In these days of troubling and tense foreign relations… how might the United States benefit from a ‘crazy bas@#$%d’ leader?
The media criticizes President Trump for not using a “strategy” when retaliating to the chemical attack in Syria. They claim he made an emotional and erratic decision. However, perhaps President Trump wanted to send a message to Assad, Putin, Kim Jong-Un and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping (who Trump was conveniently hosting at Mar-a-Lago.). This message is that the Unites States is NOT afraid to take action.
When President Trump decided to attack the Syrian airstrip, he did so suddenly and unpredictably. Some may argue his actions are impulsive and motivated by his ego. This is where perception and reality blur.
What is important is President Trump’s persona. The perception foreign leaders have of Trump is he is willing to act and act quickly. He may be seen as a “crazy bast@#$%d” but other leaders won’t want to be on his bad side.
Obama on the other hand always reacted slowly and deliberately, which made every policy and reprimand he implemented subject to political whims and media cycles. He had no way to get anything done without an arduous political battle and was not able to effectively punish individuals for “tweeking America”. Punishment delayed is punishment denied.
Psychologists on the left have been analyzing President Trump since he emerged in the presidential race. He has been labeled a psychopath, sociopath, bigot, and misogynist. However, one has to admit, his behavior grabs the attention of foreign powers. Trump has played power broker many times in his lifetime, he knows that labels, even bad ones, have their use. Perhaps, it is time to take a closer look at Trump’s methods.
In business, leaders frequently appear to be impulsive and emotional as a tactic to keep others off balance. No one wants to incur the wrath of someone who might strike impulsively. But think about it – true business leaders are much too cold and calculating to let themselves be ruled by emotion. This may be Trumps modus operandi.
In short, Trump’s unpredictable behavior is a carefully cultivated tool. Leaders like Assad and Kim Jong-Un can no longer push America around and bask in glory while the United States government decides what action to take. These leaders now know President Trump will act first and deal with the media and red tape later. Trumps’ scare tactics may strike fear in these leaders and prevent further attacks.
Foreign leaders must now look over their shoulder and prepare for retaliation from the “crazy” Donald Trump. President Trump is not like Obama who was able to talk a good game but failed to gather a coalition which could bring about successful action.
In business terms, Donald Trump has a much wider variety of options that Obama did. If necessary Trump can still go the route of slow diplomacy, yet he has also established the precedent of sudden unpredictable action. This makes his future actions unpredictable and just like in sports, a team that is unpredictable always has the upper hand.
Obama’s inaction made his actions very predictable. Foreign leaders knew they could act without ‘grave’ consequences. In one of the most egregious violations of international law (the 2013 chemical attack), he decided the slow boat was OK. If this horrendous act would not provoke him to act with military force, what would?
Donald Trump now has the advantage over anyone who chooses the “counting coup” strategy. Since most of the actors on this stage are scared of their own shadows (Yes, I’m referencing Kim Jong-Un and Putin), this is a huge new measure of control for America. These leaders now know they cannot get away with atrocities and human rights violations. There is no question that many of these countries have been testing us for years. Now President Trump has shown we not only pass the test, but the risk of our bite is no longer worth the test.
North Korea will have nuclear weapons, which will be a direct threat to the United States in just a few years. But with the ‘crazy bas@#$%d’ in charge, Kim Jong-un can no longer elevate his rhetoric and provocative actions without huge risk. We believe Kim, together with Syria, Iran and even our friend Putin, got the message.