is eternal," he wrote on Twitter, a message that was clearly aimed at his American counterpart. It was, intentionally or not, a reminder of how this objectionable show can be brought to an end. American voters have it in their power to issue a sharp rebuke to Trump. They can punish him and the Republicans in the mid-terms this fall, and they can vote him out of office in 2020.

And Europe? Europe can offer resistance by isolating Trump, by avoiding him and by making it explicitly clear why they are doing so.

In this conflict, Europe must also learn how to be louder than Trump -- its message must reach not only European citizens, but Americans as well. Many in the United States, after all, haven't yet fully realized the degree to which Trump has damaged the Western alliance.

Trump, of course, has his followers who celebrate him exactly because of the chaos he is causing. But many other voters aren't happy about the destructive course Trump has charted. They are Europe's most important allies -- and Europe's greatest hope.

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gerhard38 06/11/2018
1. Robert de Niro addressed the Tony Awards
with an appropriate message the European leaders still must learn after the G-7 disaster. The message was "Fuck Trump. It is no longer 'Down with Trump', it is fuck Trump". De Niro got from the audience a standing ovation. The Eu-Leaders should think about Trumps behaviour at the G-7 meeting in Quebec, his action from Airforce One after he left and all the previous shenanigans of this chaotic bully. Attempts to appease him or get on Trump's "good side" have not worked and will not work. Europe must now show Trump and his stupid followers that enough is enough and this message combined with appropriate action should be so loud and clear that als the decent, concerned and honorable US citizens get the message too and also start acting to curb and/or remove that "cancer" from the levers of power. With mumbling some protest phrases and expressing hope for better days, the situation will not be improved. Hard actions now may hurt economically but will prevent much greater pain in the future. Are the EU leaders really up to the challenge? I am afraid not but there is always hope.
katman 06/11/2018
2. It's Time to Isolate Donald Trump
Most Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, support the western alliance. Unfortunately, we currently have a President who does not. But this will change in time. I can only ask our European allies to be patient. It is in the nature of a democracy that we will sometimes make mistakes in our elections. President Trump was very successful at using people's fears to get them to vote for him. He was also able to capitalize on facing an uninspiring opponent in Hillary Clinton. He is baiting Europe to respond to him and turn this into a fight so as to institutionalize the split between allies. Please do not take the bait. Have confidence that Americans will elect leaders in the future that will make President Trump look like a footnote in history. There is too much at stake in this world to allow men such as President Trump to dictate the future.
dunnhaupt 06/11/2018
3.
It looks like Trump was right not to sign the G-7 statement that talks about unity and cooperation. That is a lie. They ganged up on Trump and try to isolate America.
bbridings 06/12/2018
4.
However, in your article you have not dis-proved the unfair advantages other countries have willfully participated in with trade. Seriously, a weak America probably is not good for Europe. The continued “fleecing” of America has been taken notice of by many Americans and they are closely watching for the possible parity and equity that should have already been honestly discussed previously, and absolutely must be now- if we are true allies that support each other.
johnnyc99 06/12/2018
5. Paranoia seems to be the best Spiegel can do
Paranoia seems to be the best Spiegel can do, so let it be. Spiegel had and has no credibility when it comes to objective analysis. Your article, as well as so many others, are good for entertainment purposes. examples of objectivity from Spiegel...LOL "Trump wants complete control and can't stand being contradicted." " He always has to have the first word and the last." "The tweet he sent from his plane out of Canada, in which he revoked his support for the summit statement, was merely a logical result of his egomania. It's always just me, me, me." What filth! Mr Trump agreed on the comunique and stressed he wants free trade with zero tariffs and zero subsides. He withdrew his endorsement only after he was backstabbed by the coward Canadian PM Trudeau. What Mr Tump wants, which he stated very clearly, is what's good for the USA - that is FAIR trade with no trade imbalances! The rape of the USA will stop, if the one-industry German economy crashes so be it. Roland Nelles, I hope they are paying you enough to write such drivel. One thing's for sure, yo uand Spiegel ha ve no credibility. Try comedy.
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