Smart and sweet people alike try to find out or think up what the hell was discussed and agreed upon in the two-hour meeting between the US and Russian presidents. There are a lot of guessing and nonstarter ideas, like Congress wanting to interrogate the US interpreter (possibly behind closed doors). I will explain why one doesn’t need transcripts, tapes, witnesses or clairvoyance to figure it out.
First of all what one needs is a clear picture of Trump’s mindset. A lot of nonsense is said about him, both by specialists (psychiatrists, psychologists) and lay people. Common sense though should be enough.
He would be narcissistic. Truth is that he’s never been checked by any of them so this pseudo-diagnosis is based on nothing. The logic goes like this: He’s talking in superlatives about himself, loves it when others do the same about him and he doesn’t listen to what others think, so he must be a narcissist.
That is just wishful thinking (so much for thinking). Of course, he likes to be praised. He’s on a four-year reelection tour. Of course, he praises himself and runs down the opposition.
By definition, narcissistic is: empathy-deficient. But he has plenty of empathy! He could never be such a clever con artist if he had no empathy. He knows what others are feeling and plays them very well. Of course, he never shows defeat. And when in a tight spot, he hits back harder. That what he learned from his mentor Roy Cohn, and it always worked. Cohn may have been heartless – Trump just imitates him.
He’s a con artist – and a good one (he even fools the working class) – not a narcissist.
He would be stupid. But look how he handled the Hollywood tape scandal, just before the election. It would have incapacitated any other candidate, but he just played hardball. Hillary supposedly was worse by condoning Bill’s infidelities and – allegedly – bullying his victims. Besides that this is the height of chutzpa, it’s clever indeed. And it worked.
All the smart people “knew” that he would lose. Why would he still listen to anyone? Besides, he’s been a boss all his life – why should he listen to anyone?
In truth, he’s a genius and therefore never learned discipline or patience. He freewheels through all trouble convinced that he’ll find a way out. (And he doesn’t look back at what cost that went.)
So, all the trying to figure out what he’s thinking and what goes on in his head is buying into his scheme of hiding that he himself has no clue. He’ll play it by ear.
He’s not stupid – he’s a clever clown – a clown nonetheless.
So there is only one possibility of what happened in that meeting. Putin let him speak freely. Trump said all kinds of stupid things and he never noticed himself what awful things he promised and declared. The Russians have it on tape and they can blackmail him with it whenever they want.
Any speculation if they had something on him is superfluous. They now have.
NATO, China and anyone else who wants to cooperate with the US (and everyone, on climate change for instance) need to wait until this clown disappears. Israel needs to accomplish as much as quickly as possible until the next US president will turn out to be anti-Israel again. And enemies like Korea and Russia need to work as hard as possible to make as much progress as long as the US is paralyzed by this clown.
And the US should do some soul searching how come “the world’s oldest democracy” (it is not) made such a mockery of the most powerful position in the world. It’s easy to blame Trump. But the system allowed for this. Something in this country run based on checks and balances needs a small adjustment.
Now, there may be one way that we don’t all need to ride out the four or eight Trump years. I don’t mean something illegal or violent, perish the thought. The House can impeach Trump if it wants to if the whole world (except Israel, Korea and Russia) unites and asks the American People to Dump Trump for: paralyzing international diplomacy, endangering world peace and torpedoing international trade. We’ll wait and see.
About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. *
As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. *
If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M *
To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. *
Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. *
Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. *
His most influential teachers (chronologically) are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. *
One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. *
He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. *
He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. *
He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. *
His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. *
To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. *
His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1