Trump at The 2019 G-7: Ultimate Chutzpah!

Prologue:  The countries with the largest advanced economies began summit meetings in the1970’s to discuss global  issues.  Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, The United Kingdom and The United States of America.

In 2014, Russia took over Crimea and was excluded from future meetings of the G-7.

In 2018, the meeting took place in Canada where President Trump insulted the host, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as well as others at the sessions.  Since Trump’s basic motto is “America First”, he refused to sign the final communiqué that was always a joint statement of all the members. A famous picture shows him seated at a table with his arms folded tightly as Angela Merkel backed by other members stand and try to persuade him to join them.

Trump at the G-7 in August 2019.

First: a definition of the word “Chutzpah”  –  a display of outlandish NERVE flouting the norms of society.  Yiddish.

The meeting was held in France with President Macron as the host.  He and his wife greeted the U.S. president and Melania warmly.  From there, it was downhill  from beginning to end of all the sessions.

Macron had planned the topics for the different meetings , including  Iran, climate change, and the effects of trade wars among the nations.   Trump had pulled out of the Iran Treaty signed by six nations  to limit Iran’s production of nuclear weapons.  He had also taken the U.S. out of the Paris Pact that set yearly targets  for each country  spewing carbon dioxicide and other gases into the envioronment.  Finally, the U.S. trade war with China would be a concern of all the participants economies.

What happened in the days that followed was summed up in the lead editorial in The New York Times:  “Group of 7 Minus Trump: “  “The leaders of the major economies tiptoed around the irascible and unpredictable American president.”

Friday, the president had left the U.S. saying that Xi, the  president of China was “ the enemy”.  On Monday, he described him as “ a great leader and a brilliant man”.  When asked about his order that American businesses leave China… three days later, Trump said , “That’s the way I do business to get a deal”.   Never mind that issuing his order by tweet had caused the stock market Dow Jones Average to plummet over six hundred points immediately.   “Sorry,” he told reporters. “That’s the way I negotiate.”

When Climate Change was on the agenda for all leaders and their staffs, Trump never appeared at the session.  It was clear that his decision to exit the Paris Pact was based on his refusal to accept that carbon dioxide and other gases in the air and water affect nations all across the planet. He has never accepted the research and conclusions of the world’s leading scientists on the polluting effects of gases ejected by factories and power plants .  It is ironic that Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was instrumental in organizing what became the Paris Pact of nations committed to saving the planet.

It became clear during the sessions Trump did attend that the other leaders had learned from past meetings with Donald Trump how to approach subjects they disagreed on.  Boris Johnson, the newly elected prime minister of Great Britain spoke to Trump deferentially, saying , “ We’re in favor of trade peace on the whole, and dialing it down if we can.”  Most of the other leaders used flattery at first before they disagreed with any of his positions.  Macron in a master stroke had not planned a joint communiqué to close this entire session.

On Sunday, Trump said “The lunch was the best hour and a half I ever spent with him.” and the dinner Saturday with the other leaders was “fantastic.”  Also, “Mr. Johnson was “ the right man for the job”.

The dinner had included a “lively discussion” about Trump’s desire to bring Russia back into the G-7.  The other members rejected doing so until Russia reversed its intervention in Ukraine.  They said it rewarded Russia’s aggression.   Trump had been touting that proposal at home for months to see it fall completely flat.

Ultimate Chutzpah:  The United States is the country where the 2020 G-7 meeting will take place.  Before he left France on Monday, he offered The Doral Golf Club Resort near Miami, Florida which his company owns as the site for the meeting!

At a news conference, he boasted why Doral should be the host site, “ With  Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows, they each hold from 50 to 70 —very luxurious rooms with magnificent views. We have incredible conference rooms.  incredible restaurants.”    “And what we have also is Miami and many hundreds of acres for parking or all the things that you need, the ballrooms are among the biggest in Florida and the best.”

A follow up tweet by the official White House account appeared to  present the site selection as a done deal.

Reactions to this proposal were immediate.  Was it ethical or legal for a president of the United States to host the G-7 meeting  at his Resort and make a profit for his corporation?   Deepak Gupta, an ethics lawyer told The New York Times, “Trump would basically be compelling the foreign governments to be spending money at his personal resort, while promoting the resort on the world stage.”

This raises the issue of whether Trump would be violating the emoluments clause of The Constitution that prohibits presidents from profiting from public office from foreign countries.  There have been lawsuits already that have not been successful in federal courts on this matter. A third is still moving through the courts.

When Trump was asked whether he would be profiting from his offer, he replied that the presidency is a money loser for him, estimating   that it would cost him “anywhere from $3 to $5 billion.”

