Laughter is (Not) a Yuge Sign of Respect

UPDATE: Maybe Trump is a reader of Colorado Pols? From CNN:

President Trump claims that world leaders were “laughing with” him, not at him, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

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President Trump waits to speak at the UN on Tuesday (Getty images)

President Trump addressed members of the United Nations in New York on Tuesday, and as you may have heard, it did not go well.

As the Washington Post explains, Trump suffered the fate he fears most: World leaders were quite literally laughing at him.

Delivering a speech that aimed to establish U.S. “sovereignty” over the whims and needs of other nations, the president’s triumphant moment was marred in the first minute when he was met by laughter — at his expense.

The embarrassing exchange came when Trump boasted that his administration had accomplished more over two years than “almost any administration” in American history, eliciting audible guffaws in the cavernous chamber hall.

The president appeared startled. “Didn’t expect that reaction,” he said, “but that’s okay.”

Members of the audience chuckled again — perhaps this time in sympathy.

“It’s the first time I’m aware of that people actually laughed at a president. I think it is going to drive him absolutely crazy. It will play to every insecurity he has.”

— Thomas Wright, Brookings Institution

The only thing sadder than world leaders laughing at the President of the United States is when Trump supporters try to pretend that it was actually “respectful” laughter. As The Hill reports, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday morning to say this:

“When he said that, they love how honest he is,” she said. “It’s not diplomatic, and they find it funny. I mean, when he goes and he is very truthful, they kind of were taken back by it.

“Whether he said good things about him or not, they love that he’s honest with them,” she added. “And they’ve never seen anything like it, so there’s a respect there. I saw that the media was trying to make it something disrespectful, that’s not what it was. They love to be with him.”

Remember when your mother would tell you that people were laughing with you and not at you? Even as a kid you knew that she was just saying that to make you feel better.

3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Davie says:

    But, but, but, Trump says he meant to get a laugh!  Aren't you supposed to crack jokes while insulting your allies and enemies alike?

    By the end of the day, there was no escaping it. The laughter eclipsed Mr. Trump’s criticism of the “corrupt dictatorship” in Iran and the “human tragedy” in Venezuela. As a news story it held its own alongside the sentencing of Bill Cosby and the continuing battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. The laugh even made it into the official White House transcript of Mr. Trump’s speech.

    Mr. Trump put a brave face on things, saying later that in a speech concerned mostly with berating enemies and allies alike, the line about his administration’s extraordinary productivity had been “meant to get some laughter.”

    If true, it is a change for Mr. Trump, who has spent much of his career trying to get the laughter — real or perceived — to stop.

    “We need a President who isn’t a laughingstock to the entire World,” Mr. Trump tweeted about President Obama in 2014.

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    James Fallows closely follows Presidential speeches. His take in The Atlantic website's Midterm Time Capsule, 41 Days to Go: Laughter at the UN:

    But two things were unusual about Trump’s speech on Tuesday.

    It was, to the best of my knowledge, the first presidential UN speech that challenged the very idea of international cooperation and standards…..

    And, it was the only one, ever, to be greeted by openly mocking laughter, including from representatives of America’s closest allies….

    • Davie says:

      Millions here and around the world are tediously counting the days until Trump is tossed from office, no later than January 2021.

      By that time the GOP brand will be so damaged, it really is possible a viable third party could arise, rendering the legacy Republican Party to a Dan Maes minority fringe status.

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