Trump Cancels Visit To Denmark Because Danes Won’t Sell Greenland

Another day, another Trump temper tantrum.

Next week, after the upcoming G-7 Summit in France, President Trump was scheduled to visit Denmark at the invitation of Queen Margrethe II, a visit that was supposed to include a meeting with the Queen, who has reigned since 1972, and with the Danish Prime Minister to discuss issues of mutual interest. Late last night, though, the President announced that he was canceling the trip because the Danes did not want to sell Greenland to the United States:

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday night abruptly canceled a coming trip to Denmark, writing on Twitter that because the country’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, “would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland,” they would meet “another time.”

Mr. Trump was scheduled to visit Copenhagen on Sept. 2 and 3, after being invited by Queen Margrethe II. The president was expected to participate in a series of bilateral meetings and meet with business leaders, and Ms. Frederiksen had underscored the importance of the session, calling the United States “Denmark’s most important and strongest ally in NATO.”

This week, Mr. Trump confirmed reports about his long-held interest in buying Greenland from Denmark, a land deal he has become interested in because of the country’s natural resources, like coal and uranium.

“Well, a lot of things can be done,” Mr. Trump said on Sunday. “Essentially, it’s a large real estate deal.”

But Mr. Trump also claimed that discussing a potential purchase of Greenland, a semiautonomous territory reliant on Danish support, was not the purpose of his trip to Denmark. “We may be going to Denmark, but not for this reason at all,” he said, and claimed again over the weekend that the purchase was not “No. 1 on the burner.” He also expressed hesitation about the trip, noting that “I’m supposed to be going there.”

On Tuesday night, Mr. Trump scrapped the entire trip.

“At this time, the visit to Denmark is canceled,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.

Mr. Trump said he was reacting to Ms. Frederiksen’s hard rejection of his interest. “Greenland is not for sale,” she told a Danish newspaper this week. “Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously.”

Apparently, it was.

“The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!”

Mr. Trump has been enjoying the attention generated by his once-secret interest in buying Greenland. In a rare moment of demonstrating that he is sometimes in on the joke, the president tweeted a photograph on Monday of a gold skyscraper with the Trump logo emblazoned on the top, plopped in the middle of an otherwise pastoral arctic setting.

This decision came after the Prime Minister of Denmark responded publicly to last week’s reports that the President was interested in purchasing Greenland, which is currently an autonomous protectorate of the Kingdom of Denmark:

The United States‘ reported interest in buying Greenland from Denmark is “absurd” and the fjord-lined island is not for sale, according to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

Then again, that’s what any savvy negotiator would say.

“Greenland is not Danish. Greenland is Greenlandic. I persistently hope that this is not something that is seriously meant,” Frederiksen told reporters Sunday during a trip to meet Kim Kielsen, the premier of Greenland.

The country, which is a semi-autonomous Danish territory in the Arctic with a population of around 56,000 people, is not on the market, Frederiksen said.

Her remarks come after the Wall Street Journal reported last week President Trump was interested in buying the country from Denmark. Trump reportedly asked his advisers about acquiring the island during “meetings, dinners and passing conversations” because of Greenland’s “abundant resources and geopolitical importance.”

Speaking to reporters in New Jersey on Sunday, Trump described the idea as “a large real estate deal.”

“A lot of things can be done. It’s hurting Denmark very badly because they’re losing almost $700 million a year carrying it,” he said. “So, they carry it at great loss, and strategically for the United States, it would be nice. And, we’re a big ally of Denmark and we help Denmark, and we protect Denmark.”

Trump said he’s interested in the idea, but it’s not a top priority for him or his administration.

Frederiksen, who became prime minister June 27, was on a planned two-day trip to Greenland before traveling to nearby Iceland for a meeting of the Nordic prime ministers.

Here are the President’s Tweets from last night:

Initial reports have Danish politicians being both insulted and bewildered by the President’s last-minute cancellation of a visit that had been on the books for months:

The astonishment in Denmark over President Trump’s apparent desire to buy Greenland turned to bewilderment and anger on Wednesday after the American leader abruptly scrapped a state visit because the Danes have no desire to sell.

