The buffoon who ran for president in 2016 is not a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. The Fletcher School, as it is better known, is regarded as one of the world’s foremost graduate schools of international relations. Its graduates include hundreds of ambassadors and leaders of humanitarian organizations and non-profit groups which seek to promote peace among nations.
On his first visit to Europe last year, while attending a NATO summit, Donald Trump distinguished himself by conspicuously shoving aside the president of Montenegro, Dusko Markovic. Trump did that because Markovic, who is taller than he is, and, inevitably, better looking, was closer to the cameras than he was. Optics are of of the utmost importance for Trump. Trump’s worldview is shaped by his frequent declarations that he is the most important person in the world — a "stable genius," in his very own words.
This morning, NPR reported (https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/01/12/577673191/trump-wishes-we-had-more-immigrants-from-norway-turns-out-we-once-did) on the history of US immigration policy: in 1924, Congress established a visa quota system for immigration to the United States. First preference was given to Scandinavians, with people from Africa given minimal slots. Then in 1965, President Johnson, a Democrat, pushed hard to revise the system, and, in a ceremony at the Statue of Liberty, signed the legislation, which provided for immigration based on merit and family relationships. LBJ made an impassioned speech in which he praised the new principles as based on true American values.
Yesterday, it was difficult to find any news reports anywhere in the world other than minute by minute accounts of the perfect storm which Trump created by deliberately maligning Haitians and Africans. That’s when Trump said he wants people from Norway to come here, rather than Haitians who have AIDS or people coming from African "shitholes."
Trump was meeting with senators, including Illinois’ senior senator, Dick Durbin, a Democrat, in an attempt to resolve the hot button issue of immigration — in particular, what to do about undocumented immigrants, Trump’s Wall, and whether to extend protection for people from El Salvador who came here on temporary, non-immigrant visas after devastating earthquakes in 2001. Sen. Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a former presidential candidate, have been trying to forge a legislative compromise which might be acceptable to the xenophobic and racist occupant of the White House.
Trump demanded to know why so many people from Haiti and Africa are allowed to immigrate, calling them “shithole countries”, immediately causing an international furor. Trump, always facile in recalling what he did or did not say or do, denied that he made that remark, but Durbin said he did; the White House would not say that Trump did not say that; and House Speaker Paul Ryan, appearing at a political event in his home state of Wisconsin, said it was “unfortunate" that Trump said that. On Washington Week in Review yesterday evening on PBS, syndicated columnist Mark Shields accused Ryan of moral cowardice for not immediately condemning Trump.
Associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones was with Trump when he received a congratulatory call from white supremacist Richard Spencer, one of Trump’s most devout supporters.
Our chief international correspondent, associate solitary reporter Larry Theis, was in Oslo yesterday with Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who was addressing the Storting, Norway’s parliament. As soon as Solberg and the Storting’s leaders learned of Trump’s remarks, they immediately passed a resolution banning Trump from ever visiting Norway.
“We are a peace-loving people,” Solberg said. “Remember, it was right here in Oslo, in 1993, that we Norwegians facilitated the Oslo Accords, which established a framework for peace between Israel and the PLO. We don’t want Mr. Trump to come here and bad-mouth us, since he’s so good at maligning others.”
The Storting’s president, Olemic Thommessen, and Jonas Gahr Store, the leader of the Opposition, heartily applauded Solberg’s remarks.
As Durbin left the White House, associate solitary reporter Melissa Smith heard him say, “We in Congress need to require Donald Trump to go back to school, specifically, the Fletcher School.”