In October of 2009, nine months into his presidency, Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In announcing the award, the Nobel Committee noted Obama’s “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Further, the committee cited Obama’s efforts to curb nuclear proliferation and to reach out to the Muslim world.
In contrast, the first nine months of Donald Trump’s presidency have been marked by a deterioration in international cooperation, an increase in global nuclear tensions and a heightened level of racial discord. Consider the following:
Mr. Trump pledged to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord. He has referred to global warming as a “hoax.” Our withdrawal from the accord would severely limit our ability to play a leadership role in climate change deliberations on the international level.
During a period of increasing concerns about North Korea’s nuclear program, we should expect the U.S. president to behave with restraint and diplomacy. Instead, Trump engaged in an ego-driven war of words with Kim Jung-un and threatened to “totally destroy North Korea.”
Trump recently refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal, even though our international partners in the agreement and our senior military personnel confirmed that Iran was complying with the technical requirements of the agreement. Our future participation in the accord is now in the hands of a sharply divided Congress.
Finally, Trump has disparaged Muslims and immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Moreover, he has given tacit support to neo-Nazi and white-supremacist groups, thus intensifying racial friction within our country.
While Obama deserved praise, Trump deserves only condemnation.
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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion