On the surface the core issue of today’s article is rather silly…but. Let’s explore.
For decades I’ve played a little game in my head. I look at an issue before Congress and pretend I’m a Senator and have to cast a vote up or down. The most challenging part of being a legislator is having to cast a vote for bills that you love most aspects of but have to hold your nose on a provision or two of. If you happen to be the chief executive (in government or business) you get constant “advice” from well-meaning sources and, being human, you don’t always know as much as you need to know to make an instant intelligent decision.
Going back to my Senator example, let’s say you are presented a bill that helps the people and the economy but inexplicably makes it illegal for Americans to name their cat Fuzzy. The Fuzzy provision strikes you as silly and un-American at best. But you still have to vote for the bill because it does so much good for the American people who are supposed to be your number one consideration. It becomes an “on net” decision.
As president you often meet with foreign heads of state. That is an important part of your job and if done well it makes America safer and more prosperous. The reality is that you will not always get everything you want in the negotiation. In fact you will not always get everything you want on the agenda.
If I had the opportunity to sit down with an ex-president I bet they could keep my laughing for hours with the zany ideas that were brought to their attention. The problem is when they come out of left field you can’t immediately separate the zany from the rare pearl of wisdom. That is what you have staff for. You assign someone to research the proposal.
This brings me to the crux of the story. Over the weekend the news broke that President Trump was considering buying Greenland from Denmark. I thought it was basically a joke and didn’t bother writing about it. Without getting too deep into the weeds the major issues seemed to be that Greenland wasn’t for sale and there is serious question as to whether Denmark could sell it even if it wanted to.
By coincidence or not Trump had a trip to meet with the Danish Prime Minister in Denmark scheduled for September. When the news broke that the Danish Prime Minister wasn’t interested in discussing selling Greenland to America Trump abruptly postponed his visit to Copenhagen. That is the apex of being a man-child! If you won’t give me what I want I won’t play with you. (If only Trump took that hard line with people like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung-un we might be in better shape.)
Trump did the rough equivalent of not voting for a good bill because it wouldn’t allow you to name your cat Fuzzy. It appears the ability to do simple “diplomatic arithmetic” is among his many deficiencies.
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