About those “experts”: Take a close look at the foreign policy insiders denouncing Trump

About those “experts”: Take a close look at the foreign policy insiders denouncing Trump

This latest open letter from 50 Republican “national security experts,” wherein Donald Trump is denounced as “dangerous” among many other things, is simply too much. One does not know whether to laugh or do the other thing, but I incline to the other thing as I mourn the slow death of American political discourse. All is reduced to totemic imagery. No position can be more complex than a tabloid headline. Feeling and its cousin, belief, banish all thought from public space.

Trump “weakens U.S. moral authority.” Trump “appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, and U.S. institutions.” Trump “has shown no interest in educating himself.” Trump “does not encourage conflicting views”—this last one of my favorites in the pile.

And then the caker: Trump “would be the most reckless president in American history.”


Look at the 50 signatories. These people served in the Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II administrations. They brought you the invasion of Grenada, Star Wars, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Guantánamo Bay, legalized torture, Abu Ghraib, “renditions,” “regime change,” secret courts, the National Security Agency’s indiscriminate spying. They gave us a world more disorderly and perilous than any readers of this column could possibly remember as worse. That these are the truly reckless among us cannot be debated.

Now let us listen as they lecture us on law, this nation’s founding principles and our moral authority—of which none whatsoever has survived them. Let us nod amen like Sunday churchgoers as they warn us that Trump does not understand “the democratic values on which U.S. foreign policy must be based.”

See what I mean? It is laugh or cry.

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