Social media offer a unique insight into the extremely different parallel realities of right-wingers and left-wingers. The response to the instantly iconic Trump-Merkel photo taken at the G7 summit is a perfect illustration. Trump-detractors see a dominant Merkel, while Trump-supporters see an unmovable Trump in control.
It’s interesting that the photo was spread by Merkel’s office. They must have been convinced that she comes out looking best, and the establishment-friendly MSM are gleefully and unsurprisingly playing into that hand. However, the right-wing bubble sees President Trump doing exactly what they want him to do: defying the establishment and withstanding everything they have to throw at him.
Amy B. Wang writes about Trump in the Washington Post: “Is he angry? Bored? Amused? Rare is the countenance where all three are equally plausible, but here it’s difficult to say.” This is an important part of the trouble the establishment has with the President. He is unpredictable, difficult to read and he doesn’t play the game by the establishment’s rules.
In the article, she references an earlier WaPo article which states:
This annual gathering typically is meant to display a show of unity, but Trump has forced a more combative tone, with messy public feuds breaking out over trade disputes. Most of the foreign leaders at the summit had hoped to use the meeting to confront Trump about new tariffs he is imposing on imports, but instead found themselves reacting to Trump’s Russia comments and bombastic Twitter posts.
This is why they are upset (in addition to being upset in the first place, over Trump being President in stead of one of their own). Trump is calling the shots and setting the agenda, and it’s getting in the way of the establishment’s usual dealings. They wanted to make this another casual chat with some minor disagreements on marginal details, and they would ultimately agree to move a bit more to the left and keep spending our money to our own disadvantage. President Trump got in the way of that.
President Trump is the establishment’s waning power personified.
The body language
Merkel, Macron and May are all leaning on and over Trump’s table, seemingly meaning to intimidate or overpower him. Trump looks in control and steadfast, clearly supported by Japan’s Shinzo Abe who looks even more clearly unimpressed than Trump.
While supporters of the establishment see the elite overpowering Trump, I see Trump not budging and the elite getting frustrated. By leaning in towards him, Merkel looks more aggressive, while at the same time it is clear that Trump is forcing her to come to him and his crossed arms emphasize that he is not about to compromise.
Anti-Trump Americans are eager to explain this as ‘America losing’, as exemplified by the many MSM articles about this photo. The comparison to rooting for the pilot of your own plane to crash, because you think he is a bad pilot and want to be proven right has been made many times, and it applies here too. They are grasping at straws to make Trump look like the bad guy in this photo. They want us to believe that Trump was the bully at the G7 summit and they cannot see that this photo actually shows the establishment trying to bully him into submission (and failing miserably). Confirmation bias is all over the mainstream media, as it has been for a long time. I wonder if they will ever catch on to the fact that we do not see what they see.