The Desperate mr. trump, or Trump says he matters

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Donald Trump is using all his rhetorical skills to keep everyone’s eyes focused on him and on him alone. He is trying so hard precisely because it is increasingly evident to most politicians and public figures, in the United States and elsewhere, that he is constantly losing ground. More and more actors are ignoring his demands. This is most of all clear to donald trump himself.


So he does hurtful things to all and sundry simply to prevent others from assembling the votes for things that exclude mr. trump from the center of worldwide action.


He has closed down the U.S. government, or at least that part which has not yet gotten a renewed life of a few months. He has said that he is proud to have done it, to the dismay of almost all other political actors. He claims he will not relent until an absurd amount of money is voted for the construction of his beloved wall. The money will not be voted.


Why, I am asked, does he do this? The answer is so simple it begs being silly. He is doing it because there is nothing else that he can do that he can use to validate a claim that he matters.


He has flown off in utter secrecy to visit U.S. troops in Iraq. He says he is withdrawing U.S. troops totally from Syria and partially from Afghanistan. We shall have to see if he actually does this. Or whether, like the three previous U.S. presidents, he reneges.


But no matter for the present. In the present he is asserting that he matters. To be sure, he still is the president of the United States. He has certain powers that he can use. This is precisely what frightens people all around the world.


So, he offers the world a bargain: “Say that Trump matters even if you don’t believe it and I’ll retreat once again.” Consider what a futile game this is in fact. But no matter to mr. trump, who only wants to ensure his re-election in 2020.


Hurrah for dangerous games!



- Immanuel Wallerstein, Senior Research Scholar at Yale University, is the author of The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World (New Press).


Copyright ©2019 Immanuel Wallerstein — used by permission of Agence Global.
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