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Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?

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Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?
Post by gcomeau   » Tue May 30, 2017 1:23 pm

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Specifically, that he likes and admires them as his idea of "strong leaders" while being clearly uneasy around the leaders of free first world democracies with solid human right records?

This is not a one off thing, this is a clearly established pattern. Even if they are clearly established enemies of the United States Trump can't help praising them even while trying to talk tough about them.

He would be "honored" to meet Kim Jong Un at the White House and sees the fact that he has held onto power as meaning he is one "smart cookie". He had effusive praise for Duterte's job on the drug war, which involves the deployment of extra judicial death squads. He doesn't seem to be able to stop himself from telling people what a strong leader Putin is even when he's under investigation for possible Russian collusion and should obviously shut the fuck up with the constant complimenting of the head of the Russian government, he's grinning from ear to ear when they visit him in the White House, he goes on national television and defends him having his political opponents murdered with a shrugged off "well hey we do bad stuff". Nothing but smiles and compliments and "how good a deal can we get you on a bunch of advanced weaponry?" in Saudi Arabia. He's all buddy buddy with Erdogan while the guy's security personal are assaulting US citizens on US soil.

But then put him in a room full of actual allies leading democratically governed nations with strong human rights records, and all of a sudden its nothing but sullenness and contempt and hostility.

Trump's idea of strong leadership figures are about as sophisticated as "my dad can beat up your dad" views held on the schoolyard. If this isn't a cause for concern to you, you need to stop and give it a think.
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Re: Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?
Post by Daryl   » Wed May 31, 2017 5:16 am

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The developed and democratic world is watching, and hopes that your system is robust enough to stop him if he does go with his instincts and just "cut through the crap" of due process.
Harry Turtledove's novel Joe Steel is a blueprint of how it could happen.
One good thing is that Europe seems to have finally realised that they don't have to get big brother US's approval to take the lead anymore.
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Re: Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?
Post by biochem   » Wed May 31, 2017 12:12 pm

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Trump is "Honored to meet" everyone. It's his default expression. No matter who he's meeting whether it's a dictator or the Coast Guard Academy, he is "Honored to meet" them. Just look at his twitter feed (he hasn't been meeting people recently, so you'll need to scroll down a bit).

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref ... r%5Eauthor

In general his communication style with the dictators of the world seems to be similar to that which he used with his Republican primary opponents. One week he is verbally punching them in the face, the next he acts like they are his best friends. Generally, that correlated with their threat level at any given time. If they weren't a threat that week he was their best friend. If they were, he was punching them in the face (verbally).

Too soon to tell if this erratic communication style will be effective with dictators. Obama's communication style wasn't and this is a change from that so we'll have to see if it works. He did win an election using it.
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Re: Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?
Post by gcomeau   » Wed May 31, 2017 12:24 pm

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biochem wrote:Trump is "Honored to meet" everyone. It's his default expression. No matter who he's meeting whether it's a dictator or the Coast Guard Academy, he is "Honored to meet" them. Just look at his twitter feed (he hasn't been meeting people recently, so you'll need to scroll down a bit).

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref ... r%5Eauthor

In general his communication style with the dictators of the world seems to be similar to that which he used with his Republican primary opponents. One week he is verbally punching them in the face, the next he acts like they are his best friends. Generally, that correlated with their threat level at any given time. If they weren't a threat that week he was their best friend. If they were, he was punching them in the face (verbally).

Too soon to tell if this erratic communication style will be effective with dictators. Obama's communication style wasn't and this is a change from that so we'll have to see if it works. He did win an election using it.


Yeah... you kind of skipped over the bulk of the problems there and focused on one sentence.
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Re: Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?
Post by biochem   » Wed May 31, 2017 5:36 pm

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gcomeau wrote:
biochem wrote:Trump is "Honored to meet" everyone. It's his default expression. No matter who he's meeting whether it's a dictator or the Coast Guard Academy, he is "Honored to meet" them. Just look at his twitter feed (he hasn't been meeting people recently, so you'll need to scroll down a bit).

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref ... r%5Eauthor

In general his communication style with the dictators of the world seems to be similar to that which he used with his Republican primary opponents. One week he is verbally punching them in the face, the next he acts like they are his best friends. Generally, that correlated with their threat level at any given time. If they weren't a threat that week he was their best friend. If they were, he was punching them in the face (verbally).

Too soon to tell if this erratic communication style will be effective with dictators. Obama's communication style wasn't and this is a change from that so we'll have to see if it works. He did win an election using it.


Yeah... you kind of skipped over the bulk of the problems there and focused on one sentence.


The first section was on that one sentence. Incidentally he just tweeted that he is honored to welcome the prime minister of Vietnam.

But back to the rest of your argument. You're being selective. Trump has a very erratic communication style. He bounces back and forth between verbal punches and effusive praise.

To take your specific examples sure he praises the North Korea dictator but he also verbally punches. The big story in April was about Trump taunting North Korea.

In February he was ranting and raving about the Saudi's being responsible for 9-11. Now they are our friends again.

In April, Trump offended the Foggy Bottom by violating protocol and acknowledging the Armenian genocide. Now he's best friends.

It will bounce back the other direction in a month or two. Trump is very erratic.

He does the same with Germany and the other allies. One of his big goals is to get them to pay their promised 2% toward their own defense. His unusual style does seem to be somewhat effective in getting an improvement in that area. We'll have to wait and see if it translates into real Euros.

And we'll have to wait and see how things go in the rest of the world as well. He's only been president for 4 months (I'm not counting January since he started at the end of the month). It's way too soon to see if his foreign policy communication style works or not.
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Re: Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?
Post by gcomeau   » Wed May 31, 2017 6:46 pm

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I'm just waiting for the day to come when you are struck by the realization that Trump doesn't have a "communications style". He just spouts whatever pops into his head as the mood takes him unless his speechwriters and handlers have sufficiently reigned him in for a few minutes.
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Re: Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?
Post by dscott8   » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:20 pm

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Trump is very typical of the sort of schoolboy wannabee who hangs around the fringes of the "tough kid" clique. His penchant for bullying is documented.
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Re: Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?
Post by gcomeau   » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:18 am

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https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1007610678910255105

I'll say it again.

Trump ADMIRES dictators, and he wants to be more like them. Any other American president would be speaking of Kim's iron control over the people of his country with disgust.

Trump speaks of it with glowing praise as an amazing accomplishment, and wishes he could do the same.

And as we've established before, this is hardly some one off anomaly. This is who he is.
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Re: Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?
Post by gcomeau   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:42 pm

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https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta ... 4010663937

Trump appears to be really, really happy to tout this endorsement of himself from.... Kim Jong Un. Because you know, when one of the most reviled dictators on earth is singing your praises that can ONLY be a good thing, right?


Right?


This is happening in real life. Jut thought maybe some people needed that re-affirmed for them.
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Re: Can we talk about Trump's Dictator/Strongman problem?
Post by Annachie   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:52 pm

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I've come to suspect that there is a big group that likes the idea of Trump being a dictator because somehow they see themselves ending up on top.
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