Mr. Trump Goes to Beijing

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A little editorializing here: I just have to chuckle about Donald Trumps’s state visit to Beijing. The poor man is no match for the guanxi that permeates Chinese politics. They are playing him like a fiddle.

Back in May of 2016 while campaigning for the presidency, Trump declared “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.”

Once in the Middle Kingdom, however, Trump changed his tune, saying “Who can blame a country for being able taking advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens?”

Why the change? Smarminess is hard-wired into Chinese governance, and Trump’s need for ego-stroking makes him especially vulnerable. He’s a sitting duck for the kind of spectacle and puffery that Chinese politicians thrive upon. It’s no secret that Trump wishes HE could be the dictator of adoring masses.

This from the CNN article:

Outside the Great Hall of the People here on Thursday, President Donald Trump watched with an unmistakable air of satisfaction as cordons of Chinese troops marched stiff-legged in his honor, an eight-cannon salute preceding their parade.

It was just the latest display of elaborate pageantry put on by his Chinese hosts, and inside the cavernous state edifice two hours later, the outsized display of flattery appeared to pay off.

Link to full CNN article about Trump’s visit to Beijing

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Socialist Art Comes to the 2016 Presidential Election

The day before the presidential election, a friend who had voted for Hillary Clinton displayed this photo of the candidate. “You know that’s styled like a Cultural Revolution poster of Chairman Mao,” I commented.

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She answered that she’d bought it from the Hillary store. I was surprised. A favorite attack tactic in races like this is to equate Democrats with communism and Republicans with fascism. Yet here was the presidential candidate’s own organization marketing this image of her to the party faithful.

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Critics of candidate Trump have Photoshopped images of him styled to look like Hitler. These would never be sold by the candidate’s campaign. In fact, sympathetic websites have ranted about the comparison as unfair and dangerous.

Was the Clinton camp going for irony? Was there a mole in the graphics department who thought s/he could pull one over on her supporters? Were they clueless? Or is America officially over its fear of socialism?