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story.lead_photo.caption German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to President Donald Trump as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton (top right) and others watch Saturday during the G-7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.

The photograph shows what happens when America sends a child to do a woman's job.

The woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, stands and leans forward toward the seated and arm-folded child, United States President Donald Trump. Assorted leaders of the G-7 summit of allied nations stand and flank Merkel.

The thousand words that the photograph is worth ... well, they suggest that a reasonable adult woman is seeking to reason with a bratty male child.

The image is not unlike that of an experienced and committed schoolteacher trying to get a middle-school cutup to behave and consider basic courtesies and studies.

The broader narrative is that the leaders of America's best large-scale, long-term allies--Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada--are not happy with Trump's combative, me-only trade policy with heavy punitive tariffs. They find a trade war among friends dangerous economically and otherwise.

Trump behaved in a my-way-or-the-skyway manner, departing early from this G-7 summit last weekend.

Then, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, this year's summit host, did what responsible national leaders do after such meetings. He generally praised the vigorous discussion, touted a vanilla communique to which all nations had agreed and then tended to his own domestic politics by saying Canada would not get pushed around by anybody on trade, and would retaliate if regrettably necessary.

Watching that aboard Air Force One on television, where this simpleton leader of the free world gets his calls to action, Trump became ego-enraged, per usual, and took instantly to Twitter, per usual.

He tweeted that Trudeau was "dishonest" and "weak." Then he directed that the United States not sign that communique, to which it had previously agreed in a typical spirit of keeping a modicum of peace and collegiality in the alliance.

At some point in all of that, the German government thought it helpful to post that photograph on Instagram of the German adult woman and the American pipsqueak.

They called the last American president no-drama Obama, because he eschewed emotional reaction. Trump despises everything Barack Obama did and resents everything he was. He insists on doing and being the absolute opposite.

Obama cooperated as an ally. He felt no need to tweet an instant attack on Canada's prime minister--or any other allied world leader--because his feelings got hurt when he was made to appear on television less than the central character.

Here is the essential greater context: America is universally understood to be the world's dominant nation. Its best exercise of its greatness is through unassuming benevolence. If America has disputes with its best friends, then it should work on them quietly, internally, respectfully, generously. Selfish bluster is Third World strongman nonsense and un-American.

America needn't flex its muscle or beat its chest. It fills any room it enters with understood supreme muscle and an implied barrel chest. A preposterous second-place Russian-endorsed American president who feels a need to puff himself up by that understood muscle is a pitiable creature indeed.

Let's so hope that, in the next hours, Little Rocket Man doesn't bruise the vulnerable ego of Big American Man of Tiny Hands and Extra-Long Neckties.

It's one thing to blow up over steel tariffs with good and responsible friends. It's a little different to blow up over nuclear missile tests with a fellow madman.

Finally, here's an element as big as any other: While it's true the German government posted that photograph, it's also true that Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, posted it, too, presumably from pride.

You see, Trumpism is about bluster, egomania, selfishness, separateness and borrowing our great nation's long-developed and unflexed muscles to tell the world to go to hell.

An America obsessed only with its own power sounds vaguely like ... well, Russia, which, by the way, Trump likes, and wants to put back in the G-7 to make a G-8.

Russia got kicked out for annexing Crimea, which Trump says Obama somehow made Russia do.

Invoking again that photograph: Merkel is the schoolteacher talking sternly to Trump the bratty middle-schooler, and now Trump the bratty middle-schooler is saying he wants his daddy, who is Putin.

That's the extent to which our great nation stands demeaned by this clown of an accidental president.


John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a member of the Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame. Email him at Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.

Editorial on 06/12/2018

Print Headline: A thousand words

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  • mozarky2
    June 12, 2018 at 3:53 a.m.

    No surprise that Brummett sides with a former Stasi agent over the duly elected president; who, btw, is sick of this nation being the ATM for a bunch of socialist Euroweenies.
    Twenty years from now Germany and France will no longer exist, anyway.

  • mozarky2
    June 12, 2018 at 5:40 a.m.

    And I can only imagine the butthurt you "progs" are experiencing over President Trump's successful Summit last night...

  • RBear
    June 12, 2018 at 6:22 a.m.

    moz go read my analysis of the summit. I know the details are FAR deeper than you can comprehend, but I did try to dumb it down a little for the Trump demographic. Reading your comments here, you show so many juvenile tendencies it's almost ridiculous the D-G lets you comment in here with the big boys and girls. "Twenty years from now Germany and France will no longer exist, anyway." Yesterday it was just Germany. Now you add France. You're hilarious in your idiotic notions.
    Regardless, good column John. Looks like Trump didn't make too much of a fool of himself in Singapore but then again, based on what came out it would have been hard to screw it up. Kim was the real player in the negotiations and Trump just put his name on the document in agreement.
    Yes, the dark days of US diplomacy are upon us and we have an idiot leading them. He plays to the theatrics and the G-7 meeting was one of them. The Singapore Summit was another. He gives the impression of jet-setting diplomat when really it's just a big show at each stop with no real substance coming forward. I know the Trump freaks will pounce on you for this one (it makes for great click bait), but I'm not expecting much in the form of substance as has already been exhibited by moz.

  • TimberTopper
    June 12, 2018 at 6:27 a.m.

    John a good read! mozzy the Russian Troll, shows his love for Putin/Trump, not America!

  • PopMom
    June 12, 2018 at 6:39 a.m.

    Good column. I am sure that these leaders will be as happy to see Trump go as I will. Hopefully, the next president will value fellow democracies more than dictatorships.


    No, I am thrilled with the news about North Korea, and Trump did a great job of soothing the ego of an evil dictator. Of course, Trump does get along well with evil dictators as his owner, Putin, is one. I just hope that the news stays good.

  • WhododueDiligence
    June 12, 2018 at 7:15 a.m.

    "Twenty years from now Germany and France will no longer exist, anyway."
    ~~(working for Putin again)~~
    ~~(aka Moscow mo)~~

  • Rightside
    June 12, 2018 at 7:17 a.m.

    As usual Brummett was wrong. The president said the were having a friendly conversation unrelated to G-7 summit while waiting for document.

    Kim Jong Un commits to ‘complete denuclearization’ of North Korea. Brummett calls President a "clown." The real clown is JB.
    The Dems and media are now the Party of Ms-13, Transgender bathrooms, Open Borders, NFL Protests, Partial birth Abortion, Filthy Comedians..Robert Dinero said F**k Trump and Hollywood ate it up. Samantha Bee called Ivanka a C**t. Liberals attack Kanye West and Candance Owens for being a free thinkers. Bill Maher says he hopes for a recession so he can get rid of President Trump! He’s wishing suffering and pain for the entire country—a crashing economy—purely to fulfill his own and party's political agenda.

  • RBear
    June 12, 2018 at 7:31 a.m.

    And we get the right wing meltdown from Rightside. No substance (never has been), just blathering right wing rhetoric. Admit it, you're out of your league.

  • WGT
    June 12, 2018 at 7:36 a.m.

    Excellent job, John.
    Some subscribers have no clue what adult means in society.

  • Rightside
    June 12, 2018 at 7:46 a.m.

    I Hit a nerve I guess RBear.
    Black unemployment fell to 5.9 percent from an already record-low 6.6 percent in April.
    Female unemployment inched down to 3.6 percent, the lowest since 1953.
    Asian unemployment fell to 2.1 percent—also a record, though the Bureau of Labor Statistics have only been tracking these figures since 2003.

    RBear says these are "dark Days'" maybe dark days for Dems..