Increasingly difficult to wake up overseas to news from home, knowing I will spend today explaining our democracy and institutions.
— Chargé Phillip Nelson (@USAmbQatar) May 10, 2017
It is sort of hard to fathom a US ambassador bitching about explaining the US, including our sometimes messy politics, to incredulous foreigners. In my naïveté, I’d assumed that was part of the job description. It is also difficult to understand why a US ambassador sees fit to imply criticism of the president she represents in a very public forum. Looking at her resume, I’m sure she felt much more at home with Obama as president but that is no longer an option. Mere professionalism would seem to demand that the public face of the United States in Qatar keep her opinions to herself. This really calls into question the degree to which she can be relied upon to represent US interests and policy in an increasingly unstable region of the world.
What has amazed me is how the 2016 campaign and, in particular, Trump’s unexpected victory has managed to bring out just about the worst behavior in everyone. Trump’s own coarseness and lack of concern for social conventions and anything approaching gentlemanly behavior seem to have been tossed into a Cuisinart with a vitriolic hatred of him by the left, the media, and the NeverTrumpers and whirred into a seething mass of irresponsibility, stupidity, and just bad manners that is infecting everyone it touches. My own theory is that Trump’s loyalists and his most strident opponents are simply mirror images of each other. And there is really no end in sight.
This is just a day ending in “y” in the Age of Trump.