At the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011, attendee Donald Trump was severely roasted by then-president Barrack Obama. In response to Trump’s “Birther Conspiracy”, which claimed that Obama wasn’t a legitimate U.S. citizen, the ex-president then displayed his birth certificate amid chuckles and cries of laughter across the room. As cameras panned in on “The Donald”, his face clearly displayed suppressed anger and displeasure. After all, we are talking about an impulsive and thin-skinned person, whose heightened ego and narcissism have made global news since he became the President of the U.S in 2016. Hence, when Trump showcased those petulant characteristics of his while delivering the keynote speech at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the audience burst into laughter at the face of the most “powerful man on earth”.
Since a few weeks prior to the event, Trump has shared the rhetoric that his administration has done more for America than any other President in the country’s history, without substantial evidence to back up the claim. When he divulged the same sentiment in his speech to global leaders attending the UNGA, they couldn’t help but laugh directly at his comments. Trump’s delusion is so apparent, that he was genuinely shocked at the reaction. After a small smirk, he said, “I was not expecting that reaction, but it’s OK.”
However, that was not an isolated incident. Later on in his speech, he said that Germany would be totally dependent on Russian energy if they don’t immediately change course – a reference to the construction of Nord Stream 2, a new natural gas conduit from Russia. As captured by the camera, the comment was met with chuckles from the German delegations present among the audience. David Victor, an international relations professor at the University of California at San Diego, explained, “While Germany’s intake of fuel delivered by ship in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is on the rise, what really matters is diversity and flexibility of supply.” He further added, “What he is saying is completely wrong.”
Throughout his UNGA speech, Trump undermined globalism and asked countries to embrace patriotism instead – along the lines of his ideas to “Make America Great Again”. The United Nations is the embodiment of nations coming together to help mitigate global issues, and Trump’s stance in the UNGA was the complete opposite of why the body was formed in the first place. A similar allegory would be if an environmentalist’s speech at a climate change symposium constituted of vehemently denying anthropogenic climate change.
Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump reiterated to his fans that the world was laughing at the United States, especially for its local and global policies that required the U.S. to pay a large chunk of money for international collaborations. At the UNGA, the world literally laughed at the face of the U.S. President – not only for his delusion driven false-sense of accomplishments but also because of his narcissism and petulance. Many experts believe that Trump’s decision to run for president was to hit back at Obama for deriding him in 2011. If it’s true – one can only expect a severe backlash from the impulsive Donald Trump to counter the humiliation that he suffered on the UN platform.