Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Unintended Audiences

When I served as the American ambassador to Zimbabwe (2009-2012) I had a conversation with a southern African politician that intrigued me. He said that when African politicians spoke publicly, it was a good idea to know who they were really addressing, because they only spoke to their intended audience, and anyone else who happened to overhear should shut their ears.

Watching and reading the news lately about the shenanigans of the 45th President of the United States, this conversation came to mind. Just at the time Donald Trump’s considering petitioning the Supreme Court to reinstate his ban on visas to people from five predominantly Muslim countries, he’s been busy on Twitter and giving interviews that expose the true reason behind that ban—just such conduct that caused two federal judges to put a hold on his original attempt, on the grounds that his public utterances gave a different interpretation to the motives behind his executive orders—motives that were at odds with what the DOJ attorneys were telling the courts.

Again, he demonstrates his tone-deafness, or his inability to understand that words and actions have consequences.

As a result, my poison pen could not resist the following piece of art.