The only coherent policy that Donald Trump has put forward this entire election cycle has been his plan to build a wall and then force Mexico to pay for said wall.
This was one of the reasons why politicos listened so carefully to Trump’s foreign policy speech, hoping to hear something that resembled an idea. Sadly, nothing of the sort existed — it was so vacuous that former secretary of state Madeline Albright stepped in to tear it apart.
“Simplistic slogans, contradictions, and misstatements”
Trump’s speeches in general are full of rambling, incoherent statements on a scale that rivals Sarah Palin. That Trump would give a speech full of empty slogans and misstatements shouldn’t surprise anyone — behold, Trump’s rambling, “What the hell is this?” victory speech after he won Michigan and Mississippi:
There’s also his bizarre offering during the Iowa caucuses, as well.
While it’s all well and good to mock Trump for victory speeches, this particular speech was one of the more important speeches he could’ve given: the speech that outlined his foreign policy.
Now, if you’re not aware, you should probably know now that Donald Trump’s senior foreign policy adviser believes that two Native American tribes are working with the Turkish government to build nuclear weapons. I’d like to think this helps to put some of the absolute insanity of that speech in perspective.
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 27, 2016
Perhaps the most pointed criticism, however, came from the former secretary of state under Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright. Albright, who served as the 64th secretary of state, attacked Trump in a conference call with reporters, calling Trump’s speech “a combination of simplistic slogans, contradictions, and misstatements.”
She also skewered Trump for running “the most reckless and dangerous presidential campaign in modern history.”
I’ve gotten to listen to a lot of foreign policy speeches over the years, and in fact have given a few myself, and I was hoping to hear something that made sense. But I’ve got to tell you; I’ve never seen such a combination of simplistic slogans, contradictions, and misstatements in one speech. What Donald Trump’s goal today may have been was to convince us that he can be presidential, but instead of doing that he just underscored the fact that he is running the most reckless and dangerous presidential campaign in modern history.
I found many things troubling, but three that I think are worth pointing out. First, as his advisors pointed out, there were no details in the speech, and instead, we heard a lot tough talk and simplistic slogans and empty promises. Second, it was incoherent and riddled with contradictions. I can’t list every example, but there were a few which stand out. He talked about regaining the trust of our allies while in effect promising to blackmail them in terms of supporting us. If you don’t help us, we don’t help you kind of talk. He then talked about the importance of Western values but questioned why we would think about supporting democracy in other countries. Then, I think the one that really made the least sense of all. He said he would work with Muslims to fight terrorism, but he has already alienated them with proposals to block them from coming into the country.
What I think was most troubling in this speech was the flat out dangerous ideas that he continues to embrace. His foreign policy slogan of America first is so clearly, maybe he’s never read history, or he doesn’t understand it. But he clearly didn’t understand what the America Firsters used to talk about was that there wasn’t any Nazi threat to American interests. If he keeps talking about American interests, but still recalling America Firsters, that is a mega contradiction.
His main message was that we need to be more unpredictable as a nation. Now, in fact, unpredictability is the only thing that you can count on if Donald Trump is our Commander in Chief. But do you actually want somebody unpredictable with the nuclear codes?
I’m afraid of the answer some Americans would give to that question.
Feature image via Getty