Do not do it yourself. President Donald Trump is not risking an international trade war to fulfill a campaign promise. It has nothing to do with the slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from China and other countries. It has something to do with everything Trump cares about most: his image.
For a year and more, the president has fought with a growing awareness that his surprise victory would not have been possible without the help of Russian operatives who, according to the FBI, “information war against the United States,” in Hillary Clinton’s campaign Sabotaged and helped Trump.
Losing the popular vote meant that some people were already seeing him as an illegitimate president. But as the picture of Russia’s cyber attack becomes clear, his ego must contest the election with another painful adjective: Trump is not just illegitimate. he is weak.
This is not possible in Trump’s mind. He won his image as the toughest man in the room. Jeb Bush was low energy. Marco Rubio was a little. Ted Cruz was lying down. Clinton was crooked and dirty. America was going to hell, and the only man powerful enough to make it great again was Donald J. Trump.
Cartoons on President Donald Trump
Trump’s problem gets worse. The US intelligence community hopes that Russia will continue its offensive in the upcoming midterm elections. US espionage chiefs have said that Trump has not ordered any condemnation. These facts put the President in pickle. Doing something about Russia would be a real admission of weakness. Will have to do nothing. So Trump is between rock and a hard place. Nothing more can be done, but anger.
So we are debating the pros and cons of import tariffs, a debate that has nothing to do with tariffs and everything to do with the president’s growing fear he will soon find out.
I think Trump thinks this is a safe gamble because it has worked before. In a past jam, he punched. But steel-consuming industries are not the same as minorities, women, immigrants, the disabled and groups that cannot be expected to punch back with equal vigor. There is luck at stake, not to mention hundreds of thousands of white, working class jobs.
Trump is in a winning position once again. If he chases through tariffs, he will thrill a fraction of his base, virtually no more than 200,000 people and the remaining mills employ him. If he chases through it, he will resent some of his biggest supporters: Metal-consuming industries employ workers whose livelihoods could be at risk for tariffs.
There is yet another no-win situation that can happen – if the president retreats. Although a relief for supporters in metal-consuming industries, it would be a sign of weakness for the 200,000 people working in the steel and aluminum mills (and perhaps supporters felt relieved that they had talked about the tariffs Changed his mind). Worse, Republican pressure will result. In the words below, in other words, Trump may have indicated to supporters that he is not powerful enough to make him American again. He is indeed a weak president.
Trump’s talent has been in believing, well, that many don’t know much about good American policy, they don’t know that they don’t know and don’t care to know that they don’t. They have assumed, rightly, that many Americans rely less on the ability to recognize policy statements than to recognize the “character” of a person. As long as Trump can maintain an image of strength, right or wrong on policy, is beside the point.
Many wonder how the most unpopular endorsement of modern presidents could reach below 35 percent in the approval poll. I think this is because – no matter how ridiculous Trump is, no matter how wrong, no matter how corrupt and infantile – his strong image goes a long way in keeping him from falling short. Again, that’s because Trump is essentially right about a good number of voters: “character” is the one that matters the most.
But even when a president has nothing else to offer, there is still no sense of humor, character can be a brittle thing. Once doubt has arisen in the mind of the voter, it is difficult to get it out. Once in the present, each passing day with news about Russia and tariffs serves to deepen the grip of doubt on the mind, reducing the president’s confusion of a man who can make American great again . If Trump’s base just loses an ounce of confidence, then it is the beginning of the end.
This is why Trump fights so fiercely. Yes, it is about his arrogance, but a veteran griffer like Trump knows that he gets nothing when he starts losing faith. Real tipping points are rare, but it seems to have earned a moment without a hitch. If Trump does anything about Russia, he looks weak. If nothing, weak. If he operates on tariffs, he risks his base. If it does not work, it is weak. At some point, supporters said they did not feel free Actually All this, like Trump, and I hope, is the reason.