President Obama is in China for the G20, meeting with world leaders to address problems that concern us all, from Syria to Ukraine to cybersecurity and the U.S. elections.
This is the sort of meeting in which Donald Trump claims he would excel, despite his submissive behavior before the President of Mexico when the two met. Of course, Trump and Putin share common goals and aspirations and have praised each other. Clearly, Putin thinks Trump would be more easily manipulated.
To demonstrate how easily Putin or another world leader would manipulate Trump, there is the matter of how President Obama exited the plane at the G20 conference. The Chinese allegedly snubbed the president by failing to roll out a staircase and red carpet for Air Force One, though they claim it was what the US wanted.
It is all about appearances for Trump, and rather than get into complicated issues he has neither the knowledge of nor the patience for, he took offense that Obama used what Trump called “a metal staircase in the back of the plane.”
“If that were me, I’d say, ‘You know what folks, I respect you a lot, let’s close the doors, let’s get out of here.”’
Instant international incident, courtesy of a world leader who knows how to push Trump’s buttons.
Obama, however, true diplomat that he is, shrugged it off:
“I wouldn’t over-crank the significance of it because, as I said, this is not the first time that these things happen and it doesn’t just happen here. It happens in a lot of places including, by the way, sometimes our allies,” Obama said, adding that “none of this detracts from the broader scope of the relationship.”
Nothing spells out the difference between the mature statesmanship of President Obama and Republican nominee Donald Trump like this situation. Trump says he’d have just up and left, never meeting with the other world leaders, because that’s what children do when they feel snubbed.
President Obama took it like a man and moved on, knowing that more important things than his ego are at stake, an ego, fortunately for all of us, that is not as fragile as Donald Trump’s.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.