Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Underlining the ignorance of Trump.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump is but an immature child playing at being the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. The point was so perfectly positioned the other day for all to understand by French President Emmanuel Macron. Vive la France!

It is when as a tourist you stand under the majesty of the Arc de Triomphe, trying to blot out the incessant horns of vehicles caught in the endless route of that traffic circle, that you understand the pride of the French. Macron was destined to say what he did in that setting.

The president named no names but listeners, including Donald Trump, could only add his name to each indictment. Macron told the world leaders in attendance that “patriotism is exactly the opposite of nationalism.” It was his belief that the millions killed in War I fought against the selfishness of nations fighting only in their own interest.

Macron denounced nations who stepped away from their treaties. He denounced those who put their own interests first. He believes it is their moral values that nations are denying in this way.

Mind you, after listening to Trump’s diatribes for the Deplorables during his run-up to the mid-term elections, you would assume those Americans had no moral values anyway. And the mixed results of those elections lead you to question both the common sense of the voters and the morals of the elected.

In an interesting follow-through to the French president’s speech, Canada’s Justin Trudeau took part in a peace forum where he put in a strong defence for the news media in their independent role of defending society’s institutions. He said that attacking the news media only fuels the cynicism that citizens have to all institutions that are there to protect us as citizens.

The world leaders had gathered in Paris to mark the 100 years since the armistice that ended World War I, also known as the Great War and as the War to End All Wars—it did not.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The Hordes are in the House.

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

Donald Trump can stop worrying about the hordes heading north in Mexico. They served their purpose during the run-up to the mid-terms. They gave him a target for his bigotry. And it worked for him. It brought out a streak of meanness and uncaring in Americans.

But the mid-term elections also left President Trump with a divided Congress. With no ability to finesse, he is now reliant on others to get his agenda—such as it is—through Congress.

But do not assume this will leave Trump a lame duck president for the next two years. The person who controls the White House can cause a lot of trouble. Pity the soldiers camped on the Mexican border. Pity the news media condemned to reading those maniacal tweets from Trump.

What everyone will be waiting for in the next two years is the sorting out of the leadership of the Democratic Party. This is a party that needs to restore the honour in being liberal. It is a party that has to recast a reform agenda that people can understand. And the party has to lead, not follow.

And a refreshed, renewed and reformed Democratic Party has to defeat Trump’s lies with truth. It is critical that America restore its credibility with the rest of the world. Americans have to be sold on the need to look outward at a complex and concerned world.

And, given the opportunity, they might want to help save that world from global warming. By all of us doing the bit that we can, we can save our world.

It is really too bad that Donald Trump became president of the United States at a time when traditional news media are in decline. Trump is a liar and perpetual prevaricator and this is a problem that needs continual analysis and denial. To give him any freedom because of a weakened news media is license to prevaricate and confuse the deplorables and create serious problems for America and the world.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The Fall of the House of Trump.

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

It might have been the beginning of the end we saw the other day. Donald Trump’s words on the tragedy in Pittsburgh were the final bullets in a fool’s arsenal that ricocheted around the world. He complained that there would not have been the deaths involved if the synagogue had an armed guard at the door.

If any place of worship, anywhere, feels it needs an armed guard, there is something seriously wrong in that society. And if children cannot go to school safely, that society is failing its most precious assets. There is no excuse.

Too many people are describing the current situation in the United States of America as the demise of America as a world leader. It has traded its democracy for a tin-pot dictator. It is following him in a downhill path to isolation, to xenophobia, tariff barriers and consorting with fellow dictators.

You have to wonder who motivated the current march north by refugees from Honduras and other Central American countries? The timing is suspect because Donald Trump can now tell his claque that the hoards are at the gates. He is sending more soldiers to defend the borders than there are marchers—who are many weeks from the American border.

(Though somebody should compliment the Mexicans on their hospitality and caring about these people.)

But the American mid-term elections are next week and that should tell the tale. There is little information available as to which side might prevail in the elections. Nobody seems to have much hope for the Senate elections but there is a strong possibility of the House of Representatives ending up with a democratic majority.

