As leader of the Executive Branch, President Donald Trump now takes on the ceremonial position of “Chief of state” as well as “Chief policy maker”. He has tried to balance both crowns on his head during a recent meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. The event was covered by Mark Landler in a recent New York Times article. As “Chief of State,” The Donald tried to foster a friendly relationship with the foreign leader by dictating the similarities between them. This similarity is, of course, the fact that both leaders were victims of former President Barack Obama’s wiretapping. This act of appeasement was not taken well by the Chancellor who simply shuffled her notes and gave a very thin smile.
As “Chief of State,” The Donald tried to foster a friendly relationship with the foreign leader by dictating the similarities between them. This similarity is, of course, the fact that both leaders were victims of former President Barack Obama’s wiretapping. This joke, or in Trump’s case, issue of great urgency did not sit too well with the Chancellor who simply responded with a thin smile.
Then came the “Chief policymaker.” Throughout his campaign, The Donald has criticized NATO’s infrastructure by advocating for members to increase their own military spending in order to prevent themselves from becoming heavily reliant on America. The Donald made sure to bring this topic up during the press conference and it seemed to be successful when Mrs. Merkel responded to such policies. She stated that Germany was doing its best to increase military spending however also indicated that NATO had more compelling priorities such as developing regions within Africa.
What gets to me, however, is that the meeting was falsely symbolized as “The great disrupter confronting the last defender of liberal world order.”
This notion undermines leaders such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who si currently trying to preserve a liberal political atmosphere. He recently responded with the following tweet “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #WelcomeToCanada” after Trump placed a temporary ban on all refugees from Syria and other nations. Justin Trudeau also advocates for free trade. He recently presented an economic policy to the European Union entitled The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Within the proposal, he defined the benefits that the middle class within Europe and Canada will experience if free trade is upheld between the two regions.
From a strictly political perspective, I would say that Trump is doing a well enough job of being both the “Chief policymaker” and “Chief of the state.” He made sure to confront the Chancellor on issues that he finds important such as Germany taking advantage of the US through trading, but doing so in a respectful manner. For example, he did not blatantly attack Germany’s acceptance of refugees but instead made a remark that “Immigration is a privilege, not a right.”