President Trump has flown to Singapore to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un for what is certain to be another chaotic, foreign policy debacle.
The president has refused to prepare for the summit and is coming off a string of diplomatic blunders with some of our closest allies. His lack of consistency and refusal to pay any attention to the nuances of the politics at play in the Korean peninsula make it seem likely that the best case scenario is a minor, short-lived victory and the worst case scenario is an absolute, unmitigated fiasco.
In a new analysis of Trump’s foreign policy strategy, editor in chief of The Atlantic Jeffrey Goldberg revealed that a high-ranking White House official with heavy access to Trump gave an accurate, crude description of the president’s approach to international diplomacy.
“The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine,” the official explained. Another described it as “We’re America, Bitches.”
One friend of Trump’s gave an equally unsettling description of the motivating force behind our petty president’s actions.
“People criticize [Trump] for being opposed to everything Obama did, but we’re justified in canceling out his policies. There’s the Obama Doctrine, and the ‘Fuck Obama’ Doctrine. We’re the ‘Fuck Obama’ Doctrine,” said the friend.
The official went on to accuse President Obama of apologizing to everyone for everything adding that he also “felt bad for everything.” According to this official, Trump “doesn’t feel like he has to apologize for anything America does.”
It’s a disturbing line of thinking and shows how deeply the right-wing demonization of the Obama years has infected our government at the highest levels. Obama’s efforts to unite the western world and build stronger relationships with our allies is now being sold as a sign of weakness rather than the strong leadership it actually constituted.
At the recent G7 meeting, Trump attacked and insulted Canada, one of our closest allies and alienated most of the other attending nations. At the same time, he floated the idea of readmitting Russia to the international economic organization.
Russia was expelled from the then-G8 for invading Ukraine and annexing the Crimean region. They’ve taken no steps to make restitution for the crime and have offered no apologies, so letting them back into the G8 would only serve to encourage similiar militant behavior.
Trump’s coddling of Putin’s regime also raises the specter of possible blackmail once again, which has long been floated as an explanation for why the president is so soft on the Russian dictator even after he attacked our 2016 election. Meanwhile, Trump continues to insult and economically attack our allies, slowly stripping away the structure of the post-WW2 liberal order which the United States has so painstakingly built for decades.
Trump’s ultimate goals are still murky but the ultimate effects are clearly starting to emerge. If he isn’t stopped, he will leave behind an America that is more isolated, weaker, and poorer.