My first trip abroad was in the Spring of 1985. My high school French class took a trip each year and I knew I wanted to go. I remember the cost was $1,073 for the ten-day trip. Every penny I earned delivering newspaper went toward that trip.
My French teacher, Mrs. Mazzone, drilled it into our heads we would be ambassadors for America. Our behavior would reflect what people would think of Americans. Careful admonishments were made about how we should act in public and private during the trip and we learned about cultural differences we should expect.
I have traveled to 12 countries on three continents and have always remembered this advice. I am not loud or brash, and I do not call attention to myself. I attempt to speak the language and try to work through conversations where both parties are not entirely fluent in the other’s language. It has resulted in interesting stories and I have found people to be genuinely helpful and interested.
What I witnessed last week was a 5-year old petulant child demanding everything be done his way. His behavior was an embarrassment to me, to Americans and to the United States. He made me feel ashamed to be an American.
Donald J. Trump may hold the office of president, but he is far from presidential. He is pulling the United States back 100 years and diminishing its role in the world. Other countries have looked to the United States for help and advice over the last century, but it is clear, not only is Trump not interested in helping others, he doesn’t even understand how helping your neighbor is also beneficial to yourself.
Europe is now poised to turn away from America because an overgrown baby never bothered to learn the tasks involved in his job as representative of the United States of America.
As many others have said, “Trump is a weak man’s ideal of a strong man, dumb man’s ideal of a smart man, and a failure’s ideal of a success.” His behavior on the global stage diminished U.S. credibility and trust. We have angered our allies for no reason.
France and Germany are already looking to each other to take the place of the United States together. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron of France have said they will lean on each other.
Merkel did not mention by name U.S. President Donald Trump, who criticized major NATO allies and refused to endorse a global climate change accord, but she told a packed beer tent in Munich that the days when Europe could completely count on others were “over to a certain extent.”
“I have experienced this in the last few days,” she said. “And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands – of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia.”
“But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans,” Merkel said.
Trump also wouldn’t agree to uphold America’s part in NATO. One of the fundamental articles of the NATO Treaty is Article 5. It is why the treat exists. In it, all members agree that an attack against one is an attack against all. Trump will not commit to that. He believes Article 5 is conditional, based on whether he thinks the country in need had spent enough on defense. The world is taking notice of his continued silence on the issue.
Soon, we won’t be consulted on world affairs. World politics belong to Europe now. We will be left behind technologically (Although there is an argument we’ve already lost that battle). Economically, we have given this century away to China.
Trump’s performance in the last leg of his first international trip left other world leaders fuming with his stances on climate change, taxes and security.
But it was his ‘arrogance’ in threatening to oppose the Paris Agreement that was ‘an abdication of American leadership’, the official said.
Trump claims his trip was a success. It was a failure.
If Trump makes things worse, and he’s given numerous examples in five short months of ways he is trying to destroy the country, I do hope that our allies will still help us. The majority of Americans didn’t vote for him. We are working behind the scenes every day to fight to keep the union together and equality for all.
We know he is arrogant, petulant, and willfully ignorant. He is an ugly American.
Trump speaks like a child. Anyone he doesn’t like is a “loser” and he called the Germans “bad, very bad.” If you insist on speaking this way, please return to the elementary school yard and stop pretending you belong anywhere else.
If you are not embarrassed by his behavior, you’re part of the problem. The world is more than what you are told on FOX News and Breitbart. Think for yourselves. Read multiple sides of stories. Stop feeling only contempt for other countries, cultures and people. Embrace ideas and ideals others have that are for the common good. Stop believing the myth of American exceptionalism.
In 13 months, I’ll be returning to France for a fourth time. The country has always welcomed me with open arms. My French is rusty – actually it’s pretty terrible – but I still try. I will talk with the people and I will spend a relaxing 10 days learning more about its history. I only hope by then they don’t despise all Americans as much as they do Trump today. If they do, I will be the American who changes their minds about the stereotype.