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Paul A Duginski
Paul A Duginski
Paul Duginski is a political cartoonist and veteran newspaper staff artist. He enjoys reading history, literature and going bodyboarding whenever he has time.


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Posted in Politics / Elections / National

Halloween, 2017

Oct. 31, 2017 2:24 am
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Right after Halloween, from Nov. 3-14, President Trump departs on his big trip to Asia. It’s scary because he will bring his reckless, headless foreign policy to Japan, South Korea and China, and the trip will be focused on his efforts to confront North Korea over its nuclear program and its ballistic missiles.

Trump lacks the cleverness, smarts and skill of Brom Bones, the character in Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” who dressed up as the Headless Horseman as a prank to scare off Ichabod Crane. They were rivals for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter of a wealthy Dutch farmer in upstate New York.

The Headless Horseman was a ghostly Hessian soldier whose head was taken off by a cannonball during the Revolutionary War. According to legend, he rides forth to look for his head each night.

Where Brom Bones was an excellent horseman, our so-called president, Trump — also from New York — is clumsy and doesn’t maneuver well on the world stage. In this respect, Trump is more like the awkward Ichabod Crane. (Trump may actually be more comfortable astride a nuclear bomb than a horse, a la Slim Pickens in “Dr. Strangelove.”)

Ichabod has a high opinion of his own abilities, but the narrator lets us know he’s not as good as he thinks he is. The same is true of Trump.

Trump’s awkwardness extends to his diplomatic skills. Who can forget how he shoved the prime minister of Montenegro, Duško Marković, out of the way so he could get to the front in a photo op at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium last May.

He thinks shaking hands is a competition, as in his awkwardly long handshake with France’s Emmanuel Macron. I remember guys doing this sort of thing in junior high.

And of course, there’s Trump’s mindless provocations of Kim Jong Un, calling him “Rocket Man” even during his first address to the U.N. General Assembly.

In spite of the pumpkin-orange combover, he really is the Headless Horseman of foreign policy. He truly doesn’t seem to have a head, or much in the way of brains.

A pretty spooky thought for Halloween in the dangerous world of 2017.

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