This is an interesting watershed moment in the transition of the Trump presidency. Trump’s trip to Europe has brought forward certain characteristics which have a formative effect on his presence as leader of the USA on the world stage. There is much that is recognizable and defining.
What is most apparent is a form of American hucksterism that has not been seen in public for some time. This is classic Americana, but the pretensions of the past half century have erased much of America’s self-understanding. This is the land of fast food. This is the land of prefabricated malls and giant concrete parking lots. This is the land of making a quick buck. Culture has always been an afterthought.
And Trump’s behavior echoes all of this. Firing from the hip, he makes statements that only validate his absolute ignorance of how things work in the real world. His confusion about EU trade policy is frightening considering his life-long association with business and trade. But, this too, is a part of Americana; the taking of short-cuts to the top without doing your homework is a path followed by many.