Damn, but reading the Times‘ Thomas L. Friedman can be frustrating. Today’s column has the germ of an interesting piece, but he buries it in the middle of an awful open letter to the so-called adults in the Tr**p administration, whom he insists on repeatedly calling “a few good men.” Because Tom wants to show he’s up to date; he’s sure 25-year-old movie reference will show the hipsters his facial hair is just as “groovy” as theirs.
Here’s the germ:
“I’m now in Paris, after almost a week in the United Arab Emirates. I have to tell you, the world is watching.
“I had several young Arabs from around the region tell me that when America lets its own leader get away with lying, hiding information and smearing the press or a political opponent, it is taken as a license by all Middle Eastern leaders, or the leaders of Turkey or Russia, to do the exact same thing and say: ‘See, the American president does it, why shouldn’t we?’”
That’s a column I’d be interested in reading. Il Douché is not only diminishing American democracy, he’s making the world less great as well. But Friedman has other, less interesting, ideas. You have to plow through a dozen of his somnambulant paragraphs, including this:
“…[T]hat is why I’m coming to you few good men.
“I’m not asking you to quit; I’m asking you to act — to collectively or individually sit the president down and make clear that you can’t effectively advance our national security unless he does the right thing…”