Trump, in his first international trip, and with his interactions with the top international leaders, has showcased his ineptness and almost helplessness compared to everyone else.
In geopolitics, Russia is playing chess. China is playing Go, a game that focuses not on a decisive clash of forces like in chess does, but on strategic encirclement through subtlety, indirection, and the patient accumulation of relative advantage. The United States must strengthen its alliances to avoid a Russian checkmate and keep China from encircling a dominant sphere of influence.
And there you have it. Russia is playing chess, China is playing go. I play both games, go at the Shodan level, so I understand the elegant complexity and long-term strategy. Trump is playing checkers. One clumsy move at a time, thinking he is getting immediate advantage by asking for money.
On the world stage, Trump is now meeting with the best, the brightest, and the most cunning diplomats from all nations. He cannot match them. He does not even come close. When he talks, they roll their eyes. Watch the eyes of the Pope when Trump speaks. Watch the eyes of Merkel. Hell, watch the eyes of Netanyahu when he sits there listening to Trump spewing drivel about Iran.
We Americans are viewed by the world as a nation of merchants. They think that making money is all that’s important to us, and unfortunately, our actions in the last five decades have reinforced that. We have now elected a glorified used car salesman, and while the rest of the world is trying to move on and forward, Trump is peddling 10-year-old jalopies. “Do I have a deal for you!”
Or “Iran will never have nuclear weapons, that I can promise you,” while Netanyahu rolls his eyes.
The United States, which is now taking massive steps to isolate itself away from the world stage, includes only 5% of the world’s population, but encompasses 22.5% of the world’s gross domestic product. We don’t have tact, or diplomatic skill. We play with checkers strategy against chess and go players. Frankly, we look stupid. The only reason we’re accepted anymore is because we have money, and we have big guns. With the strategy we’re applying now, the money will continue to dwindle, and with it the big guns. Decades hence, the history books will show the Trump administration at an inflection point downward, and they will indicate where the real decline of the United States actually started, and where the American century gave way to the Chinese century.
And Angela Merkel, and Emmanuel Macron, and Theresa May, and Xi Jinping, and Valdimir Putin – they all chuckle.
And I cringe.
One thought on “Chess, Go and Checkers – My View of International Politics”
A succint, beautifully worded & heartfelt summary of a terribly sad situation.
Apparently, the translators are slightly altering some of Trump’s B.S.—because they don’t wish to sound QUITE so foolish (as a literal translation of anything Trump says, would appear) in front of fellow translators.
……& it could all, so easily, have been so different……..