The cancellation was a rare snub of Denmark’s head of state, Queen Margrethe II, who had extended the invitation to the president and would have hosted him and the first lady.

News that Mr. Trump is not coming “came as a surprise,” the Royal House’s communications director told the state broadcaster, adding, “That’s all we have to say about that.”

Others, however, had more to say. “Is this some sort of joke?” Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former prime minister, wrote on Twitter. “Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark.”

On Wednesday, disbelief and condemnation echoed through the political landscape, as it began to sink in that Mr. Trump wasn’t kidding.

“Please stop,” Martin Lidegaard, head of the foreign affairs committee in Parliament, wrote on Twitter, before citing several other areas of discussion that he said should be of interest to both countries: the Arctic, climate change and the Middle East.

“Total chaos,” the former finance minister Kristian Jensen wrote. “This has gone from a great opportunity for a strengthened dialogue between allies to a diplomatic crisis.”

The utter absurdity of all of this is so apparent that it’s somewhat mindboggling that we’re even at this point. To be honest about it, the idea of the United States having a strategic interest in Greenland isn’t entirely crazy, but the way the Trump Administration is reacting here is just utterly bizarre.

As I noted when these reports first became public last week, the U.S. had discussed buying Greenland in the past. Specifically, President Truman apparently made an offer to a war-ravaged Denmark to purchase the territory for a reported $100,000,000 in gold, an offer that was no doubt at least somewhat attractive to the Danes given the state the country was in at the time. Given the then still developing Cold War, it’s clear that the territory would be of strategic importance notwithstanding its nearly total ice cover.

Denmark turned that offer down, but the United nonetheless end up establishing several military bases on the island, including the Thule Air Base, which serves as the northern-most American military base in the world and which serves an important role in the early warning system used by NORAD to monitor for potential missiles headed over the Arctic Circle from Russia. Beyond that, the U.S. has maintained generally good relations with the Danes and with Greenland, which are both a part of the NATO alliance. Today, this base remains an important link in North American and European defense and serves as a U.S.presence in an area that is becoming more important now that ecological changes brought about by Climate Change are opening parts of the Arctic up to shipping and, potentially, exploitation for natural resources.

After those initial reports, though, the White House generally and Trump specifically both seemed to play down the idea. The official line from the White House was that it was a question the President had asked his aides and that the matter had been researched but that it was not a foreign policy priority. Additionally, on his way back home from a ten-day vacation in New Jersey, the President seemed to downplay the idea and specifically referenced his upcoming visit to Denmark. Despite these statements, a report in The Washington Post seems to indicate that the discussions were further along than previously indicated:

People familiar with the president’s interest in Greenland said he had been talking about the potential purchase for weeks. Senior administration officials had discussed the possibility of offering Denmark a deal in which the United States would take over its annual $600 million subsidy to Greenland in perpetuity, said two people familiar with the talks who were not authorized to reveal the internal deliberations.

They also discussed giving Denmark a large one-time payment as well to incentivize the transfer, the people said.

Greenlanders, many of whom chafe at Danish rule, reacted with scorn to word last week that Trump was keenly interested in making an offer.

Both Danish and Greenland officials have said in recent days that the island is not for sale.

“Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism,” Greenland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday in a tweet. “We’re open for business, not for sale.”

The United States has become increasingly interested in the Arctic because of Chinese and Russian expansion there as melting ice makes it more accessible.

China declared itself a “near-Arctic nation” last year and has defended its desire for a “Polar Silk Road,” in which goods would be delivered by sea from Asia to Europe.

China also recently sought to bankroll the construction of three airports in Greenland, drawing concern from then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and prompting the Pentagon to argue to Denmark that it should fund the facilities itself rather than rely on Beijing.

