Politics, Moderate



Easy doesn't do it

Kathleen Parker on

WASHINGTON -- Dear world: Please pay no attention to the man behind the golden drapes.

He doesn't mean it.

"What?" you say. "Doesn't mean what?"

Anything. Donald Trump doesn't mean anything he says. At least not for long, so try not to react. Relax. Breathe. Wait.

Contra Trump, nothing worth doing is easy, including ignoring the president of the United States. But ignore him, you must, lest he interpret your reaction as a challenge, which he'd of course aim to win at all costs -- even if winning is losing. Give leveler heads and reality checkers time to change his mind, which, in fact, is easy.

Consider what's happened recently on the domestic front. In the wake of another school shooting, Trump said it was time to take action on gun reform, including raising the age of purchase to 21. He may truly have believed that reforming or strengthening gun laws was the right thing to do ... until he didn't.

Don't worry, he's not embarrassed. We all know why he seems to have changed his mind -- politics, the disarming charms of the National Rifle Association, short attention span and so on. But the "why" doesn't really matter. It's always something, as we like to say in America.

Ditto DACA, the Deferred Action (I'll say) for Childhood Arrivals program, as well as countless campaign promises. He clearly has had an influence on the economy, at least for market watchers, until along came the promised Tariff War.

The president himself spoke of a "war" as he defended plans to raise tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Never mind that the top four steel exporters to the U.S. are our neighbors (Canada at No. 1; and Mexico, No. 4) and allies Brazil and South Korea. Russia is fifth, with China 11th.

The top aluminum exporters to the U.S. are, again, Canada in first place, followed by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and China. Given the double hit against Canada, perhaps things between Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aren't so swell after all? Or, just maybe, there's no reasoning whatsoever to any of this.


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