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PostTrump on Sovereignty; from Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA, 09/21/17 4:11 am)
Gary Moore writes:
President Trump at the United Nations refracts in the New York Times with a question of our age, squeezed into the word "sovereignty."
Trump did not say that modern history seems to have been hurtling for some time into an ethic of increased inclusiveness, or sensitivity to previously minimized suffering in outgroups. And yet he drew a line against it. Trump's blunt emphasis, vowing that from now on America will think first of its own interests, in effect says that the larger historical trend--too large even for much articulation--has gone too far, too fast, or too crazily. It's the more ancient view (long before Machiavelli) that nations and their diplomats can't afford to apply personal morality to a world full of enemies, because their duty is first to the people of their countries.
Meanwhile the Times, in covering Trump's "sovereignty" burst, reminds of its own idealistic commitment (if also seldom articulated in so many words) to the march of inclusiveness, which might be an organic, if inscrutable, product of human development. Neither Times nor Trump answers the posed question: What is the right balance between sovereignty and larger sympathy? The Times describes "gimlet-eyed" United Nations delegates peering at Trump as he spoke. How many Americans might know what that phrase means? It completes the frame of our arena--where urbane elite and gritty sovereignists are thrashing out the future.
JE comments: Gimlet: "a small T-shaped tool with a screw tip for boring holes." Or was the NYT referencing the gin cocktail? Add eyes, and you get "a piercing stare."
Article below. It is curious, as Gary Moore points out, that Trump would co-opt "sovereignty," usually reserved for smallish nations seeking to minimize foreign interference. I suspect one of his handlers taught him a new word--or do I sound like an urbane elitist?