One U.S. official involved in Arctic issues expressed surprise Tuesday night that Trump was interested in buying Greenland. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity, noted that the Alaska congressional delegation has been trying to get the Pentagon to spend more money on operations in the Alaskan Arctic and that they probably would be concerned that a Greenland deal could jeopardize that

Daniel Larison comments on the abrupt cancellation of the Denmark trip:

The entire episode has been an embarrassment for the U.S., but it has been instructive in showing that Trump’s conduct of foreign policy is typified by a complete lack of respect for the rights and interests of others, whether they are allies or not. He sees other countries as little more than means to an end, and that end is usually his own self-aggrandizement. Advancing U.S. interests doesn’t matter to him, and improving relations with other governments certainly doesn’t matter to him. What he wants is using other governments to enhance his own reputation and status. Wanting to purchase Greenland to give him a presidential legacy is a good example of this. It will never happen, and he will actually harm U.S. relations with Denmark by harping on it, but because he sees it as a way to make himself seem more important he will keep pursuing it. He does not realize that in doing so he will make himself seem very small and silly, and the people that he thinks he is overawing with the power of his office will never stop laughing at him.

My first reaction to hearing the news of the President’s decision to cancel the Copenhagen visit over Greenland was a simple observation that this man is insane. Even if one concedes the continued and future strategic importance of Greenland to the United States, there is no reason why the United States needs to actually buy Greenland in order to accomplish those goals. The Danes are long and loyal allies as well as members of NATO, and the Greenlanders have already made clear that their nation is open for business. We can obviously have good relationships with both without having to satisfy the President’s ego and desire to create a legacy by engaging in what would be the largest single land purchase by the United States since the purchase of Alaska in 1867.

Clearly, this is nothing more than a vanity project for the President, and he was apparently offended that Denmark and Greenland not only rejecting the idea of a sale but seemingly, and deservedly, ridiculing the President on the world stage for what is clearly a silly and preposterous idea. The result is that Trump has once again spit in the face of a long-time ally — something he’s done consistently since becoming President as I’ve noted previously on OTB hereherehere, and here  — and embarrassed the United States on the world stage. Lord only knows what he has planned next.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Europe, National Security, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Bill says:

    Is it January 20th, 2021 yet?

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Whew! The Danes really dodged a bullet here.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Lord only knows what he has planned next.

    Post Brexit he will make Boris an offer he can’t refuse to buy the UK.

    Boris will accept.

  4. Jen says:

    There has to be something else going on here. This is just too strange to be another one of his epic screw-ups.

    The optics of suggesting that the US purchase a semi-autonomous country with a nearly 90% indigenous population is horrifying enough. But that it went from “not really a serious proposal” to “we are cancelling a state trip over this” is BIZARRE. I don’t know what he’s covering up or distracting us from, but there’s something more to this than just his bloody ego.

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  5. Bill says:

    create a legacy by engaging in what would be the largest single land purchase by the United States since the purchase of Alaska in 1867.

    That reminds me of the line on Get Smart. Kaos was going to dry up the two biggest bodies of water in Florida. What are they-

    1- Lake Okeechobee
    2- The swimming pool at the Fountainbleau Motel.

    This message has been brought to you by Kaos. A Delaware Corporation and Equal Opportunity Employer.

  6. Kit says:

    Ms. Frederiksen had underscored the importance of the session, calling the United States “Denmark’s most important and strongest ally in NATO.”

    Just imagine the heads that rolled in the White House when Trump heard that! Can you imagine his embarrassment upon learning that Denmark is in NATO, and from their own prime minister no less? The guy dodged a bullet. Putin would not have been happy.

  7. Kathy says:

    So many comments to make…

    1) Just in case, Chihuahua and Sonora are NOT for sale, especially not if the buyer is El Cheeto Loco.

    2) We may begin to talk about the luck of the Danes.

    3) Does Trump! even! know what an exclamation point! actually is for!

    4) How about a Constitutional amendment which would require a psychiatric assessment of all senior executive officials at least twice a year, with automatic removal should a team of three psychiatrist so determine?

    5) On a completely unrelated topic, does the White House have any padded rooms?

  8. Bill says:

    @Kit:

    Just imagine the heads that rolled in the White House when Trump heard that! Can you imagine his embarrassment upon learning that Denmark is in NATO, and from their own prime minister no less?

    I’m just a writer of odd fiction on the internet but I’ve known Denmark was a part of NATO since the mid-70’s when I played this game.

  9. Scott F. says:

    “…this man is insane.”

    That should have been your headline, Doug. And perhaps the first sentence of each paragraph.

