Anyone who has been wondering about Donald Trump’s capacity for statesmanship and global economic leadership will find an instructive read this morning at HuffPo, Lee Moran’s “Angry Scots Troll Donald Trump Over Brexit Gaffe: The Donald got his facts wrong. Again.”
In his first international trip as the leader of the Republican party, Trump demonstrated remarkable insensitivity to, as well as ignorance of the serious concerns of Scots and Brits about their economic future. Trump’s Scottish debacle was a consequence of his poor timing and judgement in re-opening the Trump Turnberry Golf Resort, while the Scots voted on European Union membership.
If you thought that the leader of the GOP would at least be well-informed enough to know how Scots voted on the issue, you would be very wrong. Trump tweeted “Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!” It was not well-received. As Moran writes,
Trump also faced a backlash after tweeting that people in Scotland were “going wild” following the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union…Many Scots are angry at his tweet because most actually voted to remain inside the EU.
…All 32 council areas and a total 62 percent of Scots backed the UK to remain in the EU, according to the BBC. It was in contrast to the U.K. as a whole, which voted 52 percent to 48 percent for “leave.”
Dozens of Twitter users branded Trump a “moron,” “weapons-grade plum” and “idiot” — including British pop star Lily Allen, TV presenter Sue Perkins and comedian Peter Serafinowicz.
Add to all of that the callousness of opening a luxury golf resort designed to serve as a playground for the wealthy at a time when millions of working people in the UK are concerned about their economic security as their country prepares to leave the European Union. Not exactly the signature of a serious world leader. Oh well, at least they’ll have a fancy golf resort for the elites.
The last thing the UK and Europe need at this political moment is a visit from the world’s most famous immigrant-basher. The UK’s outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron described Trump’s Muslim-bashing as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong” and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said his comments were “repugnant and offensive.”
There is a fair amount of media hand-wringing about the Brexit vote and the possibility that it may mean working people in the developing countries are leaning more favoraby toward immigration restrictions and trade protectionism, which Trump has supported. It will take some better polling to verify any such trends, and Clinton has the time to tweak her message accordingly.
What is clear is that Trump has once again damaged his credibility with ill-considered comments. No doubt many Europeans are this morning experiencing enhanced appreciation for the prospect of Hillary Clinton’s leadership — instead of the disastrous alternative.