“In less than two years,” President Trump said in front of the United Nations yesterday morning, “my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” It was so obviously untrue that many people couldn’t help laughing.
Other world leaders laughed Tuesday when President Donald Trump began his UN General Assembly address by saying his administration has accomplished more than perhaps any in U.S. history.
Trump smiled wide and looked around the hall as the laughter continued.
“Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK,” he said.
American history has included many accomplished presidents, but President Trump isn’t one of them. He secured several regressive and unpopular tax breaks which massively increased the deficit, but in terms of real successes of historic significance, the amateur Republican president is a legend only in his own mind.
But this president really believes in his own greatness, so when he repeats the lie at his campaign rallies, Donald Trump’s adoring fans cheer instead of scoff at such absurd claims. He seemed genuinely surprised by the widespread laughter at the General Assembly because he’s not used to speaking to an audience which isn’t interested in ridiculous boasts.
I feel sorry for the unfortunate White House officials who will have to deal with the consequences, because Donald Trump has certainly made one thing clear: he has an obsession with not being laughed at.
Last summer, when Trump explained his terrible decision to withdraw from the important Paris climate accord, the stupid president ad-libbed a principal concerns of his: “At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as a country? … We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore, and they won’t be. They won’t be.”
Back i the Reagan era, Donald Trump insisted that the “bad guys” were all “laughing at” America. In 2011, The Atlantic published a piece noting that Trump made the same argument regarding international laughter, at America’s expense, back when the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations were in place.
“Everyone is always pointing and laughing at America, in Trump’s view,” noted The Atlantic piece. “A psychologist might have a field day with this.”
This always made Trump appear paranoid about ridicule which didn’t really exist, reacting to laughter that only Trump could hear. This morning, though, was an altogether different situation: at the United Nations, the entire world laughed at Donald Trump.
It was not just brutal, it was an natural reaction that no modern American leader has elicited in such a setting.