Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People was one of the best-selling books of all-time. It has remained in print since 1937, and has changed the lives of millions of people.
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Just imagine how different the world might have been had President Donald Trump read this book and applied its lessons to his relationships with his foreign counterparts.
In the nineteen months that Trump has been in office, he has certainly set a modern day record for alienating our nation’s friends and allies, while diminishing American influence throughout the world.
At this pace, by the end of his term – if indeed he lasts that long – the president may find himself welcome in just a handful of countries, including perhaps Russia and North Korea. Well, maybe not even North Korea.
Still, one criticism of Trump’s plays-well-with-others skills may be a bit unfair. There’s a widespread belief that because of his own authoritarian tendencies, he has an affinity for foreign dictators.
First, by pulling out of our nuclear treaty with Iran, Trump certainly stuck it to the ruling clique of Shiite mullahs, none of whom could be considered great civil libertarians.
And now, in his latest foreign spat – this time with Turkey’s aspiring tyrant, Tayyip Erdogan – President Trump has doubled the steel and aluminum tariffs that he recently imposed on other nations.
Even his great pal, Russia’s kleptocrat-in-chief, Vladimir Putin, is not exempt from our president’s ire, as he reluctantly puts more sanctions into place. And who can predict how he will react when he concludes that just maybe the Russians have been trying to influence the outcome of our elections and to undermine our democracy.
Perhaps after he leaves the White House, Mr. Trump will write his own version of How to Win Friends and Influence People. If he can be bothered to read it, perhaps he might be able to watch a serialized version on Fox News.
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