On Tuesday, Donald Trump stood upon the world’s largest political stage and addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York. A day after announcing that he wanted to plan a military parade in Washington, D.C. next July — “the likes of which the world has never seen” — Trump basked in the opportunity to garner more fodder for his insatiable ego.
I was personally aghast early in Trump’s discourse when I began to see Twitter comments from known anti-Trump users and media personalities who praised his opening. Give it a few more seconds, I thought, wondering how anyone could base the quality of Trump’s monologue on opening remarks alone.
Sure enough, 100 words in, Trump launched into self-aggrandizing territory, bragging about the stock market, unemployment, and his usual generalities about the economy — phantom companies moving back to America in droves and the unprecedented growth on the heels of regulatory reforms. If only someone knew, what Trump was referring to specifically, because it certainly does not include a Carrier plant in Indiana where he boasted about saving thousands of jobs.
The unemployment rate in the United States is at a 16-year low. However, in the past quarter, analysts have expressed concerns over slowed hiring, stagnant wages, and missed expectations in the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report. Last month, the unemployment rate ticked up a fraction of a percent. As for the stock market, the gains touted by Trump do not benefit most Americans.
Main Street U.S.A. is not Wall Street and 45 million Americans living below the poverty level lack the six-figure income of the typical Dow Jones investor. Furthermore, with 80% of the world’s population living on less than $10 per day, the last thing many U.N. delegates and world leaders wanted to listen to was a Wall Street braggadocio explaining how much money he was making. The needs of the many continually elude Trump’s grasp of the world beyond Trump Tower.
Based on the expressions, yawns, and disinterest around the General Assembly hall during Trump’s remarks, most did not appreciate Trump’s statements about the U.S. military either. Trump’s arrogant references to the nation’s unsurpassed might seemed more like threats than comforts. He has a way of speaking with pursed lips and hyperactive hand-gestures that distorts even the kindest message. He is constantly insecure and angry and it shows every time Trump opens his mouth.
After rambling for a few moments on the gloom and doom of the world, Trump finally reached his typical performance standards. About a third of the way into his address, the playground bully finally broke free of detention and Trump reverted to his pre-pubescent name-calling self. In front of almost 200 distinguished world leaders, Trump decided to refer to Kim Jong-Un as “Rocket Man.” I can only surmise the looks and quizzical glances being exchanged in the translation booths above the hall. North Korea is an obstacle, but Trump’s name calling in front of world leaders is simply a disgrace.
The Trump train only continued to derail for another 3,000 words after that. He threatened to eradicate North Korea and its 25 million civilian citizens from the face of the earth. Then Trump announced that the U.S. might renege on its nuclear deal with Iran and conduct some military intervention in Venezuela. He simply repackaged the same unhinged rhetoric that he has been tweeting about for the past several months. Following Trump’s speech, images of Gen. John Kelly — appearing frustrated or embarrassed by his boss — went viral.
Trump closed the final third of his address complaining about how much the U.S. pays into the United Nations, how little other countries invest, care, and contribute, and reiterated an earlier theme of sovereignty — to a body of leaders focused not on borders, but on global politics. Before he slammed the door on his visit to the United Nations, Trump discussed immigration in an ominous manner for any person believing there may still be a chance for the Obama-era DACA policy.
He suggested that America could accomplish more by sending 10% of what it costs to resettle an immigrant in the U.S. to keep that person in their home country. It was almost as if Trump was offering nations money to keep their borders closed, and to snuff the American dream from the earth. He could have just reworked the Emma Lazarus poem to say, “Don’t give me your tired, your poor…”
Trump walked away from the podium, and out of the hall, assuring reporters of his own self-critique on how well his speech went. The rest of the world stood watching as the United States drifted into outer space propelled by the ignorance and insecurity of a leader who Twitter quickly dubbed “Rocket Mouth” because he cannot stop from shooting it off whenever he has a chance. If only it was not such a dud each time he did.
■ The Idea Dogs introduced #RocketMouth on Twitter yesterday and encourage all readers and followers to use the hashtag freely and liberally when referring to Donald Trump.