The world is starting to respect us again.
— Donald Trump, over and over again, in a loop, since the inauguration
Since cavorting his way into the Oval Office on the back of populist balderdash and a foreign-assisted misinformation campaign, Donald Trump has insisted that thanks to his ball-busting, ham-handed approach to foreign policy, the rest of humanity has been forced to begrudgingly accept the return of American hegemony.
The world, Trump swears, is now appropriately terrified of the U.S. – again.
That’s actually true, but that terror isn’t born out of a healthy respect for America’s economic prowess and military might, as the President would have voters believe.
Rather, it stems from the realization that the most powerful nation on the planet is now beholden to the whims of a man with the temperament of a toddler and the mental capacity of a dementia-ridden chimpanzee.
It’s the type of terror that ensues when you take a gorilla on a tour of the NORAD command center and accidentally get locked out of the room with the gorilla still in there.
Simply put, there has never been a time in this nation’s relatively short history when the U.S. was less respected than it is right now. America is an international joke, although again, the laughter only comes during those rare moments when everyone isn’t holding their breath in anticipation of Trump causing another international incident either on purpose or, perhaps more disconcerting, by accident.
Never has the utter lack of respect for Trump’s America been more readily apparent than it was on Tuesday, when the President took the podium for his second address to the U.N. General Assembly.
We brought you the complete highlights from Trump’s speech in real time and you can review those here, but we wanted to take a moment to relive the first minute of the address during which the world quite literally laughed when the President asserted that his administration has accomplished more than any other administration in the history of the country. Here is the clip, which will live in infamy:
Every news outlet in America lampooned that brief episode on Tuesday for what it apparently says about the sad state of the country’s international reputation.
But for me, what stood out the most is that the applause when Trump unwittingly stumbled into a bit of self-deprecating humor seemed almost genuine. As if, for a second, the world had succeeded in snapping Trump out of his own reality distortion loop. During those fleeting few seconds, the world was no longer laughing at Trump, but with him.
Sadly, it didn’t last.
Within minutes, he was in full nationalist mode, and his anti-globalist screed found the President insulting the very same crowd who in the first 60 seconds of his speech, proved that on the biggest stage, and despite it all, the world was willing to let Donald Trump in on the joke. That joke: Donald Trump.
It was an olive branch of sorts. The President appeared to accept it initially.
And then, predictably, he snapped it into pieces.