A columnist for the Irish Times with the unimaginably Irish name of Fintan O’Toole has written an eloquent, brilliant and unutterably sad piece about what the incumbency of the current president has done to the standing of the United States in the world.
The headline on the column is:
“Donald Trump has destroyed the country he promised to make great again”
Here’s the lead:
Over more than two centuries, the United States has stirred a very wide range of feelings in the rest of the world: love and hatred, fear and hope, envy and contempt, awe and anger. But there is one emotion that has never been directed towards the US until now: pity.
Without a subscription, that as much as you see, although the lead is a very good, if somewhat heart-breaking summary,
I’ve read the whole thing and hope it will appear somewhere else where you can access it, but what I’ve already passed along captures O’Toole’s argument. His list of feelings toward our poor, dear nation held in minds and hearts around the world is brilliant, and it’s worth thinking about every one.
Nor do I think the American minority that adores or even supports Trump will shrink much, even if they were to accept that their hero engenders sadness even unto “pity” in the rest of the world. Nor do I suggest that the main reason we urgently need to get a better person in the Oval Office as soon as possible is to restore our standing in the world.
The list of reasons is long and, to borrow the crushing last line of O’Toole’s lead, pitiful.
This link will get you the top of the O’Toole column on the Irish Times site. You can make out most of the second paragraph, and, if you are so motivated, to subscribe.