The Least Self-Aware Statement Ever Made by a President?

President Donald J. Trump, yesterday in the Rose Garden:

At what point does America get demeaned?  At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?   We want fair treatment for its citizens, and we want fair treatment for our taxpayers.  We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore.  And they won’t be.  They won’t be.

I am not an expert on presidential rhetoric, so there may be better examples out there, but this really has to be one of the least self-aware series of sentences ever uttered by a POTUS.

It also has a weirdly immature, paranoid flourish to it, since it assumes that world leaders all go into a room to laugh at the US because we make such bad deals.

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Mr. Bluster says:

    I think Congress has spent enough time on ethics. I think it’s time they moved on to something else.

    I didn’t do anything wrong and I promise to never do it again.

    The important thing is that we maintain plausible deniability.

    Tricky Dick

  2. al-Alameda says:

    I have to admit, Trump is consistently appalling.

  3. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    Wa! The level of delusional is breathtaking.

  4. DrDaveT says:

    You know who loves Trump the most? The Italians. Because “Berlusconi” is no longer the watch-word in pathetic incompetent corrupt stupid ignorant First World leaders.

  5. CSK says:

    Trump’s expressing his own greatest fear: that everyone laughs at him behind his back.

    Which, of course, they do.

  6. S. Fields says:

    I propose that Trump is the Michael Phelps of Least Self-Aware Statements. The only person likely to top his record-level obtuseness in the foreseeable future is himself.

  7. Lounsbury says:

    True, very true.

  8. HankP says:

    “… it assumes that world leaders all go into a room to laugh at the US because we make such bad deals.”

    I don’t think that’s paranoia, I think that’s pretty accurate now.

  9. dazedandconfused says:

    Trump is reflexively running for office again. His manic striving may stem from what was the subject of Bob Fosse’s eclectic semi self autobiography, the movie “All That Jazz”.

    The sudden immanence of death sparked an epiphany in Bob. He discovered his own remarkable career had been driven by a reflexive impulse for money and fame and he had been hollowed out by it. The Grim Reaper makes short work of fame, fortune, and all that jazz. The sudden discovery he was nothing without them was, for Bob, a big slap in the face.

    Ben Vereen delivering the character who served as Bob with and introduction in a dream scene:

    “Not much of an entertainer, not much of a humanitarian, and this cat was never nobody’s friend.”

    Bob was perhaps a bit harsh on himself. However, I believe that unless and until Trump has a similar epiphany it is unlikely he will be able serve anything but himself. I doubt the Saudis like the idea of less fossil fuel usage…and they can buy Trump with promises of real-estate development. He went way out of his way to kiss their asses last week, even promising to act as their agent to “get a good deal” with US arms suppliers.

  10. Mikey says:


    Trump’s expressing his own greatest fear

    Nearly every accusatory statement Trump makes is projection.

    I mean: Lyin’ Ted (Trump lies constantly), Crooked Hillary (this needs no explanation), Low Energy Jeb Bush (says the guy who rode a golf cart while the rest of the world leaders walked), etc. etc. The whole “world is laughing at us because of bad deals” is just the world laughing at him because he’s an incompetent ignoramus.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    Trump’s expressing his own greatest fear: that everyone laughs at him behind his back.

    Which, of course, they do.

    At this point, the laughing isn’t being done only behind his back, it’s also being done on his sides, in his face, under his feet, and over his head…

  12. CSK says:


    And don’t forget accusing Carly Fiorina of being ugly–said the anus-mouthed guy with the visage of a white trash Caligula and a dead possum running athwart his cranium.

  13. Pch101 says:

    An opinion piece in The Nation compared this to a quote from Hitler.

    The comparison is a bit of a stretch in some respects, but both the old Fuhrer and the new one exhibit a pronounced fear and loathing of mocking enemies and a desire to prove those enemies wrong. (The German dude showed a strong preference for the first person singular, while the current one tries to be more inclusive; we’re all being mocked, it isn’t just him.)

    Godwin’s law has gone on hiatus. It really is on the verge of becoming reality.