  10. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I mean…is he trying to prank the world with this? Trying to pwn the libtards?
    I just cannot believe we are having these conversations.
    It’s fuqing moronic.
    And further, even if he is trying to prank everyone, I still can’t believe that 40% of the American electorate is so moronic as to follow this buffoon. This is not how sane and stable leaders behave.

  11. Slugger says:

    You guys are obviously not noted brilliant real estate developers. Walk away from the table now; come back with a lower offer tomorrow! The price was too high. This will show the Danes. By the time Trump is done not only will Greenland be sold at a very low price, but the Danes will throw in the Little Mermaid statue which will be on display at Mar-a-Lago.

  12. Kathy says:

    Days, weeks, or months from now, when Dennison claims to have only been kidding, and his apologists invite us to partake of his oral turd, we can point to the cancellation of a state visit.

    Not that it will do any good.

  13. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Now it all makes sense.
    Obama is visiting Denmark on 9/28.
    Trump is obviously aware that his visit would be overshadowed and become a mockery…side-by-side photos of crowd sizes for instance…so Tiny Hands was looking for an excuse to cancel.
    https://theweek.com/speedreads/860160/coincidentally-obama-visiting-denmark-late-september

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  14. gVOR08 says:

    a simple observation that this man is insane.

    Kevin Drum wants to know when we start openly discussing the man’s mental state.

    There must be R political consultants seriously debating whether it’s better to go into 2020 having to cover up as best they can that the head of their ticket is a looney tune or invoke the 25th and go in with Mike Dense and a messy, last minute primary.

  15. mattbernius says:

    Fun fact, our current Ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands, has the honor of starring in a movie that ended up on MST3k (“Deathstalker and the warriors from hell”). You can watch the full episode on Netflix or here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1FyplOl0XU

    FWIW, I hope her acting skills have gotten better because she’s going to have a lot of covering to do for PoTUS.

  16. Pylon says:

    @Jen:

    It could be as simple as the Obama visit that’s happening and that Trump does not want the comparison. Or, maybe it’s just as it appears – a temper tantrum that his idea was sneered at.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    Republicans can’t do anything about Trump. If he started showing up for cabinet meetings in his underwear they couldn’t do anything. Very simple reason: it would mean admitting that we were right all along. It’s quite clear that we’ve been right about Trump all along, but can you actually imagine any of these desperate, corrupt old men coming out publicly and in effect admitting they were conned – not just by a carnival barker, but by a mentally ill carnival barker?

    Please. They’d watch the country burn to the ground before admitting that we were right. No, they’ll ride this turd all the way down the toilet.

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  18. mattbernius says:

    Though, to be fair, giving the Ambassadorship to Denmark to a actor turned political fundraiser is apparently a “both parties” do it kind of thing. Obama’s Ambassador was Rufus Gifford, who according to Wikipedia:

    “After college, Gifford moved to Hollywood and served as an assistant to producer John Davis. During his time there, he became the associate producer for Daddy Day Care, Life or Something Like It, and Dr. Dolittle 2, and appeared as an actor in the films Garfield: The Movie and The Hiding Place.[4]”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rufus_Gifford

  19. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    There’s a brief note circulating today that GOP donors are courting notable Republicans to challenge Dennison in a primary next year. Sanford, Kasich, and Flake have been mentioned.

    This comes with two major caveats: 1) the donors are concerned that Dennison would lose if the economy slows down or enters into a recession, they’re not worried about Dennison himself staying on another 4 years. 2) Flake has stated he sees it as a losing proposition, as this is still El Cheeto’s party. Meaning there probably won’t be any willing challengers (besides Weld).

    IMO, you’d need to see a substantial drop in Dennison’s approval inside the GOP, or a dip in the economy before any vultures show up to peck at the orange corpse.

  20. Kylopod says:

    As I noted when these reports first became public last week, the U.S. had discussed buying Greenland in the past. Specifically, President Truman apparently made an offer to a war-ravaged Denmark to purchase the territory

    That was before Greenland declared independence from Denmark.

