This is perfect.
Everyone knows that one of the few things Trump has on his “to-do list” as president is to weaken NATO to the greatest extent possible. Any self-respecting Putiphile planning a “Trump-Dump Moscow” would do the same thing in Trump’s shoes. Trump is transparent enough that all European leaders know that any NATO meeting with Trump could be the last. For this one, they planned accordingly.
Emanuel Macron is quickly becoming one of my favorite world leaders. He is a dad, one can tell, because how else did he know to resort to the oldest child-psychology trick in the book? Macron pronounced NATO dead on arrival, getting out in front of Trump and thus denying Trump the opportunity to destroy it himself. Highlights brought to you by the Intercepter:
The French president gave an interview last month decrying the “brain death” of NATO, which he said had failed to account for America’s shrinking commitment under Trump.
Ha! Macron blames Euros for failing to “think” through the leadership vacuum created by Trump himself, effectively putting it on the Europeans that they allowed Trump to doom NATO.
Any parent knows exactly where this is headed:
And now Trump is lashing out at Macron. “NATO serves a great purpose,” he declared today. “And I hear that President Macron said NATO is ‘brain dead.’ I think that’s very insulting to a lot of different forces … When you make a statement like that, that is a very, very nasty statement to 28 — including them — 28 countries.”
So easy to predict.
We have discussed here in this column lately why many foreign governments want Trump re-elected. It is just so easy to predict and manipulate him. In this instance, that predictability worked in the U.S.’s long term interests, thanks to Macron – dad.
Manipulating children into doing what you want by pretending to demand they do the opposite thing is a trick most parents learn to use. It usually stops working around the age of 5.
Yes, it usually does. I can attest it doesn’t work with the average twelve year old. Had Macron tried that shit with my daughter she would have said something to the effect: “Your failure is your problem, Manny, I gave you every chance to convince me that NATO had a 21st Century mission …” Fortunately, Trump went with a less mature, instinctive and very very predictable reaction: “Na-uh! It is not dead! That is a mean, mean, nasty thing to say! I will say when NATO is dead! It is great!! And alive! NATO has never been aliver!”
This entire incident does serve a useful purpose. It highlights our vulnerability to international manipulation. In this instance we get a good chuckle and a good result. However, if one considers the same dynamic and the trade issues with China, the end result doesn’t elicit a giggle. Because China has leaders that understand parenting and manipulation, too. So does Russia, all too well.
firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @MiciakZoom