When Donald Trump met Angela Merkel at the White House, there was an awkward exchange noted by everyone, and that was Trump’s refusal to shake the German chancellor’s hand, a snub for all the world to see:
The exchange, according to BuzzFeed‘s David Mack, went like this:
Photographers: Can we get a handshake?
Merkel (to Trump): Do you want to have a handshake?
Trump: *no response*
Merkel: *makes awkward face*
The Guardian interpreted Trump’s expression, as a “half-smile, half-grimace.” Anyone who does not see the petulant child either has no children or no experience of them.
Salon’s Amanda Marcotte observed,
“Standing near Merkel must be Clinton-level uncomfortable for Trump. All that time around a smart, capable woman, when he has neither virtue.”
After all, as former Jimmy Kimmel writer Rick Rosner quipped, “Angela Merkel has a PhD in quantum chemistry. Donald Trump misspelled ‘tap.'”
For her part, Merkel was likely amused. She’s dealt with would-be tough guys all her political life and Trump is no tough guy. He just plays one in the reality show called The Trump Administration.
Author and world-class Trump critic J.K. Rowling led the charge, tweeting,
More critically, Merkel has stood up to his buddy, the guy who helped make him president, Vladimir Putin.
George Takei identified a trend in Trump’s behavior: “Yesterday Sean Spicer accused UK of spying on Trump. Today Trump refused to shake Angela Merkel’s hand. This is how they treat our friends.”
And that is certainly a worrisome trend. Evan McMullin pointed to an important consideration, something Trump might actually want to think about if he ever bothers thinking:
Pointing to an analysis of a body language expert, Joy Reid laid down the final verdict on this historic meeting, one I suspect future historians will affirm:
Yes, our president is a petulant child. Never forget – you can be sure Trump hasn’t – that Angela Merkel publicly repudiated Donald Trump’s executive order, saying,
“The necessary and decisive fight against terrorism does not justify a general suspicion against people of a certain belief.”
Trump’s EO’s are exactly that, directed, as every judge who has ruled against it has noted, directed at the Muslim community.
Oliver Willis gives us a look at happier times, at what Germany and America’s relationship is supposed to be:
Trump’s refusal to shake Merkel’s hand was a snub, a message to her about who he thinks is in charge (it’s not him) and to his followers (who like him hate strong women) and to Vladimir Putin, showing the Russian strongman where his true loyalties lay.
Donald Trump, still at 0 days without being a national embarrassment.
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.
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