To trump is to outrank or defeat someone or something, often in a highly public way. Safety might trump appearance when you're buying a car, or your desires may trump your brother's when it comes to making weekend plans.
In the card game bridge, the trump card is the most powerful card in a particular round and defeats all the others — sort of like when your needs or wishes trump someone else's. Originally trump implied a deceptive form of victory involving cheating, but that sense has been largely lost, though it's still around in the term trumped up, meaning something that's been falsely made up. A politician may face trumped up charges that could ruin his career.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" (http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/notes-and-references-for-discussion-e.html). Affiliated with Georgetown University (http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/jhb7/) for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."