Sanctions Are No Game, President Trump [OPINION]
Well it’s official. Donald Trump really does think being President of the United States is just another reality show.
He’s a performer, not a president. He envisions himself a lead actor, not a leader. And he’s more into marketing himself than making America great again.
Twitter Trump is not exactly known for diplomacy when it comes to what he puts on social media. He retweets like the 72-year-old grandpa that he is; if he sees something he likes or agrees with, he just hits it with an “RT.”
But this is something different. This is something he put out directly, rather than shared. And he has put out other foreign policy "tough guy" tweets in the past, referring to Kim Jong Un as “little rocket man” and taking shots at Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau, among others.
Clearly, Trump doesn't agree with Teddy Roosevelt's foreign policy of "speak softly, and carry a big stick." He prefers "speak loudly, and gesture with small hands."
But to announce sanctions on another sovereign nation as if it was the new season of television show is as disrespectful as it is tone deaf. Iran may have earned the return of sanctions for continuing to develop ballistic missiles in defiance of the Obama-era nuclear deal that Trump recently pulled out of, but there was no reason to make a promotional poster for imposing them. Sanctions are supposed to be regrettably enacted, not celebrated.
Someone designed this image, whether under Trump’s directive or not, and then sent it to the president. He chose to tweet it out to the world. There were likely multiple points at which someone could step in and say, “Wait, this might be a bad idea,” but it happened anyway. And spare me all the talk about Trump’s fortitude and strength, and how we won’t take any crap from anyone. There’s no bravado in this. This is just a mockery of diplomacy, and further shows Trump’s foreign policy, or lack thereof, is deeply rooted in playing to the xenophobic fears of his base.
HBO, for their part, responded with a pretty good retort. Cast members and the show's creator replied, too.
In addition, HBO also gave a statement to CNBC, stating "We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes."
There may be something deeper in Trump appropriating the GoT font, considering his long-standing feud with HBO's parent company, AOL Time-Warner, and his personal feud with HBO talk show host Bill Maher.
But as usual, going too deep is giving Trump too much credit. This is just another example of his love of the grandiose, and his celebrity mentality. Want to get Kim Jong Un on board with peace between our nations? Make a movie trailer. Want to rub it in the face of Iran that you’re imposing sanctions? Make a poster. And his base just eats it up, because it’s easier to keep supporting the con man than face that fact that you’ve been conned.
Yes, President Trump, sanctions are coming. But so are the mid-terms.
Let’s see how your kingdom looks after Tuesday.
Tim Weisberg is the digital managing editor of WBSM and Fun 107. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @TimWeisberg. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.