Regardless of the outcome of Trump’s ill-advised “nuclear summit” in Vietnam with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un (spoiler alert: not a good outcome), the trip was destined for failure as soon as Donald Trump’s team didn’t prevent it from happening altogether. The reason for that is the same as the reason that — try as he might — leaders around the world don’t like or even respect him, save in the case of dictators and those he praises in the media.
Trump doesn’t have a diplomatic bone in his body.
There’s a lot of psychology behind a statement like that, and most of it points at the fact that Trump believes that any “deal” or negotiation must have a clear winner and loser, and that unless you get everything and your “opponent” gets nothing, you are the loser.
But behind that mindset is the fact that, until taking a role in government, Trump has never been forced to compromise in his entire life. His privilege has been so great that he has simply been able to walk away from business deals, contracts, brands, agreements, and even marriages without suffering the consequences in any real way. And the perfect example of that kind of inflexible stubbornness was on full display in Vietnam during this trip.
The average person — literally almost any person — knows that when you’re a guest somewhere, you eat what you’re served. In some cultures, to not do so is a sign of the highest disrespect. So when it came time for Trump and Kim to sit down for dinner in their host country, one might have assumed their meal would consist of pho, or bánh mì, or some kind of traditional Vietnamese cuisine.
Trump was not having pho.
Instead, the President dined on exactly what he eats everywhere he goes: Well-done steak and chocolate cake, according to the Washington Post, likely served with ketchup and in portions much larger than a fine physical specimen like Trump should probably be eating.
People responded appropriately:
Dinner drama: A source close to the planning of tonight’s Kim-Trump dinner tells CNN that as of a few hours ago the chefs were struggling to get a menu approved because officials from both countries —especially the White House — kept adjusting the menu to make it “super simple”
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) February 27, 2019
Vietnam is definitely known for the their well done steak and chocolate lava cake.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) February 27, 2019
— David Frum (@davidfrum) February 27, 2019
His toddler-like inability to compromise even a tiny bit on the things he will do make Trump perhaps the worst President in history, both in theory and in practice.
Featured image via screen capture