It is easy to get confused. Donald Trump looks crazy, talks crazy, and acts crazy. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck, right? And on many issues Donald Trump’s prescriptions and rhetoric are in fact unreasonable and lacking of substance, but that does not mean that he is wrong everywhere all the time. Only people who underestimate him would imagine that.
The challenge is that many of his detractors sound far more reasonable and in many cases they are. Yet, there is one issue in particular, no matter how reasonably Trump’s detractors sound and no matter how unreasonable Trump sounds, where Trump is indeed more reasonable. He might not know how to solve it or have any sound suggestions, but he at least knows that something is very wrong with American foreign policy, and the very people who claim to be oracles of sanity and reason are the people who for the last fifteen years have given America nothing but foreign policy incompetence; an incompetence that is decidedly not in the American interest and has absolutely increased the dangers that America faces.
While having a healthy fear of Donald Trump’s many unreasonable ideas and divisive rhetoric, it is the 100 supposed foreign policy luminaries who penned a letter warning the public of the danger of a Trump presidency to America’s safety and position in the world, who are more dangerous. Some of these, “experts,” have proven themselves to be reasonable practitioners of American foreign policy, but many have shown themselves to be some of the more incompetent actors in American foreign policy history. A great many of these minds advocated strongly for much of the regime change and intervention in the Middle East that has today led to the rise of ISIS. On 9/11, America was brutally attacked. The so called establishment experts made the situation far worse and likely insured that America would live under the gun for a long time to come. They continue to encourage and attempt to weaken or destroy any deals or peace initiatives between the United States and Iran and ultimately they dream of Iranian regime change, just like they long ago dreamed and realized regime change in Iraq. It is never far from the surface. Such an act would light the Middle East on fire and have serious consequences for American lives and the American economy. It would also isolate America from the world in a way that it has never been isolated before. In short, an offensive military attack on Iran would make Iraq look the cakewalk it was supposed to be.
Regarding the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, why not be more neutral? Yet, many of the “experts,” described such a proposition as completely naïve, but who conducts peace negotiations with an intense bias towards one side or the other? Yes, the Palestinians have certainly committed acts of terror, but the Israelis have taken and continue to take much of their land. It is not as if one side is completely guilty and the other completely innocent. Additionally, American bias towards Israel is seen as a major impediment to peace in the Middle East throughout the world. Why would foreign policy experts endorse such an obviously incompetent and failed view? It makes as much sense as some of the crazier statements that Donald Trump has made, but spoken in a softer tone.
As far as NATO is concerned, would it not be reasonable for some of America’s most prominent allies to move a little more muscle, to contribute a little more? Why should America always have to spend her blood and treasure and no one else? Even with two major attacks on European soil by ISIS in the last six months, America is left to do the bulk of the military lifting
And in Eastern Europe, why would NATO be forced into a major war with Russia over territory that is in the Slavic geographic and cultural sphere of influence? It is completely against the American interest. It would be as if Russia attempted to stop America from intervening in some way in Mexico: not going to happen and it would make little sense for Russia.
Donald Trump is often incoherent and preys on the basest of human fears. Because of this, there will probably never be a President Trump. However, that does not mean he has not raised some important questions, and nowhere is that more true than in foreign policy. One can point out that Trump is uninformed and irrational all he wants, but many of the, “voices of reason,” that do so have been and continue to be less rational and more incompetent than Donald Trump in the foreign policy arena. Just because Trump will likely not be elected and many of his ideas are wrong, does not mean that America can ignore many of the important questions that he raises, and search for more coherent answers.