Lots of people smarter than me have written about how Trump is a pushover in international negotiations: Trump’s two week sojourn in Asia brought out a round of such analyses here, here, and here. But for me our current president’s addiction to flattery and fawning appeared in his remarks about the red carpet treatment Trump (and, well, America) was given:
“It was red carpet like nobody, I think, has probably ever received. And that really is a sign of respect, perhaps for me a little bit, but really for our county. And I’m really proud of that.”
It’s hard to watch our country get played for a bunch of suckers by the government of China, of Russia, of really any nation with leadership savvy enough to understand Trump’s fragility and neediness. I just happened to have stumbled across James Madison’s sentiments on the matter, written back in 1788:
Every nation, consequently, whose affairs betray a want of wisdom and stability, may calculate on every loss which can be sustained from the more systematic policy of their wiser neighbors. But the best instruction on this subject is unhappily conveyed to America by the example of her own situation. She finds that she is held in no respect by her friends; that she is the derision of her enemies; and that she is a prey to every nation which has an interest in speculating on her fluctuating councils and embarrassed affairs.
–Madison, Federalist #62
Madison’s remedy for our “fluctuating councils and embarrassed affairs” was a brand new constitution. What’s our remedy today?
Hint: the remedy is in the Constitution!