Donald Trump just proved that saying nothing can be better than answering a question badly. In the wake of Libertarian candidate Gary "What is Aleppo?" Johnson's failure to be able to name even one world leader when asked to pick his favorite, Trump one-upped Johnson by instead picking a world leader that he has repeatedly slammed in the past.
“Well I think Merkel is a really great world leader but I was very disappointed that, when she, this move with the whole thing on immigration. I think it’s a big problem and really you know to look at what she’s done in the last year and a half. I was always a Merkel person. I thought, really fantastic, but I think she made a very tragic mistake a year and a half ago.”
As the German Chancellor responsible for giving refuge to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, Angela Merkel has been a favored target of Trump. He even tried to use her name as a hashtag on Twitter to attack Hillary Clinton.
In light of this inconsistency it is important to look at context. In this case, the context would be: "What Trump admires and dislikes about other world leaders."
Trump isn't very forthcoming with praise for world leaders. It seems that he only has positive things to say about them if they praise him; such as in the case of Russian President Vladimir Putin:
"It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond," Trump said in a statement. "I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect."
In contrast, Trump has been very vocal, often derogatory, about many other world leaders, including Merkel. The difference between the way that he speaks about these leaders is marked:
On the British prime minister… TRUMP: "It looks like we are not going to have a very good relationship. Who knows?"
On the German chancellor… TRUMP: “What Merkel has done is incredible, it’s actually mind boggling. Everyone thought she was a really great leader and now she’s turned out to be this catastrophic leader. And she’ll be out if they don’t have a revolution.”
On the president of Mexico… TRUMP: “I don't know about the Hitler comparison [President Nieto made]. I hadn't heard that, but it's a terrible comparison. I'm not happy about that certainly. I don't want that comparison, but we have to be strong and we have to be vigilant”
and on the Pope... TRUMP: “I don’t think [the Pope] understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico. I think Mexico got him to [criticize the wall] it because they want to keep the border just the way it is. They’re making a fortune, and we’re losing.”
At one point, Trump even whined that the "person who is ruining Germany" was picked for Person of the Year over him.
Donald Trump was asked to name his favorite world leader and instead of naming any of the several dictators he's openly admired in the very recent past, he chose a world leader he has openly and repeatedly condemned. Is there not one single question, position, or belief that Trump will stay consistent on? Or, in a moment of panic, did Trump toss out the only leader he could think of that is not a pariah on the world stage?
Either way, Trump had once again proved that he is completely unfit to be the leader of the free world.
photo credit: FarboneNearbone