The importance of having a democracy is in trouble in Western countries among the younger generations. Several polls suggest that they tend to see it as nonessential. There are several hypotheses: One blames programs such as “House of Cards” for causing their disgust, an adolescent and idealistic mindset which refuses to believe that governing involves backstabbing, backdoor dealing, catering to minority interests and hypocrisy. Donald Trump, without having read any academic jargon on the subject, was able to tap into this discontent, and he gives his voters what they expect: a total disregard for political appearances. He decided to officially declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a measure passed years ago by Congress but not implemented until now, and he’s threatening to withdraw aid to any countries that condemn this decision at the United Nations. “Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” he said. You can imagine his diehard supporters cheering at their TV screens: “You tell ‘em, Donald.”
He’s turning the tables and shedding light on the hypocrisy of others. Voting against the United States at the U.N. and then asking Americans for help is just inconsistent. It’s also inconsistent to spend years criticizing the Americans for their excessive interventionism, their zeal for imposing democracy through bombs, and then criticize their new foreign policy which leaves such matters alone and focuses instead on America First, as the campaign hats say. It’s also easy to sell Trump supporters on a weariness with European airs of superiority. We take such pride in our welfare state, but when Trump calls for a small trim of the NATO budget, no one takes the hint.
Nikki Haley, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was the one tasked with confronting the countries that oppose the decision on Jerusalem. The daughter of immigrants from Punjab, she was the first female governor of South Carolina. She’s been in the headlines all week. So has Linda Sarsour, the hijab-wearing Muslim woman who organized the Woman’s March against Trump, and who’s now accused of covering up the sexual harassment suffered by one of her employees. Women, both of them. Trump is getting the talking points handed to him on a silver platter.
Twitter-happy, drunkard, fat slob, bigmouth, liar. None of these portrayals gets to Trump. There’s no more doublespeak, that nontransparent way of talking that’s caused such disgust that it’s ended up threatening democracies. Not everything is Trump’s fault; don’t go being hypocrites. Postureo, the term for the braggadocious and insincere showiness so common on social media and in political discourse, was accepted into the official dictionary of the Spanish language the same year in which the push against it propelled someone like Trump into the Oval Office.