Last week Donald Trump carried his base message to the capital of world diplomacy.
And what was the unbelievably undiplomatic message he delivered to the world leaders assembled at the United Nations?
In addition to engaging in undignified schoolyard name calling, labeling North Korea’s Kim Jong-un “rocket man,” Mr. Trump vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea, a sovereign nation of 26 million people.
Mr. Trump talked a lot about sovereignty as well, but I guess he wasn’t thinking about North Korea’s sovereignty when he said that.
Mr. Trump also threatened to pull out of the Iranian nuclear agreement which prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons despite the fact that everyone responsible for monitoring the agreement (including our own government) says that Iran is in compliance.
So, if I have this right, Mr. Trump wants North Korea, which has 20 or more nuclear weapons, to agree to dismantle its nuclear arsenal at the same time that he wants to exit the agreement with Iran, which has no nuclear weapons, leaving Iran free to resume its nuclear program.
Why would Kim enter into any agreement with Mr. Trump who treats international pacts so cavalierly?
Meanwhile, in Washington, Mr. Trump was pushing yet another partisan Republican effort to deprive millions of Americans of health insurance despite overwhelming popular support for the Affordable Care Act.
The Graham-Cassidy bill is so draconian in its reach that Republican Senator John McCain said that he could not “in good conscience” support the measure.
Republicans seem so set on dismantling the ACA that, as Sen. McCain noted, they haven’t bothered to determine the cost, how it will affect insurance premiums and how many people will be hurt by it.
“I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” said Sen. McCain.
Republicans seem to have learned nothing from their previous failed efforts to dismantle the ACA.
As I write, congressional Republicans are preparing to introduce tax reform legislation pushed by the Trump administration that will provide a $1.5 trillion tax cut that they know will add billions to the federal deficit.
That’s right, the deficit hawks in the Republican party, who scream at Democratic spending proposals that might increase the deficit, are prepared to add billions to the federal debt.
In order to do this, Republicans are prepared to ignore the traditional scoring of tax and budget legislation by the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office.
Instead, they’re counting on their own partisan economists to don rose-colored glasses to make pie-in-the-sky growth projections in order to support the tax cuts.
And forget about those middle-class tax cuts Republicans like to talk about; these tax cuts are overwhelmingly directed to the richest 1 percent.
You can call it “magical thinking” or a cynical disregard of the American people, but it’s certainly not an exercise in fiscal responsibility.
As if this were not enough, by the end of the week Mr. Trump was again flaunting his racism before a vastly white audience in Alabama, suggesting that National Football League owners fire athletes, nearly all of them black, who are exercising their First Amendment right to silently protest what they perceive as police brutality and the unjust administration of justice.
As if Mr. Trump’s moral equivalence after the Charlottesville, Va., confrontation were not enough, he insisted on throwing gasoline on the already flaming racial divide in this country.
As Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks cornerback, tweeted: “The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!”
Mr. Trump called the Iranian agreement “an embarrassment to the United States.”
I say that Donald Trump is an embarrassment to the United States, to every one of his 44 predecessors in the Oval Office and to the American people.
Jay N. Feldman