Friday, June 02, 2017

Psychological issues

The thing that immediately struck me, on listening to extracts of Trump's "we're leaving the Paris Accord" speech this morning, were the references to other countries "laughing at" the US because they knew the US was being hurt by the deal.  (And he threw in a snide reference to Germany, or Europe, in particular.)     

I was going to say that this is a case of psychological projection - but it's not quite that, I suppose.   It's whatever the term is for psychological deflection - mistaking laughter at him personally, for all of his obvious personal and intellectual shortcomings, as being directed at the country as a whole.  

And as such, it is example of what makes him so unsuited to making decisions on diplomatic and military matters (yes, including the nuclear codes) - you can imagine him mistaking a slight meant to be directed to him as deserving response on behalf of the whole country (because he will think that the country is the intended victim, not him personally.)

Given that Bannon is seem as a key person behind the Paris decision, you can well imagine him having some similar psychological issues too.   (He has been married and divorced 3 times - a bit of an obvious warning sign regarding personality.  He's also looks remarkably old and unwell, for his physical age.  Is he sensitive on that front?)

Apart from the intrigue of what drives the tiny mind of the President,  everyone will be making the obvious point in response to his claimed reasons for withdrawing.  As the Washington Post puts it:
“As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country,” Trump said — a phrase seeming to contain a logical contradiction. If the agreement is nonbinding, then what burdens can it impose?

And that contradiction gets to the heart of why Trump seemed, on Thursday, not to be arguing against the Paris agreement itself, but rather, against the Obama administration’s pledge under that agreement, in which the United States would cut by the year 2020 its emissions by 26 to 28 percent below their 2005 levels.

But the agreement does not require a particular level of emissions cuts for a particular country; rather, the United States and any other nation can choose its own level of emissions reductions.

“It seems very unnecessary to have to withdraw from the Paris agreement if the concern is focused on the U.S. emissions target and financial contributions,” said Sue Biniaz, who served at the State Department as the United States’ lead climate change lawyer from 1989 until earlier this year. “The U.S. can unilaterally change its emissions target under the agreement — it doesn’t have to ‘renegotiate’ it — and financial contributions are voluntary.”
 As I expected, the attempted explanation of Trump is in part meant to placate his daughter - he didn't take the chance to deny climate change, and he leaves open the possibility of "renegotiation" - of a deal that doesn't bind the country to a particular target anyway.  

It's all nonsense, and the world will laugh - or grimace - again at the President.


not trampis said...

I commented the other day on how Trump has not always been an ignorant braggart. It is only recent times he has been so. ( He has always been a braggart.
His mental decline is quite significant. People in Chaos house are quite contemptuous of him hence all the leaking.

not trampis said...

to put it another way his attention span of a cockerspaniel is recent and his patent lack of understanding of even basic concepts is too. witness the europeans trying to show Trump the implications of getting out of the Paris accord in very basic terms.

It is not good.