United States President Donald Trump has long been talking about a border wall to discourage illegal immigrants from coming to his country, but it's only now that the world is seeing how dead serious he is about that wall.
The impasse between Trump and Congress has led to the shutdown of the US government. Congress, where Democrats hold sway, will not allow Trump to build that wall. As a result, hundreds of thousands of federal workers are set to miss their paychecks, and government agencies have not been business as usual for close to three weeks now.
Just this Wednesday, Trump walked out of a meeting with congressional leaders who were steadfast in their refusal to build the wall. “A total waste of time,” he tweeted soon after.
“I said bye-bye, nothing else works!” Earlier, Trump had told Senator Charles Schumer that he would look foolish if he reopened the government before securing the money he needed for his wall.
And when he was asked why he chose to hurt Americans with his decision, Trump reportedly said: “Because then you won’t give me what I want!”
Trump’s supporters may look at his behavior in a positive light—as strong, unwavering will toward a desired end. Persistence and refusal to compromise could be good qualities in a leader, especially when they are on the side of truth and justice. This is how crusaders succeed in the face of adversity.
It could also be seen as obstinacy—misplaced pride that will not be challenged by yielding to other views.
Unfortunately, Mr. Trump’s actions and words hew more closely not to a principled statesman’s, but to those of a child who uses everything in his power, even throwing temper tantrums to the detriment of many, to gain attention and make everybody do his bidding.
The US President was a savvy businessman before entering politics. He has benefited from his father’s connections and his propensity to exaggerate. In fact, he has published a book called “The Art of the Deal,” supposedly showing his expertise in business negotiations.
Alas, what is happening now lacks the smoothness and savvy of any dealmaking art. Mr. Trump’s actions show he is neither public servant nor dealmaker—just a brat in an expensive suit and a fancy office.