CLEVELAND — On Monday night, Melania Trump said her husband “will
never, ever, give up. And, most importantly, he will never, ever, let you down.”
This line drew some attention for being an apparent reference to Rick Astley. I’d like to focus on the fact that it’s not true.
Donald Trump has a decades-long track record of giving up and letting people down.
He talked a big game about construction projects he never delivered. He failed to pay his contractors. He put his companies into bankruptcy four times. His business partners took deposits for luxury condos and then never built them. He promised donations to charity and then didn’t make them. He failed to teach his “students” at Trump University anything useful. He divorced two of his wives. He stopped selling Trump Steaks.
And until this campaign, he never made good on his threats to run for office.
When you keep this track record in mind, can we be the least bit surprised that Trump says he wouldn’t necessarily honour our NATO treaty commitments to our European allies? Of course Trump would take his disregard for commitments and promises with him to the White House.
Donald Trump’s interview with The New York Times, in which he praised Turkey’s increasingly autocratic president and wavered on whether he’d defend NATO members against Russian invasion, is alarming. This interview is an invitation for Russia to invade the Baltic states, potentially starting a world war.
This man cannot be entrusted with the presidency.
But the interview is not the least bit surprising. It is entirely in line with his personality: celebrating bullies, dishonoring commitments, spouting off on issues without bothering to understand them.
What is surprising is the way other Republicans, who claim to care about America’s commitments to allies and leadership in the world, have brought themselves to endorse this man.
In his video message to the convention, Sen. Marco Rubio attacked President Barack Obama for “appeasing our enemies and betraying our allies and diminishing our role in the world.”
Then he endorsed a man who believes our commitments to our allies are optional and the United States is too riven with internal problems to stand up for civil liberties around the world.
“When the world looks at how bad the United States is, and then we go and talk about civil liberties, I don’t think we’re a very good messenger,” Trump said.
If Trump ever became president, he would sorely let down all the Republicans who have debased themselves to endorse them. But unlike his business partners and his customers and his wives, they won’t even be able to say he promised to do better.
This is an editorial. The opinions and conclusions expressed above are those of the author.
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