Maybe it is because of that travel because he meets the same people just in different colors and garb at each airport. Life is not one big airport, however.
Donald Trump has revealed the blind spot in Friedman's vision of globalism.
People are not interchangeable. Cultural differences exist for reasons that have to do with survival. Societies develop different values. While we are all human deep inside, there are many, many layers of outside protecting that inner core.
Like most of the experts in politics, Friedman sees Trump only as the man portrayed in the New York tabloids over the years. This is why the experts got his nomination wrong (see "Trump the Press"). This is why the experts got his election wrong (see "Trump the Establishment") And this is why the experts get his presidency wrong.
Friedman is a special type of stupid when it comes to the world. He is America-centric when it comes to the world's problems.
Consider this column from a December 9, 2015, column:
Trump, by alienating the Muslim world with his call for a ban on Muslims entering America, is acting as the Islamic State’s secret agent. ISIS wants every Muslim in America (and Europe) to feel alienated. If that happens, ISIS won’t need to recruit anyone. People will will just act on their own. ISIS and Islamic extremism are Muslim problems that can only be fixed by Muslims. Lumping all Muslims together as our enemies will only make that challenge harder.You see, the world would be perfect and there would be no Islamic State if only American conservatives would stop complaining about Islamic terrorism.
He finished the column by telling Trump "you ain't no American, bro."
One can imagine how much fun it was to be Tom Friedman 11 months later when he learned Patriotic Americans elected Donald John Trump as their next president.
On Sunday, Friedman thought President Trump was mortally wounded by complaining that Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump during the campaign.
On "Meet the Press," Friedman was ecstatic:
FRIEDMAN: Well, it was beyond jarring, really, when you think about it, Chuck. This is such a serious charge. Under normal circumstances, it would be a six-column headline in my paper and I think every other paper. And a serious person, before he made such a charge, would have brought together the Congressional leaders, briefed them on it, brought together the intelligence community, and given the public evidence.
The fact that he just lobbed this out there on Twitter at six in the morning is shocking. I think we have to keep one thing in mind, though, the big picture. The big picture, Chuck, is Russia is not our friend. Vladimir Putin is not our friend. He has some very specific goals. He wants to fracture NATO. He wants to fracture the European Union, fracture NATO. so it will not be a military threat, fracture the European Union so it won't be a counter-example for Russians. And he wants to destroy the ability of the United States to lead a Western Alliance. Right now in Moscow, they must be clinking vodka glasses. Because for less than the cost of a MiG-29, they have thrown the West into complete disarray.The great big globalist is suddenly a neo-Cold Warrior.
Friedman dismissed the charge that a sitting president who wiretapped NATO allies would wiretap a political opponent. He was so sure there was nothing to this that Friedman implied that we should prosecute Trump for even tweeting this:
FRIEDMAN: I agree, there is no evidence, which is why we need a special prosecutor or an independent commission to get to the bottom of it.There's no evidence, and so we need a special prosecutor.
It takes a special sort of idiocy to reach such a conclusion.
CORNELL BELCHER: Well--The news media is obsessed with his tax returns. There is nothing in there. If there were, Obama would have prosecuted Trump. But the obsession continues so much that Nicholas Kristof -- another New York Times columnist -- tweeted that he wanted an IRS worker to send him a copy. I believe that may be construed in some jurisdictions as suborning a felony.
FRIEDMAN: And we need to see Trump's tax returns.
The problem with Friedman is he is so intelligent, so talented, so well-connected, and so self-assured that he refuses to acknowledge this very large blind spot in his world view. As Richard Feynman said, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool."
And the world is flat -- if you only look at its surface.
"Trump the Establishment" is now on Kindle!
"Trump the Establishment" is also available in paperback.
This is the sequel to "Trump the Press," which covered the nomination. The original -- "Trump the Press" -- is available on Kindle, or in paperback on Create Space.
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