From the very start of his illegitimate presidency, and come to think of it, for as long as he’s been in politics, he’s wanted to start a war with some country or other. He spent the election all but calling for the invasion of Iran. Since he’s been in office, he’s publicly and repeatedly begged North Korea to attack the United States. As his failed presidency further falls apart, he now desperately needs a war as a distraction. The trouble: he doesn’t have anywhere near the political muscle required to start one. So instead he’s settled for a different kind of war.
In a move that appears to be partly a financial con cooked up with his criminal billionaire friend Carl Icahn, and partly just a spiteful sideshow as his presidency unravels, Donald Trump has started a trade war of all things. He’s spent the past several days using Twitter to rant about steel and aluminum and tariffs, while going so far as to insist that “trade wars are good!” No one’s quite sure what the hell he’s trying to accomplish, but Wall Street has seen enough to send the stock market plummeting.
So this is what Trump has been reduced to. He’s so politically crippled by historic unpopularity and criminal scandal, even his addled brain has figured out the laws of politics would never allow him to get away with starting a real war at this late date. Maybe six months ago. Not now. Instead he’s starting a trade war of all things.
This is a phenomenally self defeating political strategy on Donald Trump’s part. He gains nothing from it. He risks tanking the economy, which would only bring about his ouster more quickly. In the process he’s not creating enough of a distraction for it to make a difference. There are no Americans saying “You know, I was ready to give up on Trump, but now that America is at war on paper over steel tariffs, I guess I’d better patriotically rally behind him.” This is as tepid as it is stupid as it is pointless. That’s Trump in a nutshell.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report