What occurs to me is that if the democrats just had some leadership, they could win both houses of Congress. It is hard to imagine that the majority of Americans would want to give Donald another two years of free rein in Washington. Has he not done enough damage to America, to other countries that Americans could count on as friends and to democracy around the world?

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Trump’s deniers call for the ‘End of Times.’

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

And here we thought the Christian Bible was there to forecast the End of Times. The Donald Trump administration in Washington has taken over in the forecasting business. They appear to believe that the End of Times is set for the year 2100. They are so convinced of this date that they are foregoing any further efforts at protecting our environment or efforts at reducing carbon emissions. The advice they give to Americans is ‘live it up and pollute as you wish and forget about the future of our earth.’

Hey, I am serious here! Our only hope is that this announcement was not by anyone at the Environmental Protection Agency. Would you believe it was reported as buried deep in a 500-page environmental impact report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration? The report was likely written to justify President Trump’s order to freeze fuel efficiency requirements for autos and trucks built after 2020.

While it is hard to imagine anyone writing this report in a serious manner, it goes to prove that people will go to some lengths to keep their job.

The report claimed that since the average temperature of the earth will rise by four degrees Celsius by the end of this century anyway, why bother with further savings in carbon emissions? The writer of the report seemed to conclude that any uptick in carbon dioxide by U.S. cars and trucks after 2020 would make no significant difference.

President Trump had decided to take the U.S.A. out of the Paris Agreement on the environment when he first took office. Since then he has opened up unrestricted coal mining and approved highly polluting pipelines such as the Keystone XL from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast. Mind you, America already had the distinction of being the most polluting country per capita in the world.

But we will solve all of that with the catastrophic coming of the End of Times. Our world will die with many a whimper as the icecaps melt, the seas encroach on our coastal cities and the unleashed storms and other extremes of intemperate weather challenge our ability to grow the food to feed ourselves. It will be too bad that Mr. Trump will not be there to answer for his ignorance.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Donald Trump’s Win?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

We might as well let Donald Trump think he won. You hate to give a bully the victory but he would just go away and pout if we did not. What he really got was the right to rename the deal. That way, he can tell his claque that he got rid of NAFTA. It is now called the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA). It sounds like a branch of the United States Marine Corp, but what the heck—as long as it works for everybody involved.

It might be that Canada let the U.S. in on a bit of its milk market but the farmers can easily be compensated for that small encroachment. It leaves the fresh milk market to Canada’s farmers and that is the important part for consumers.

I would say it is a win for Justin Trudeau and his foreign affairs minister. They held the course throughout the negotiations. They did not let Trump’s irresponsible twits rattle them and they held the course to the end when the Americans had to agree to the deal or look terribly stupid.

The best part of the win was Canada sticking to its guns on bringing Mexican auto-worker wages into line. The $16 minimum wage for the Mexicans making autos and trucks is a huge jump and the impact it will have in Mexico will change that country a great deal. It will help drive up the costs of a holiday in Mexico for Americans and Canadians but that is fair too!

The other part of the deal that was vital to Canada was the continuation of the dispute settlement clause as it was in the original deal. The idea of submitting disputes to America’s highly politicized judicial system was a guarantee of constant harassment.

It also looks like Canada came out ahead on the automobile part of the deal. It looks like we have strengthened our position on auto parts and there are fewer concerns about the bleeding off of final assembly.

All in all, we can have the pleasure of looking south and giving Mr. Trump what Americans often refer to as the Canadian salute. Middle finger at the ready…go!

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Dragging down the dialogue.

Friday, September 28th, 2018

That Donald Trump is at it again. The diplomats laughed at him in the United Nations in New York the other day. Prime minister Justin Trudeau of Canada was walking by in the U.N. building the next day and did not want add to the American president’s discomfort and stopped to commiserate. Trump brushed him off.

It could have been left at that. It is just that Donald Trump never knows when it is best to shut up. In a no-holds-barred bear baiting with the news media the next day, where the media was the bear, Trump insulted the chief Canadian negotiator on the NAFTA file, lied about and maligned Canada’s prime minister and made it almost impossible for America’s chief negotiator to bring anything positive to the NAFTA table in future negotiations.