  21. Jay L Gischer says:

    My take is that he scrapped the trip because 1) the refusal was public, and thus he found it humiliating, and 2) he doesn’t like travel much, and was reluctant to go anyway.

    Not that I’m trying to rebut arguments that he is insane or anything. I’ve long felt he isn’t fit for the office, and this doesn’t change my mind.

  22. reid says:

    @michael reynolds: An ugly visualization of the apt phrase here, “the emperor has no clothes”.

  23. mattbernius says:

    Latest on Trump saying why he scrapped the trip:

    Trump at WH, telling reporters he canceled trip because Denmark’s leader was “nasty” in dismissing his idea of buying Greenland as “absurd”: “They weren’t talking to me, they were talking to the United States. you don’t talk to the United States that way, at least under me.”

    https://twitter.com/JohnJHarwood/status/1164215875278389250

    Remember how Conservatives used to accuse Obama of being thin skinned?

  24. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    IANAL…but if the 25th Amendment isn’t for a guy that thinks he is the second coming of god, and wants to buy Greenland…what is it for???

  25. Kylopod says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    IANAL…but if the 25th Amendment isn’t for a guy that thinks he is the second coming of god, and wants to buy Greenland…what is it for???

    It was created specifically for a scenario where a president is incapacitated, like Woodrow Wilson after his stroke, or a hypothetical Kennedy in a vegetative state after being shot.

    Could it apply to a president having a mental breakdown? Maybe, I suppose–such as a president in a catatonic state or something. “The president is saying crazy shit” is not I think what the drafters of that amendment had in mind, and it would create a potentially dangerous slippery slope if applied in that way.

  26. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: ” If he started showing up for cabinet meetings in his underwear they couldn’t do anything.”

    Sure they could. They could also start showing up in their underwear, and then go out and tell the press what a brilliant new way of doing business Trump had invented.

    Not only could, but would.

  27. wr says:

    @Kathy: ” Sanford, Kasich, and Flake have been mentioned.”

    Loser. Loser. And Loser.

    Why not drag in Rick Santorum while they’re at it?

  28. Kathy says:

    Let’s back up a bit:

    In living memory, how many times do you recall hearing about one country buying territory from another? There have been some diplomatic settlements of disputes now and then, which involved a country transferring, or returning, territory to another, but that is a different matter.

    So it’s not like “let’s buy Greenland!!” is like an unusual but likely occurrence.

    If you were serious about buying a large territory from a country, especially a semi-autonomous one which has to be consulted and considered, wouldn’t you send a formal proposal to that country’s legitimately elected leader? At the very least, you’d summon the country’s ambassador and float the idea past them.

    You don’t just put it on tweeter or let it leak to the press.

    I’ll believe there was a real formal proposal being drawn up when the thing leaked, the same time I believe the Moon is made of green cheese. That’s not how Dennison does things.

  29. charon says:

    To me, this looks not like insanity, more like a neurological problem such as senile dementia progressing to where it is becoming more noticeable.

    @michael reynolds:

    Republicans can’t do anything about Trump. If he started showing up for cabinet meetings in his underwear they couldn’t do anything.

    People’s usual behavior modes typically become more pronounced as dementias progress, so he might put on quite a show at the RNC convention next summer, all while the GOP and Fox News pretend nothing to see here, everything’s just peachy.

  30. Gustopher says:

    Why couldn’t Denmark just string him along?

    The administration is understaffed, since they are incompetent at hiring, and pursuing evil on a hundred fronts. So, one of their limiting factors is staff. Keep a chunk of the staff occupied on this big Greenland deal, and we get less evil.

    There’s lots of issues that can slow down negotiations, and bring in other departments. Environmental impact on puffins. 58,000 people need well trained emotional support animals… whatever.

  31. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: One thing that people get hung up on with Trump is an inability to believe he is as stupid as he seems. But, yes, he is. If you look at his bankruptcies, none of them were simply due to something like being over leveraged when a downturn hit. Instead they were based on truly basic errors. Sure, buy a Casino with your inheritance, maybe not such a bad deal. But the Jersey casino market became overbuilt and all of them, including his, started losing money. One tack would be to keep your head low, keep losses to a minimum and wait until the weaker players bankrupted and reduced the competitive field. What did Donald Trump, boy genius, do when a big Competitor was about to go bankrupt? Overpay for it and invest tens of millions in order to keep it alive and competing against… himself.

    Trump is a very simple, almost animalistic being. He has urges and acts on them in the instant. And with almost no real self awareness he never processes any life lesson but just keeps on repeating them.

    By the 90’s every real businessman was on to Trump and he could no longer find partners to finance his stupid schemes. What we are seeing here is simply the result of him now having staff that feel they can’t just laugh at him and walk away, and a press that keeps on asking about his latest idiocy which “forces” him to double down.

  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kylopod:
    I gauran-fuqing-tee you that if I walked into your local bar sporting a hideous fake tan, a stupid comb-over, and spouting off about being the second coming of baby Jesus and buying Greenland, you wouldn’t think for a minute that I were capable of discharging the powers and duties of the Presidency.
    Good gawd, man…this imbecile has his finger on tens of thousands of nukes.
    It’s never going to happen…but it should.

  33. michael reynolds says:

    @charon:
    My wife just came home from visiting her mother who has dementia. She describes long conversations between her mother and another dementia patient that have all the hallmarks of normal conversation with one minor quibble: they make absolutely no sense. So yeah, I could see dementia being the issue.

  34. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Fuq…Trump just called himself “the chosen one”.

  35. charon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It is still not certain he has dementia, it just seems more and more likely as his behavior seems to worsen. Couple of points:

    1) He is pretty young to be visibly demented. Alzheimers and perhaps others progress more rapidly if onset is early.

    2) Poor health such as high blood sugar etc. correlate with dementia onset. Guy is obese and consumes crap like Diet Coke.

  36. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @charon:
    You forgot to mention his adderall addiction. *sniff*

  37. Kylopod says:

    @charon:

    It is still not certain he has dementia, it just seems more and more likely as his behavior seems to worsen.

    Here are some of the signs: His vocabulary is much simpler than it used to be (look at some older interviews), there have been several incidents of him starting to wander off or be unsure where he is, and then there are his bizarre misspellings (hamberders, achomlishments, smocking gun), pronunciations (God blesh the United Shtates), and other verbal gaffes (oranges of the investigation). Everyone stumbles over their words on occasion. This seems much more extreme, and chronic.

    What makes the matter a bit confusing is that he’s never been perfectly mentally sound, even when he was younger. He almost certainly has personality disorders, and Tony Schwartz’s account suggests he might have ADHD. To add onto everything, he’s such a pathological liar that whenever he says something nonsensical or ridiculous it’s not always easy to tell whether he’s deluded or bullshitting or (as is probably the case at least part of the time) some bizarre combination of the two. If he were to announce tomorrow that he had been visited by little green men who took him up in a flying saucer, there’d be a serious possibility he just made the whole story up as opposed to having a psychotic break.

  38. KM says:

    @charon:
    Young? He’s 73 for god’s sake!!! Young for dementia is your late 50’s, not nearing 3/4 of a century.

    One of the things people forget as we live longer is that doesn’t mean the age illness sets in gets pushed back. Suffering from dementia symptoms in your elderly years (aka 60+) is common and has been for some time. Think about it – back in the days when living to 70 was a somewhat achievable goal, not a pretty sure bet we had the imagery of loony older folks and forgetful grandparents. Old = senile was the expected outcome of a certain age and it was a pleasant surprise to retain all your facilities into your golden years.

    As society starts pushing the final deadline back further and further, we need to start accepting that people are going to be spending a third or more of their lives in a state of mental decline. Much like we need to start having healthy conversations about mental illness, we need to start a national conversation about when Grandpa starts sliding down the rocker before he’s off it totally. Too many people don’t want to challenge someone who’s *CLEARLY* not right in the head just because they’re BSing that he’s “a little young for that”

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  39. KM says:

    @Kylopod :
    If you’ve spent your life with someone who was maliciously gas lighting you for shits and giggles, it sucks. If that person now shows signs of dementia and ends up gas lighting you due to senility, it *STILL* sucks but now with the added bonus of not knowing if they are doing it on purpose or not. Adult survivors of child abuse potentially get the added fun of being a caretaker to their abuser and suffering this conundrum. How do you respond when you’re unsure if they’re doing it on purpose or not? Do you let yourself be taken advantage of again, let them sink their hooks back into you? How do you handle strangers judging you for not being as “supportive” to an elderly person who has clear “issues” when they don’t know that person used to do that same crap intentionally and you can’t be sure? At what point do you cut your losses and decide it doesn’t matter if it’s intentional or not, this needs to stop?

    Trump’s gas lighting America – it’s only a question of intent. People with personality disorders get old, after all and it’s not like they are immune to dementia. Liars, conmen, abusers, cray-cray souls….. we all get old and cognitive decline is in the cards for many if not most of us. Does it matter if someone pulls off a scam because that’s what they’ve always done or because their memory’s faded and they can’t remember they went straight 20 years ago? You’ll never know for sure – just that you got scammed, one way or the other.

  40. Teve says:

    @charon:

    He is pretty young to be visibly demented.

    I’ve heard this a lot, but early onset Alzheimer’s is age 65 or under. I saw an estimate that 3% of people from 65 to 74 may have it. Those are not lottery odds.

    ETA: I wouldn’t lay big money that he has dementia, though, I think it’s more likely the usual neurological loss of aging, plus poor diet, amphetamine abuse, no excercise, and stress.

  41. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:

    I’m envisioning the election debates between Tiny and Biden, with both misstating facts, using words out of context and generally being confused. America is watching and asking, why these two?

  42. charon says:

    @KM:

    Young? He’s 73 for god’s sake!!! Young for dementia is your late 50’s, not nearing 3/4 of a century.

    Alzheimers risk doubles between 80 Y.O. and 85 Y.O. This is mainly an octogenarian’s disease, Fred Trump was much older when he developed it.

  43. charon says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Whether it’s relatively rapid normal aging or something worse, Biden’s slips are seriously troubling.

  44. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Good gawd people…he morbidly obese and addicted to amphetamines.
    Cognitive decline is a given. He didn’t start from a high level.

  45. Kylopod says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @charon:

    Biden’s supporters are so snowed by the hype over his being “electable,” they seem to be in a willful state of denial about these tics.

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  46. Kathy says:

    A cognitively impaired President Biden would be far, far more likely to be replaced in a 25th Amendment move. It’s not like the Democratic party thinks he’s the Second Coming, or the Incarnation, or something.

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  47. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: Right, and if he’s nominated he’ll probably choose as his running mate a relatively young, fresh talent like Harris or Buttigieg or Castro or Duckworth whom Dems would find it easy to get behind if he were to step down while president.

  48. grumpy realist says:

    We’re going to have to either start putting age limitations on people running for public office or demand annual mental health inspections of elected politicians.

    And no, I don’t care one damn bit if it hurts your precious fee-fees. It’s exactly like taking the car keys away from some old biddy who won’t admit she’s half-gaga, half-blind, and has narrowly missed crashing into someone three times the previous week. At some point you have to have the class and decency to admit that no, you can’t do X anymore because of the risk it poses to other individuals. There’s a reason commercial pilots get retired at a relatively young age.

  49. Blue Galangal says:

    @charon: Exactly. Dementia.

  50. Chip Daniels says:

    I’m betting if there were a camera set up in the Oval Office is would resemble outtakes from “The Death Of Stalin”, with toadies and flunkies frantically racing around trying to guess what mad command the Boss will issue next and coming up with ever more inventive ways to reassure the Dear Leader that he is indeed the wisest and most amazing Leader ever.

  51. charon says:

    scroll down to description of press conference:

    https://twitter.com/atrupar

    hard not to conclude from all the mispronounced words in one press conference that sure looks like dementia

  52. Kari Q says:

    Tom Cotton is now claiming that buying Greenland was his idea.

  53. Moosebreath says:

    And now the National Republican Campaign Committee is selling T-shirts showing Greenland as part of the US. Talk about creating your own reality…

  54. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Moosebreath:
    Funny that it doesn’t show Puerto Rico.
    Oh…wait…does pointing that out make ME the racist???