Sometimes real life collides with fiction. Walter Mitty needed to get to Greenland in a great hurry from America and he made it. The only difference being that Walter Mitty didn’t daydream it all. In the 2013 movie, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’, starring Ben Stiller, he did actually make it to Greenland. Confused? Relax. This is the new norm of politics.
I am in Las Vegas and, being the political geek that I am, I watch MSNBC, CNN etc for hours on end. They are confused too about what Donald Trump does, says and does next. He wanted to buy Greenland from Denmark but has been given the heave-ho. The buying part was his fantasy acted out in a real world of international jurisdictions, norms, political sovereignty and diplomacy. The rebuke from the Danish PM was real enough, so real that it has sent Trump into a tailspin.
Trump referred to his offer as a ‘real estate deal’. Somebody ought to sit him down and explain the Westphalian system to him, very slowly. On the other hand, perhaps Trump has got it right because the Treaty of Westphalia, in effect, introduced a system of sovereignty over bounded real estate. His entire life has been defined by land grabs. Ignore the rules and just go for the ‘grab’.
The channels report that Trump’s tailspin is down to the pressure he is facing from low polling figures in the 2020 election. The economy is slowing down and his voter base is starting to abandon him. If the President cannot cope with pressure why the heck is he going for re-election? One of the things which I have taught my daughter is that the ability to recognise one’s own weakness is a great strength. Thanks to Trump I can now point to a real life example and indulge in my favourite mother moment of, ‘I told you so’.
By the way, I am living in a sort of fantasy world too in Las Vegas. The casino in the hotel is full of people gambling at ANY hour of the night, never mind the day. They are all ‘following the money’. It’s the American Dream being played out 24/7 with every gambler hoping to win the jackpot. I have lost $4 so far. The look of lost hope on the faces of gamblers puts me off playing big money. (Not that I can afford it mind you.) When Donald Trump spoke about people being ‘loaded’ this week I have no idea what that even refers to. By all accounts even he isn’t loaded given that he over-egged the figures on his Scottish golf club.
Till tomorrow. It’s Vegas Baby.