A shallow understanding of President Trump

Dear Editor:

This is in reference to the article by NS Venkatarman entitled Is President Trump as chaotic as described?

It is sad to see an article like this because the author’s evaluation of Trump’s actions lacks nuance, a reliance on facts, and is very trapped in the moment. He seems dazzled by Trump’s “bold and daring” “measures and policy initiatives” and takes the opposition media and critics to task without addressing any of the multitude of reasoned positions against Trump’s actions.

Venkataraman doesn’t acknowledge the fundamental nature of Trump’s modus operandi, which is to run the country like a reality show, measured by crowd size, celebrity visits, a thoroughly cowed and compromised congress, and his “base”. Nor does he raise the egregious and mendacious manner in which Trump conducts himself as a leader on the world stage (never mind at home, where he silences media critics and resorts to gutter talk to demean anyone who gets in his way).

Venkataraman fails to recognize the deeply flawed logic of Trump’s “America first” policy’s isolationist stance, which flies in the face of the interdependent world we live in and will, in time, be our undoing. For example, his summation of Trump’s trade war as a smart strategy (against China) in service of “America first” fails to account for the already devastating impact on our farmers, auto industry, and small businesses that now have to pay a premium for Chinese manufactured goods.

Venkataraman also has not noticed that the leaders of other countries (and some American governors and mayors) are quietly going about carrying on diplomatic and practical initiatives without US involvement. Foreign leaders may enjoy Trump’s poke in the eye to China, but they’re not fooled into thinking that trade wars are winnable or that such a short term “strategy” will build trust or long-term security and economic health for anyone.

Venkataraman’s summation of Trump as an unstoppable strong man (the sad “boys will be boys” argument), and therefore admirable, is utterly wrong-minded. Yes, Trump’s “chaos” is to be seen for what it is — an intentional way of moving through the world, but one that is immature and based on ignorance and inexperience.

I found Venkataraman’s conclusion that Trump’s divisiveness is what is to be expected of an American president profoundly sad, especially since Trump’s presidency follows on the heels of one of our best, most inclusive-minded presidents. Obama made a lot of mistakes, as all presidents do, but his embrace of the world community contributed much to global stability and security. I suppose it’s not realistic to expect a journalist like Venkataraman to engage with opposing views in a short article like this, but his writing reveals some very shallow assumptions about what’s acceptable and strategic.

Robyn Brentano
New York, US

23 October 2018

Copyright © 2018 Robyn Brentano

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily that of Tibet Sun