It begs the question as to whether there is any point to further discussion of the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States?

The point of this is that Mr. Trump knows that the Canadians are not going to tell him to ‘Get Stuffed.’ They, of course, know they have a right to tell him to but they are also being diplomatic and it is inappropriate for prime ministers and foreign ministers to tell the head of another nation to ‘Get Stuffed.’ No nation has gone to war over the head of the nation being told to ‘Get Stuffed,’ though there could always be a first time.

In all my years in politics and communications, this is the first time I have seriously felt that it is time to break with the diplomatic protocols and call a spade a spade.

There is no question but that Donald Trump is enjoying spewing all this garbage because he knows he can get away with it.

It is to Canada’s credit that our negotiators and prime minister have put up with this crap from Trump without responding in kind. Never let it be said that Canada walked away from NAFTA because of that disgusting Donald Trump.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The con of the carnival barker.

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

I remember as a child listening with awe to carnival barkers. I had learned young that the bearded lady and world’s tallest man were just hot air to impress the gullible. What impressed me even then was the glibness and ease with which the con man lied to the public. It is the likely reason I have for continuing to come back to writing about that bastard Donald Trump.

Listening to him and his sycophant the other day trying to bully Canada’s negotiators into signing on to their NAFTA terms, left me cold and angry. And I would hardly be the only Canadian to feel that way. We never know from day to day or week to week as Canada’s negotiators refuse to negotiate in public and Mr. Trump does not know when to stop tweeting.

While P.T. Barnum might or might not have said there is a sucker born every minute, Mr. Trump seems to have no problem finding lots of them to listen to his rants, his lies, and his crudity. This man-child and his tantrums might confound the diplomat confronted by the irrational but anyone who has any experience with a wayward child knows some ways to handle it.

First of all, somebody has to be the adult in the room. You can hardly send Trump for a time-out if you cannot take his smart phone away from him. He is certainly too big to spank—and he might like it. He needs to be told in plain language what will happen if he carries through with his foolish threats. He has to realize what will happen if he kills NAFTA.

Trump could leave a legacy as the guy who bankrupted General Motors. Ford would just be a footnote as another casualty in that scenario.

But the best guess is that Trump needs a win of some sort to show his supporters before the mid-term elections. He is obviously concerned that without something going his way, he could lose the House to the democrats—and maybe even the Senate. Without the republican support, Trump can do little and he would face the next two years in the White Hose as a lame duck.

The thing for our negotiators is to remember that it is Trump’s deadline that is closing in on him. Our people can take their time, be thorough, be fair and be firm. We cannot let the carnival barker con us.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The whitewash wears on the White House.

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

It was two years ago when that jaw dropping campaign saw a braggart and a bully win the White House. It was obvious that politicos, both in America and abroad where dumbfounded by the brashness, ignorance and foolhardiness. It was a campaign that collected the angry, the bigots, the jealous, the lawless, the self-entitled, and gave them justification. It gave succor and a savior to self-destructive lemmings.

To this Canadian commentator, America was clearly a nation divided. It failed as a democracy. It failed in its aspirations. It failed to produce the leadership it needed. With the weakness of the electoral system, the voters opted for autocracy.

What is important for Americans to understand is that this is not an internal matter. Their opting for Donald Trump has impacted the world. We all have a stake in America’s choices.

And it has taken the subsequent two years for us to understand America’s dilemma. The deplorables are not the voters but the elected. Congress is in the hands of the Huns. And they have Mr. Trump to thank for their transcendence.

The key question though is how can Trump continue? Can the con-man continue to con the voters? Or has the sheen worn off his shining?

How far has Trump come? How long is the journey that lies ahead of him?

Trump has proved he is a bigot. Muslims beware. He has fought Obamacare and seems to be losing. He wanted to build a wall and has hardly drawn a line in the sand against the Mexicans. He says he wanted to Make America Great Again but first he must tear the country down. He offered tax cuts and is starting by giving cuts to the wealthy.

Trump said the Canadians were taking advantage of the North American trade agreement. His solution is to sign a separate deal with the Mexicans and then try to bully the Canadians to accept his terms. He is destroying relationships that have stood America well over time.

