President Biden is getting praise for the message he conveyed to our allies at the G-7 and NATO meetings in Europe this week. He is reassuring democracies around the world that American democracy is strong and survived the attempted takeover by the abhorrent autocrat Donald Trump and that “America Is Back ” and part of the global alliance for the values our nations have in common.
The visual image of President Biden’s friendliness and quiet strength amongst the world leaders at the summit in Cornwall was a welcome departure from the pushy, arrogant, anxious energy of Trump. The New York Times reported President Emmanuel Macron of France saying, ” it was good to have a US president who’s part of the club and willing to cooperate.” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said, ” having Joe Biden as president doesn’t solve all of our problems,” but now the group can work with a real “zest,” to solve them.”
The New York Times also reported on the agreements put forth by the global leaders in their communique. Some of them were;
- A United confrontation on Russian and Chinese behavior, “captivating Beijing over its internal repression, vowing to investigate the origins of the pandemic, and excoriating Moscow for using nerve agents and cyber weapons
- Agreement on a global minimum tax
- Support of democratic ideals
- An agreement in the effort to vaccinate the world
- An agreement to take action against China’s forced labor practices in agriculture, solar, and garment sectors
- The overhaul of international tax laws to stop multinational companies from seeking out tax havens
Despite the feeling of “goodwill and unity” between the G7 leaders, confidence in the stability of the US has been shaken by the disastrous upheaval of the Trump era. Concerns were expressed about how the agreements in the communique would be executed, most notably because of the divisive, “phony populism” that Trump inserted into American politics. However, the summit, with Biden leading the way, “cast the West as the ideological rival of a growing number of autocracies.” Biden expressed optimism to his G7 colleagues about America “being back” and England’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson referred to Biden as a “breath of fresh air.”
In contrast, the visual memories of Trump walking ahead of Queen Elizabeth during an honor guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2018, and then aggressively pushing Dusko Markovic, the leader of Montenegro out of his way at the 2017 NATO summit remain reminders of his pathological, obnoxious arrogance on the world stage during his presidency. Additionally, while at the 2018 summit meeting in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin he accepted the Russian leader’s declaration that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Trump famously said on camera for the world to hear, ” President Putin says it was not Russia, and I don’t see why it would be.” Bipartisan outrage swept across America at hearing an American president side with a historic enemy of American democracy over the U.S. Intelligence community.
Republican former CIA Director John Brennan said about Trump’s aligning with Putin against US intelligence, ” it is nothing short of treasonist.” Senator John McCain said, “no former president has ever debased himself more objectively, before a tyrant.” Even the epic Trump sycophant Senator Lindsey Graham called the statement, “a missed opportunity to firmly hold Russia accountable for the 2016 meddling .” Senate leader Chuck Schumer accurately described Trump’s Helsinki comments as having “strengthened our adversaries and weakened our defenses and those of our allies.”
Additional foreign affair embarrassing missteps were his desperate, repeated meetings with Kim Jong Un. He sold the importance of these meetings to our country under the pretense that North Korea would de-nuclearize because in Trump’s words ” Kim and I have a great relationship.” What those meetings gave to Kim Jong Un was legitimacy on the world stage by getting to meet with the US president with no pre-agreed upon concessions. What America got as a result of the meetings was watching our president be made a schmuck of in front of the world. His desperate pursuit of the Nobel Peace Prize drove Trump to meet with Kim. That prize which Obama won, will forever be among the many reminders that Trump will never surpass Barack Obama as a person or as a US president.