Donald Trump can’t help but brag and campaign to an American audience in any speech he gives abroad.
The latest victims of Trump’s egotism were Korean legislators who heard him speak to their chamber. After going over the inspiring history of Korea’s development, Trump pivoted to one of his favorite topics:
Like Korea, and since my election exactly one year ago today, I celebrate with you.
The awkward syntax makes it seem like he only has been celebrating Korea’s success since his election. Probably he meant to say “since I read a one-page briefing a few days ago.”
Either way, he went on:
The United States is going through something of a miracle itself. Our stock market is at an all-time high. Unemployment is at a 17-year low. We are defeating ISIS. We are strengthening our judiciary, including a brilliant Supreme Court justice, and one and on and on.
That Trump’s overbearing language has become routine shouldn’t make it anymore acceptable. Miracle? Yahoo Finance’s Myles Udland reports, “The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October… … Economists were looking for job gains of 313,000… … Wage gains in October were disappointing…”
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie was attacking the economic conditions in Virginia in a race that he lost by nine, a referendum on Trumpism.
The stock market numbers and unemployment rate have been on long-term trajectories, of course. Unemployment has declined from 9% in 2010 to 7.9% in 2013, 5.7% in 2015, 4.8% at the start of 2017, and 4.1% now, and Trump hasn’t enacted any major economic policies in his ten months as president.
The mention of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is most insulting of all to Korean lawmakers, who have justices of their own to approve. Gorsuch is a qualified profession, as are the other eight justices on the Supreme Court, and there’s no reason he merits mention whatsoever in Korea.
But it’s a long-standing tendency of his to go off on brazen, self-congratulatory tangents at what are supposed to be speeches about serious international issues.