Trump, the World Health Organization and American Soft Power

It should not shock any of us. President Donald Trump is doing what benefits him. He is also following the dictates of his nationalist, America First, base. Perhaps, he is also following the dictates of his friend, Vladimir Putin. He called him a few times in the last few days, and one wonders what this was about? Ostensibly he is talking with Putin about the Pandemic and presumably coordination during a global crisis. Yet, one has to wonder.

One of the things his nationalist, far-right base, believes is in United Nations black helicopters. They also know that the UN is inching towards a world government. Trump also made serious mistakes at the beginning of the pandemic, which has led to thousands of deaths. So he is desperate to blame somebody else. The buck will never stop with Trump. His base is quite pleased as well and will believe any of the gaslighting their cult leader spouts. It is way past time to call MAGA exactly what it is, a death cult.

So Trump decided that it was high time to leave The WHO high and dry, during a pandemic. Why? He is now blaming them, after a long list of specious reasons for why this has been a failure. Remember, Trump tried to blame Democrats for this early on by calling this a Democratic Hoax. He has moved from that to a long list, including China (which he originally thanked for the good work they were doing). So now we have settled on the World Health Organization.

There are real effects on what Trump is doing. For starters, this is a threat to our national security. Not that his base has ever understood why, or cared much for that. If it was up to them, they would close American borders to the world, and become self-sufficient. Oh never mind that a virus cares little about borders. So if you think closing the borders completely, and sealing the country would prevent this, North Korea was not able to stop it.

The other thing is that without the help of this organization in controlling the pandemic in the economic south, this will keep it going longer. This alone is a national security risk.

But there is another aspect to this that his base has never understood. Being a super-power, and exercising soft power has many benefits for the country. Our influence is waning and we are fast becoming a second-tier power. As it diminishes, others are stepping into the void. China is not surprising, nor is Russia. Both have sent medical equipment to places where the pandemic rages, and these include some of our NATO allies. Yes, Italy got help from both.

Truth be told, the Russian gear was far more of a political PR stunt, but they exercised that soft power.

The footage of the convoy was widely shared on social media, but Italian officials speaking anonymously to La Stampa said as much as 80% of the delivered material was useless, and that the operation appears to be a public-relations stunt with little practical benefit to the country’s healthcare system.

The Chinese effort was Red Cross to Red Cross, which is less political. This also came after other EU nations refused to help Italy while preparing for outbreaks of their own. The US fiddled with that, showing once again that the alliance matters less than it used to at one point.

Ultimately this is about the end of the American empire. This cult is very happy about the United States throwing its weight around the world, but cannot understand that this is coming to an end. As to the World Health Organization, Speaker Nancy Pelosi already called this presidential decision not legal. Given the House controls the purse strings, we are in for yet another fight.

Written by

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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