The Paris Agreement Campaign Blunder

This move by Donald Trump had zero upside. But he did it anyway.

Donald Trump used the Paris Accord on the campaign trail to accomplish only one thing. To incite his base on the emotional triggers related to nationalism. That was it. He had no intention or thought that it would matter after the election. In the same way, he touted other issues to play on that same emotional trigger and identity associated with his base. Coal will return! We are building a wall to keep out all the illegal immigrants that are ruining this country! Factories will return in force! China is killing us on currency manipulation and trade! NAFTA is another terrible deal! All those issues were chosen to appeal to the same strategy. That American citizens are having their country taken away from them. Nationalism, a new patriotism, and cultivating a sense that America’s standing in the world is dropping due to the establishment swamp giving it away on purpose. Obama and the democrats and crooked Hillary are duping you! Act now with the highest urgency or else America will wither.

What is fascinating now is the fact that he had to back out of the Paris Agreement, and that it is a political blunder on a major scale. Because this issue is almost solely politics. Like an executive order, the Paris Accord is just a wishful statement of cooperation by industrialized nations to address emissions and climate change. Just symbolism and a first step. It is not enforceable as there is no regulatory agency that will monitor all business worldwide in participating nations to make sure they are reducing greenhouse gases. It is an empty agreement in practice but very important in terms of all nations coming together to admit that the earth is all we have, and we are killing it. The is no upside to pulling out of it. It won’t create jobs or being coal back. It won’t free up burdensome regulations strangling small business. On the other hand, there are real and significant ramifications in pulling out. America looks like it does not value their allies or honor prior agreements. America looks like a leader in their willingness to choose business over plant. America looks like a climate denier as official policy. There is no financial upside to pulling out either. You can try and sell me on the fact that business is better off but I don’t buy it. The market is going to kill off oil and natural gas.

So now it is June 1st and Donald Trump feels the ramifications of pulling out of this deal. From the world and everyone else that is not his base. A signal has been sent to our important allies that we are the only voice that matters. That decades of work to bring governments together and make progress is all up in the air now. The Donald can do whatever he wants at any time for any reason. That America’s official stance is politics over action and integrity. Reputation and optics over nature. It is an unbelievably bad move politically. He knows that now. He knew that last week when he met with world leaders and saw their reactions in person. No proof but I know that is the case. But he screwed himself on the campaign trail. All he wanted was the Trump rally cheers, campaign momentum, and to further stoke the fires of populism and nationalism. He gains 1 point for being loyal to his base. He loses 1 million for being so ignorant and casual with world issues and politics. A blunder this bad can only be caused by ego. This one issue and scenario is why I decided in fall 2015 during the Republican debates that Donald Trump should never be president. I was going to vote for whoever the other person was. Donald Trump doesn’t understand or think about any issue other than in campaign mode.


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