Trump’s getting crazier every week. It feels like he is on a highway driving against the traffic and is pushing the gas pedal. All the cars are moving to the shoulders to avoid confusion, but there’s bound to be a truck which won’t be able to get out of the way quickly.
That’s from a brief conversation I had on Monday evening with someone who is a lot smarter than I am when it comes to both markets and politics and it paints a hilariously apt picture.
In a lot of respects, geopolitics is the science of competing interests and as such, there’s always an element of confusion. But rarely is it the case that one actor is seemingly at odds with everyone at once.
Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a country that is on unequivocally good terms with Donald Trump. Between the tariffs and the push to compel the world to cut imports of Iranian crude to zero, the Trump administration is quite literally in conflict with everyone from Canada to Mexico to America’s European allies to Turkey to India to Japan to South Korea.
Even Russia became, to a certain extent, a victim of its own “success” earlier this year when the ruble plunged along with Russian equities amid harsh sanctions and worries that Steve Mnuchin’s Treasury might end up going the “nuclear route” by sanctioning government debt. That episode also upended the metals market by throwing Rusal’s future into doubt.
On Tuesday morning, amid rampant uncertainty over everything from immigration to trade, Trump took to Twitter to deliver a series of wild accusations, unfounded claims and just generalized insanity.
Remember how, last month, the media lambasted the President for implicitly referring to immigrants as insects when he described the current situation as an “infestation”? Yeah, well you’d think he would avoid that kind of language going forward, but instead, he doubled down, tweeting this:
Now for one thing, that is just dog-whistling and race-baiting. He attaches the MS-13 bogeyman in order to give himself an out, but everyone knows what he means – the idea there is to characterize immigrants as invaders.
But even if you take that at face value (that is, give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s only talking about violent gangs) there is no “infestation” of MS-13 gang members. When was the last time you saw an MS-13 gang member? Would you even know what one looked like if you did see one? This is completely silly. America isn’t being taken over by MS-13. He keeps saying that and it just isn’t true.
Again, the point there is to identify all immigrants with violent gangs in order to whip the base into a frenzy and if you don’t think that’s the case, well then note how he attaches the ICE debate and the Democrats and “Nov.” there at the end. He went on to (again) accuse Democrats of wanting to “rip apart” law enforcement, a truly egregious claim that again serves to make his deluded followers believe that the opposition party is actually in favor of rampant lawlessness.
Speaking of the “opposition party”, he repeated the dangerous contention that the media is the enemy of the people. Specifically, he seems to be upset at multiple reports suggesting North Korea is again ramping up its weapons program, and instead of confronting that reality, he insists it’s “Fake News”. Then, if that wasn’t enough, he makes the outlandish claim that if it weren’t for him, America “would be at war with North Korea”:
That’s coming from the man who, in September (at the UN, no less) literally threatened to drop a nuclear bomb on the country and said, in a tweet, that North Korea “won’t be around much longer”:
Finally, for the grand finale, he parroted a Fox News story about Obama granting citizenship to Iranians as part of the JCPOA and if you go back and read the original, it cites a FARS interview withÂ HojjatÂ al-Islam Mojtaba Zolnour. So now America is being force fed Iranian propaganda.
That was hardly the end of it. There were at least three more tweets this morning (one of which was about Maxine Waters the “crazy wounded animal”) and you can bet they’ll be a half dozen more by the end of the day.
Again, there’s an unhinged person driving up the wrong side of the highway and no matter how many times the couple in the car on the right side of the divider tries to tell him he’s “going the wrong way!” he continues to channel his innerÂ Del Griffith: “Oh, they’re drunk, how do they know where I’m going?!”
We’re all Neal Page.