Saturday, June 2, 2018


Trump is waging wars on all fronts. In America, against the Constitution and the truth. Abroad against globalization and multi-lateralism. On both fronts he is advancing.

In the United States, the separation of powers is on life-support. The free press is under attack. A strategy of alternative facts and conspiracies is winning the battle over minds and reason. This White House is waging a real carpet bombing operation against whoever stands in its way. The GOP has been hijacked by the Trump Mafiosi who stoke the fires of the culture war which opposes one America against the other. The threshold of tribalism has been crossed. The consequences thereof will be structural. Whatever the rule of law, whatever the outcome of the investigations, this Reichstag is burning to ashes. The "normal heart" of America is too shell-shocked, and gasps for air rather than reacting. The non-majority of the country is becoming a majority tout court. The news has become a permanent confrontation with the gutter exhibitionism of a con-artist. Trump is like a permanent weatherman who drags the country in tales of cyclones and anti-cyclones.

Abroad, the "strong men" are in favor with this administration and the democracies become a nuisance (like the branches of the American government). Everything is transactional, not unlike Trump's marriages. Everything has to be a deal. The MAGA (Make America Great Again) is an accelerating run for a finish in an empty stadium. Allies are gone, agreements are broken, diplomacy is disregarded, alliances are on life-support. The trade war with Canada, Mexico and the EU is a slap in the face of America's friends (and of the WTO). The unavoidable coming structural trade war with Trump's "friend" Xi Jinping might have multiple unpleasant backlashes on many fronts, the South China Sea included. The new impulsive rush to North Korea is the more noteworthy since the North Koreans were received with undue honors, unlike the cold shoulder reserved for Chancellor Merkel, as if Pyongyang was just another Asian vacation hub. The Gulag is an unwelcome reference in this administration. By the way, John Bolton--North Korea's nemesis--was absent during this love fest.

The benevolent world order is dead. Candidate Trump was not taken seriously. The former clown of Manhattan was considered just a vulgar, egomaniacal, matinee entertainer. Rightly so, but he got elected (albeit by a trick) and he is impervious to change. Rather than feeling the weight and the importance of his responsibility, he rejects the rules that come with his tenure and chooses to continue applying his former "deal ersatz model" from his days as bankrupt casino boss. Everything, from his current suits, decoration, manners, travesties, etc., would be at home in a Scorsese New Jersey scenario. Giuliani, Cohen, the Russians, all fit right into this walk on the wild side.

Europe finds itself in some difficulty. The eastern part is on a different time-zone (democratic deficit, values) and Italy is on shaky grounds. It will be difficult to coalesce around a common position. Nevertheless, it should be possible to find a shared consensus regarding trade, climate, Iran deal, WTO and NATO.  Still, the aberration felt by most is not shared by all. The fear is that Trump will not stop and that he will feel enabled to take his chaos a step further.  He cannot resist surprises (which don't need previous knowledge or culture) and will continue to despise historical corroboration (which requires homework). More blunders are coming...

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