Trump and Indignity

Lucky for Trump, he has assumed the presidency during an age in which, at least the Europeans, are particularly short on dignity.

Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), dignity has been considered a valuable personal commodity, or, at best, a commodity valued by the masses. Thus, appealing to the dignity of nations is becoming increasingly obsolete, with the exception of nationalists and populists, whose national dignity is always wounded. The extreme left, for its part, is only worried about the dignity of oppressed peoples, much to the annoyance of the former oppressors.

National dignity is a vague concept that places the reputation of a country at stake on the international stage. Nowadays, at least in this corner of the West, it only seems to be damaged when a team makes a fool of itself in a football championship or comes in last on the leader board in Eurovision.

Recently we have witnessed the greatest act of trampling the dignity of a country, one that will be remembered for being carried out by a lout who runs the world. I personally have never believed that diplomatic conflicts could be resolved with arms, God forbid. But what Donald Trump has done to the Danes is so inflammatory that it can be likened to when Helen shattered the dignity of the Greeks and they had no other choice than to make their way to Troy with their little wooden horse.

However, despite the American president’s rude performance – canceling his trip to Copenhagen, enraged like a small child that the prime minister refused to sell Greenland to him (Seriously, is this not a campaign by the satirical newspaper El Mundo Today?) — one ends up thinking that the Danes deserved it for showing such little national dignity. What’s left of their Viking blood?

How is it possible that the Danish government and the queen of Denmark who belongs to the oldest reigning dynasty of all of Europe did not anticipate this from the uncouth White House occupant and cancel the state visit themselves? Especially after Trump insulted their national dignity by expecting to buy their sovereign territory. If Trump had not scrapped the trip, what would the Danish authorities have done when they received him at the airport? Laughed?

Would our dignitaries have behaved as if nothing had happened if shortly before a state visit to Spain, the president announced his intention to buy Ibiza or Formentera? Well, maybe so. Because luckily for Trump, he assumed the presidency in an age in which, at least the Europeans, are particularly short on dignity.

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