During one of her 2016 campaign rallies, Hillary Clinton shared a Maya Angelou quote with her crowd of supporters. "One of my personal heroines, Maya Angelou, said — she said a lot that is worth remembering, but she said this, 'When someone shows you who they are, believe them.'" She repeated the quote at multiple events. With Election Day behind us and Donald Trump's list of conflicts of interest getting longer by the day, Angelou's words feel more poignant than ever. Especially when Trump often made no attempt to hide his personal history taking dubious actions in the name of self-interest — like that time he declared that not having paid federal taxes for almost 20 years made him smart. On national television. In front of roughly 84 million viewers.
Not only that, but Trump's infamous Twitter account is filled with gleeful, prideful posts about putting his personal interests before those of the rest of the world. A tweet he published on Aug. 23, 2014 is perhaps the most blunt example. His tweet quoted another person's comment pleading him not to run for president because a Trump victory would mean chaos for the rest of the world. In light of his latest gaffe with China (thanks to that call with Taiwan's president), this tweet seems eerily prescient now:
Some of his supporters responded to the tweet defending him against critical comments, insisting Trump was joking. With any other leader, the tweet would indeed come across as a joke, but given that Trump's over-the-top, exclamation-pointy, enthusiastic tweeting style remains exactly the same regardless of how serious or menial the subject is, it's not always clear when he's supposedly joking.
At any rate, picking Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin to be the new Secretary of the Treasury, giving a $7 million tax break to Carrier (whose parent company Trump has invested in) in exchange for keeping roughly 1,000 jobs in Indiana, and current president of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn, rumored to be the president-elect's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, it does look like Trump wasn't being facetious in his 2014 tweet.
As for the world being "screwed" part, Trump's unfiltered and flippant conversations with foreign leaders like the prime ministers of Pakistan, Japan, and the United Kingdom, as well as his alleged endorsements of controversial policies like the stringent anti-drug campaign being led by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, he's putting decades of diplomacy at risk.
His phone call with the president of Taiwan — the first instance of a United States president speaking to a Taiwanese leader in 37 years — is the latest in a string of shaky diplomatic decisions. The fact that Trump's company recently expressed interest in buying property in Taiwan taints the situation with Trump's self-interests.
All those remorseful Trump voters at Trumpgrets should've listened to Maya Angelou.