For those looking for a unapologetic criticism of Donald Trump’s presence at the G20, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s political editor was eager to oblige. Chris Uhlmann offered what is being described as a savage critique of Trump’s presidency and his actions at the conference, calling him a “uneasy, lonely, awkward figure” who has “no desire and no capacity to lead the world.” And while the reactions to the analysis would lead you to believe that Uhlmann let his emotions get the better of him, the statement was far from it.
Uhlmann, who claims he was once criticized for being “too conservative to be on the ABC,” offered a clear and professional look from abroad at a president and nation that appears to have grown winded in the race for global leadership. He cites Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris Accords and the absence of any statement condemning the North Korean missile tests as the loudest examples of the president’s inadequacy. The ABC editor then moves onto Trump’s obsession with the more vapid aspects of the position:
“It’s the unscripted Trump that’s real: a man who barks out bile in 140 characters, who wastes his precious days as President at war with the West’s institutions like the judiciary, independent government agencies, and the free press…
“Mr Trump is a man who craves power because it burnishes his celebrity. To be constantly talking and talked about is all that really matters… and there is no value placed on the meaning of words, so what is said one day can be discarded the next.”
Uhlmann adds that Trump has “pressed fast forward on the decline of the United States as a global leader” with his actions, undermining the western values he extolled during his somewhat lauded speech in Poland from earlier in the week.