Trump opposed Iraq. Hillary voted for war: Let’s take his foreign policy vision seriously

Trump opposed Iraq. Hillary voted for war: Let’s take his foreign policy vision seriously

Trump gets some things very wrong. But today’s speech was still daring, spot on and important contrast with Hillary

Donald Trump on foreign policy. You start out thinking this is going to be roughly akin to George W. discoursing on, say, phenomenology or that Camus novel his handlers made him pretend to be reading one summer when the world was waking up to how stupid Bush II actually was. Hopelessly silly, an adventure in buffoonery.

I think we need to think again. I urge everyone to watch Trump as he delivered his big foreign policy banana Tuesday at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. I am not a Trump man by any stretch, and I will not pretend to assign percentages to what Trump got right and what wrong. Only this for now: What he gets wrong he gets very wrong, while what he gets right he gets stunningly, pithily right. It is not a combination destined to prove at all workable. But in a single morning he has made himself worth listening to, from whatever distance one may choose.

The semiology Tuesday was clear and ought not be missed. A few blocks from the White House, the Mayflower has been associated with presidential politics for nearly a century. Coolidge spoke there; FDR stayed there before one of his inaugurations. More curiously, Judith Exner and Monica Lewinsky also found the Mayflower a convenient billet during the Kennedy and Clinton years respectively. The place lends political weight to the occasions it hosts.

The speech is on a YouTube feed here. The transcript, courtesy of Time, is here.

I do not know how long earlier it was planned, but it came a day after Trump swept five Republican primaries and now stands just short of certain to have enough delegates to avoid a contested GOP convention in Cleveland. And it was sponsored by The National Interest, the hawkishly conservative bimonthly founded by Irving Kristol in the 1980s and associated with the right-wing “realist” school. The realists have been among those quaking as Trump and the other Republican presidential aspirants have espoused something other than realistic foreign policy agendas.

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