Carl  Jansson / Flickr Trumpin...
Carl Jansson / Flickr

The United States government is currently headed by a traitor. We should mention that before anything else, and keep mentioning it until it finally dawns on the nation that puttering around on the outskirts of that conclusion is doing nobody any good, and is doing a great deal of harm.

All currently available evidence supports this statement. We know from the emails released by Trump Jr. that the campaign orchestrated a Trump Tower meeting between themselves and Russian government go-betweens specifically for the purposes of receiving information about his opponent, during the midst of a Russian espionage campaign against that opponent. We know from the text of that email that the meeting was arranged as “part of” the Russian government’s support for Donald Trump, making certain that Trump and his team knew their collaboration was with a foreign government. We know that as sitting president Donald Trump, when confronted with the imminent public exposure of this meeting, ordered and orchestrated a statement intentionally designed to cover up its true purpose.

And we know the meeting was not isolated, but part of an ongoing effort by numerous members of the Trump campaign to seek out Russian “channels” during a period of time in which, according to the now-public determinations of our nation’s various intelligence agencies, the Russian government was conducting both espionage and propaganda campaigns against the U.S. in order to throw that election to Trump’s team.

So that makes Donald Trump a traitor to his nation, according to the dictionary definition of the term. What that makes Republican lawmakers still seeking to sabotage the government investigation of his acts–from the unsubtle Nunes to his consistent enabler, Paul Ryan–is open to debate.

At present, however, the traitor is in Singapore, likely getting a good long preparatory nap before meeting with a North Korean dictator who he has treated with more respect than he has mustered for the leaders of most of our nation’s allies. He has just left a summit with those allies in which he skipped out on some meetings, arrived at others late, badgered the other leaders about tariffs that appear to exist primarily in his mind, and scuttled whatever progress the rest of the group thought they were making with a cowardly statement released only after he had fled the scene because he is a gigantic baby.

Take a moment to absorb not how petulant, but how genuinely cowardly this man is. He had to flee the meetings before taking this bold new stand of … reversing himself on a largely meaningless diplomatic letter. He imagines himself a great negotiator, but every negotiation he has ever had, from his hotel business to international “diplomacy”, seems to universally consist of Donald Trump pouting, whining, and reversing himself on whatever he previously agreed to just as soon as the ink has dried. This is not genius. It is petulant tantruming, but of the sort that we revile in our children but celebrate in any sociopath with a few million dollars to play with.

Trump’s only notable non-tantruming contribution to the G-7 summit, however, was to insist that the very nation whose espionage he has repeatedly publicly dismissed and whose aid he conspired with others to cover up be re-admitted to the elite group. His argument was that Russia did not invade Ukraine; past U.S. leaders, in their weakness, made them invade Ukraine. This logic is so self-evidently stupid that willful treason is, if anything, the generous interpretation. The ungenerous interpretation is incompetence, buffoonery, or dementia.

But we have still not come to terms with any of this, as a nation, in large part because each of Trump’s failures is so foundational that the nation’s press cannot grasp—or willfully refuses to grasp—its implications. His campaign indeed conspired, with full knowledge, with a Russian government plot against America. He has, as president, sought to personally enrich himself and his family using the trappings of office—openly and repeatedly. He has, as president, pardoned political allies and demanded investigations of, and imprisonment of, government officials investigating crimes committed by other allies. These are things that happen in other countries, in failing democracies and in authoritarian-minded kleptocracies; our press, largely dull-minded and self-captured by a mantra that suggests there is no true good or bad, in political acts, no truth-telling or lying, and when it comes down to it no true laws at all, only an infinite murk of partisanship that must be balanced, word for word and column for column, at all costs, continues to write about it as if every one of them has joined the celebrity gossip beat.

And so on the eve of a Trump summit with a North Korean strongman, the press is still full of cartoonishly silly hot takes on how the buffoonish, self-absorbed hotel magnate and gleeful traitor, on the heels of a summit with close U.S. allies in which he proved the clown at every opportunity, might somehow transform his mattress-buying and contractor-stiffing talents into Churchillian greatness.

When President Trump declared that he did not really need to prepare for his legacy-defining meeting with North Korea’s leader, he drew sighs or snickers from veterans of past negotiations. But he had a point: In his own unorthodox way, Mr. Trump has been preparing for this encounter his entire adult life.

This, by the way, may be the stupidest thing ever written in the New York Times, opinion or otherwise, ever. I challenge you to find a worse one.

We do not know how this new “summit” will go, and that is entirely because Trump is such a buffoon that any and all outcomes are possible, from the establishment of friendly ties to a rogue nuclear dictatorship to the child leaving in a huff because he does not like any given statement, decoration, or dessert. North Korea has accomplished what they set out to from the outset; within their nation, they will point to the summit as the arrival of their dictatorship as true world power, as the evidence that the rogue nuclear program for which their citizenry suffered innumerable hardships was indeed the path to national greatness their leader had promised all along.

Trump’s desires are the same, and that should be more alarming than it is. He has no goal other than recognition of his own legitimacy and greatness; even the most dull-minded in the press are willing to admit that his motive for a North Korean summit is simply because he wishes to be perceived as doing something past American leaders could not, or would not. His motives are strictly self-promotional, yet again; his instincts are to coddle those leaders who have something he desires—the possibility for self-promotion or other personal gain—while dismissing those leaders who he perceives as being unwilling to offer such. As with his petulance towards U.S. allies like Canada and his obsequious toadying to his own personal ally Putin, whether the outcome is good for the nation or is bad is irrelevant; Donald Trump came into the office as a traitor to begin with. He does not give a damn what fires he starts in his quest for supposed personal greatness. But still, we will persist in pretending at some greater design; we will insist on pretending the traitor is something better than he is.

He is not, of course. He has never been. Donald Trump has been a cretin his whole life, a snide racist and a gleeful cheat, a man whose wee little empire has been built from petty grifts and exists in a fog of money-launderers and thugs. He is a traitor, but the press, his party, and his willing allies will still persist in not discussing that part it until he has either lost power, rendering such criticisms impotent, or he has done something so immeasurably worse that pointing it out no longer even rates as controversial.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Trump is acting like this because he thinks he won the election by what he promised he would do if elected so He is doing just that!!! Look back at what he promised and now what all he Has tried to do and it matters not the consequences just to prove he will the greatest president ever!!!

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