Beside issues and substance, there exists another aspect of G-7 meetings; and that is the realm of the ethos of G-7, its prevailing tendency, its spirit. The men and women at these meetings rarely get along with one another deep down, but they paper it over. They deem themselves the masters and governors of the industrialized world. The G-7 comes across as stuffy, controlling, manipulative, self-satisfied, hypocritical, elitist, arrogant, snobby and socialistic.
Against this background, Trump is a blast! He’s the outsider, from another world altogether than the political. He doesn’t mind breaking through the fake reserve and unity of these meetings. In fact, he wants to shake them up to achieve his own aims.
It was great to hear Trump go completely against the G-7 grain before the meeting even began by suggesting that Russia should have been included. He went on to use the tariff issue as a wedge to suggest that the goal should be zero tariffs, industry subsidies and interference with trade by all the G-7 members. Imagine that, each country no longer catering to its domestic agricultural interests. Break down the rigid status quo, Trump demands, even if it takes a “leader” actually risking position and power by standing up against domestic interests. At the end, Trump retracted his endorsement of the G-7’s final joint statement! Make our day, Donald.
The Trump way to get at the substance is to shake up the ethos. Trump has just got done shaking up the insufferable socialist elite ethos of the G-7. Politicians rule by the image of holding things together at the top. Trump challenges complacency. The G-7, like the EU, has the peculiar character of smothering and stultifying those in its grip. Endless rules and bureaucracy, bureaucracy and rules, stretch into the eternal future in a sea of crises demanding evermore control. This is the free world?? The windows need to be opened, doors unlocked and access to fresh air and movement created. That’s what Trump is doing, and it leads away from the prospect of a rigid world government. Trump is shaking up the new world order, making it the old world order. He is doing this constantly and on many fronts.9:27 am on June 10, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff