It Usually Stops Working Around the Age of Five

toddler psychology

Jonathan Chait, Macron Uses Toddler Reverse Psychology Trick to Fool Trump Into Supporting NATO:

Today is another meeting of NATO, an organization Trump has denounced and undermined for years. The keenest minds in what remains of the free world have set themselves to the task of distracting Trump long enough to get through the NATO summit without dissolving the alliance in a tantrum. … The plans include flattering Trump with an elaborate dinner at Buckingham Palace, and presenting a series of trumped-up concessions to make it appear the allies have buckled to Trump’s demands by increasing their spending, thereby allowing him to claim victory rather than storming out in a huff. …

Amusingly, what seems to have worked instead is Emmanuel Macron’s completely different ploy. The French president gave an interview last month decrying the “brain death” of NATO, which he said had failed to account for America’s shrinking commitment under Trump.

Trump himself has called NATO “obsolete,” openly questioned whether the U.S. would come to the defense of allies under attack (the very foundation of the alliance), and privately told aides on several occasions last year he wants to withdraw from the alliance. But the notion that somebody else would question NATO, and blame its demise on Trump, has enraged him.

And now Trump is lashing out at Macron. “NATO serves a great purpose,” he declared today. “And I hear that President Macron said NATO is ‘brain dead.’ I think that’s very insulting to a lot of different forces … When you make a statement like that, that is a very, very nasty statement to 28 — including them — 28 countries.”

Manipulating children into doing what you want by pretending to demand they do the opposite thing is a trick most parents learn to use. It usually stops working around the age of 5.

 

 

The French Have a Right to Condescend, For Once

frenchsnob

Don’t Hold Back, Maureen. Tell Us What You Really Think

WASHINGTON — We’ve been conditioned by Hollywood to see the president of the United States step up to the lectern to confidently tell us how he will combat the existential threat to the planet … So it was quite stunning to see the president of the United States step up to the lectern to declare himself the existential threat to the planet.

America is living through a fractured fairy tale, in the grip of a lonely and uninformed mad king, an arrogant and naïve princeling, a comely but complicit blond princess and a dyspeptic, dystopian troll under the bridge. …

The more he is labeled a boor and a brute by his critics at home and abroad, the more Trump digs in, trying to drag America back to a time when black smoke belched, women scrambled for birth control, sick people were out of luck, reefer madness reigned and Cuba was shunned. …

Trump was goaded in the direction of dropping out of the Paris accord by a couple things that irritated him.

As Mark Landler and Michael Shear reported in The Times, Cohn, the president’s chief economic adviser, had told reporters in Sicily that Mr. Trump might be coming around. “His views are evolving” on climate change, Cohn said. “He came here to learn. He came here to get smarter.”

That smarted and made Trump want to blast classic rock.

Then the president read an interview with Emmanuel Macron in a French newspaper, bragging about how he had prepared to give Trump an Iron Man grip because it was “a moment of truth” showing that he “won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones.” …

Trump [by contrast to Macron] has rattled the world with his crude manner, cruel policies, chaotic management style, authoritarian love-ins and antediluvian attitudes, cementing his image as the highchair king.

For once, the French have a right to be condescending toward the United States.