Donald Trump is a man conflicted. He reaches out to his claque for approval. His paranoia becomes a more dominant trait. He is so obviously fearful of the probe of his relations with Moscow. America’s foreign relations are in tatters.

The world has not seen the last nor has it seen the best of Donald Trump. God help us if we see the worst.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Is ‘Lyin Brian’ Trump’s Judas goat?

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

We saw how former prime minister Brian Mulroney negotiated the original NAFTA. When the public service negotiators hit an impasse, Mulroney sent in finance minister Michael Wilson to replace the professionals and close the deal. Canadians ended up with free trade with the United States of America. Whether it was fair trade was a subject for debates.

But there was no debate until now that both countries did well by the agreement. With the inclusion of Mexico, the three countries economies became closely intertwined. And they shared the benefits of being a highly successful trading group.

Enter Trump. Donald Trump decided to run to be president of the United States of America on a whim. He campaigned on hollow slogans and obvious falsehoods. One of those many falsehoods was the claim that Canada was given unfair advantage under NAFTA. He said it so often to his claque and to his mirror that he came to believe it.

But Donald Trump has been given a lot of static from his political allies and supporters that he should not end the deal with the Canadians. He has determined that he needs some sort of a win over the Canadians to show his claque that he is a good negotiator. His problem is that he is a bully and a bad negotiator. He thinks he can threaten the Canadians on social media and get his way. He wants to negotiate in public. All he is doing is turning Canadians against him.

Mind you, he has the odd friend. And speaking of odd friends, one of Trump’s friends is Brian Mulroney. The former prime minister has been advising prime minister Trudeau on how to handle Trump. His advice, we are told, is to give up on some part of the supply management Canadians have with its dairy industry. If Donald Trump can take some win on dairy products to his supporters, he can claim it is a win for America and spare NAFTA.

This proposal is about the worst advice that Mulroney can give to Trudeau. First of all it would cost the prime minister seats in parliament from both Quebec and Ontario. It would make his government a single term event.

Trudeau would be far better off to tell Mulroney and Trump to stick their suggestion where the sun does not shine. Win or lose on NAFTA, Trudeau would still be in better shape for the election next year.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Obama’s Oratory Opens Opportunity.

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

That is how it is done! The former American president has finally directed his skilled oratory at that disgusting Donald Trump. Obama brought honour to the office of president now held by Trump. Somebody had to say it. Mr. Trump dishonours the office. Enough is enough.

But so what? What good does it do? The bigots in Trump’s claque of voters never liked Obama anyway. He was not even talking to them.

Trump tried to brush off what Obama said. There is nothing he can do to Barack Obama and nothing Obama can do about him—except tell it like it is.

Obama was talking to students at Illinois State University at Urbana-Champaign. He was also speaking to the wider audience of democrat voters across America. Somebody has to bring that disorganized rabble to their feet and to the polls in November. The prospect of a republican senate and house after November would lose America any credibility it has left. It could spell the bitter end of what is left of American democracy.

Maybe that is why Obama launched his campaign in Illinois—the Land of Lincoln. America can no longer afford to have less than a third of its potential voters make decisions for the country. He held back little in an erudite and scathing denunciation of the Trump presidency.

He sees the Trump situation as more of a symptom of the problem though than as a result. He delivered a scathing indictment of republican politics in Washington. He pointed out that republicans have been fanning the flames of resentment in America for many years. This is how the right wing redirects the anger that rightfully belongs to the very rich who control Washington to their own benefit.

What America needs now is for other opinion leaders across the U.S. to join in the chorus of condemnation. Even leaders of concerned neighbouring countries such as Canada and Mexico could express their concern for the directions American politics have been taking. For Donald Trump to lie constantly about the supposed benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement for others was hurting American efforts to expand trade and denying jobs to Americans. His wall of bigotry across the south has disgusted fair-minded people around the world.

Trump’s arguments about NAFTA are based on ignorance. Trade agreements can only work when they satisfy the mutual needs of the countries involved—not the foolish demands of a person who does not understand the objectives.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me