The destructiveness of Donald Trump

The US president has a habit of creating chaos all around him in an alarming manner

Trump and US defense secretary James Mattis at a ceremony commemorating war dead at Arlington.
Trump and US defense secretary James Mattis at a ceremony commemorating war dead at Arlington.Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

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The resignation of the White House director of communications, Mike Dubke, after just three months in the job, is a new example of the worrying level of disorganization within the most powerful political administration on the planet. Dubke was planning on quitting several weeks ago, but decided instead to postpone the announcement so as to not affect the president’s visit to the Middle East and Europe – a tour that has, by the way, had terrible results in terms of communication.

Trump’s Twitter attack on Merkel ended with a threat more suited to a low-class barroom

Hired in February by Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, Dubke had tried to bring some order to the chaotic image that the US presidency conveys on an almost daily basis. It’s a job that would appear to be impossible, with a president who – as he himself has revealed in a number of interviews – uses his personal Twitter account on a nightly basis, without the knowledge of his communication team, in an irresponsible and often aggressive manner.

Donald Trump appears not to have understood – and it will be difficult for him to grasp it now – that he is not just another user of social networks, and that he cannot behave like your average Twitter troll. Given the present situation, it would not be a surprise if the current predictions in the US press were confirmed, and that the next person to quit will be the White House spokesman himself.

The latest of Trump’s targets on the internet has been German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This week the president once again criticized Germany for the trade surplus it runs with the United States, as if that constituted an affront, and ended the message with a threat that would be more suited to a low-class barroom, and which is completely unacceptable in international politics and relations between allies: “This will change.”

Both sides of the Atlantic will pay a high price if Trump continues to attack the ties that were so costly to establish

No doubt Trump, who is used to belittling and personally attacking his rivals, will find it hard to understand why Merkel’s main rival, the social-democrat Martin Schulz, came out in support of Merkel’s position. Schulz has described Trump as the “destroyer of all Western values,” an expression that for the US president – who is a fan of using brusque language – will not seem particularly strong, but is, all the same, a harsh summing up of what the current resident of the White House is doing.

These Western values are, without a doubt, also American. It’s urgent for the legislators in Washington to become aware that both sides of the Atlantic will pay a high and undesirable price if this erratic president, who is unable to exercise impulse control, continues to attack the ties that were so costly to establish. They have the legal mechanisms at their fingertips to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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