The host country leader usually makes the arrangements for the official visit.  It is very possible that Trump waited to float this offer at the last minute to avoid any questions raised there or at home or  while he was in France.

We will have to wait and see if the Doral Golf Resort is the setting for G-7 in August 2020 ……right before Donard Trump will find out if he wins or loses the Presidential Election.

…………………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson

 

Ken Cuccinelli Rewrites Emma Lazarus on The Statue of Liberty!

The latest foray of the Trump Administration into the ethos of this nation is now under way.  Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration is hawking the  “public charge” philosophy  of Donald J. Trump.   On NPR when being interviewed,  Cuccinelli  said that the famous words inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty should now read: “ Give me your tired and your  poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

Millions of Americans who love “The New Colossus”, the poem by Emma Lazarus,  were dismayed that nothing was sacred anymore with the Trump Administration.

Cuccinelli  set off an avalanche of criticism from members of Congress as well as U.S. citizens who found this  a shocking  new policy that would reject the poor for green cards.  Cable television featured historians who cited John F. Kennedy’s “Nation of Immigrants” book to stress that except for Native Americans and African Americans  who are 14th generation since their ancestors were brought here as slaves, the rest of our population came as immigrants, seeking a better life. And most Americans today are descendants of immigrants who came in the one hundred years between 1850 and 1965.

Exclusion laws began with The Chinese Exclusion Act in l882 followed by Laws in 1924 that favored immigrants from Northern and Western Europe over Southern and Eastern Europe.  Quota systems lasted for each country until 1965.  People waited for decades and families often came in shifts when money for tickets was not available.

Ellis Island was the main port of entry and The Statue of Liberty became the symbol worldwide , holding her torch high as the welcoming beam to guide them safely here.

Stephen Miller who wrote the president’s “American Carnage “  Inauguration Speech created the new public charge policy. He was described in The New York Times as  ‘ the architect of Trump’s immigration agenda.”  Cuccinelli reflects Miller’s view that immigrants should not rely on financial government support like food stamps or Medicaid.

Donald Trump’s negative view of immigrants was heard in his first words descending the escalator in Trump Tower in 2015 that Mexicans crossing the Southern Border were “rapists and murderers”.  In his three bans on Muslims entering the country, he continued to denigrate immigrants.  He also hyped imaginary caravans of thousands of immigrants coming before the midterm elections.  An Invasion!  After it was over, the caravans disappeared from his tweets.

Advocacy groups estimate that 26 million legal immigrants living and working in the United States will reconsider their use of government benefits because they would fear that acceptance of assistance would affect their ability to remain in the United States.  Several immigration groups have pledged to sue the Trump administration .  Over the past several months, tens of thousands of people opposed the new policy in a public comment period.

Cynthia Buiza ,  Executive Director of The California Immigrant Policy Center, said, ‘Shame on the Trump Administration for expanding a rule with racist roots in a shameful ploy to rig the immigration system for the wealthy.  We thank all who stood up against the administration’s hate filled agenda, and we will continue to fight for our values of community , compassion and concerned humanity.’’

Epilogue:  Emma Lazarus came from a prominent New York Jewish family whose ancestors settled there before The Revolutionary War.  She was an established poet and donated her poem “The New Colossus” to raising funds for the Pedestal of The Statue of Liberty.

It was being built in France as a gift to the United States by the sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.  He called it “La Liberte eclairant le monde. Liberty Enlightening  The World. ‘’

The closing words of the poem as written by Emma Lazarus:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send them, the homeless, the tempest tost to me.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Her entire poem is engraved on a bronze plaque on the Pedestal of The Statue of Liberty.

……………………………………………….Joyce S. Anderson

 

 

Trump Insults Elijah Cummings and Baltimore

As I read the latest insults the president hurled in his tweets, castigating Elijah Cummings, Chair of The House Oversight Committee, I could hear the words of the famous poem, “Incident” by the African American poet, Countee Cullen.  1903 to 1946.

INCIDENT

Once riding in ole Baltimore

Heart filled, head filled with glee.

I saw a Baltimorean keep looking straight at me.

 

Now I was eight and very small

And he was no whit bigger.

And so I smiled , but he poked out

His tongue and called me “Nigger!”

 

I saw the whole of Baltimore,

From May  until December.

Of all the things that happened there

That’s all that I remember.

 

This poem captures the Impact of a racially insulting name yelled at an African American boy many years ago.  We know that poets have the ability and power to describe truths that will last for years to come.

Today, in 2019, there are children and teens in Baltimore hearing and seeing on television, and reading in newspapers the president’s virulent untrue descriptions of their hometown.  How does that make them feel?

I doubt they will ever forget what Donald J. Trump said about Baltimore.

………………………………………………………….Joyce S. Anderson