Trump at His Worst Is the Status Quo
The presidency of Donald Trump continues to be an unpredictable one, with the latest twist being his announced plans to meet with North Korean despot Kim Jong-Un. Naturally the reaction from the beltway and the media was to condemn this diplomatic outreach. Rachel Maddow perhaps did the best job as establishment media mouth piece, pointing out that Trump's decision goes against a policy that has long enjoyed bipartisan support - a label which in DC is used to demonstrate clear intellectual superiority:
It has been through Republican and Democratic administrations, the whole strategy not only for the United States but for the United States as leader of the free world, to the extent that we are, has been to treat North Korea as a pariah state and thereby try to change their behavior.
Of course this same strategy has clearly failed to achieve its desired objective.
Trump's willingness to completely ignore what has been deemed acceptable by the leaders of both parties is, of course, an example of the Trump Administration at its best.
On the flip side, we have been given many examples recently of Trump at his worst, where he adopts the policies and rhetoric that have often enjoyed bipartisan support in the past.
For example, though it is great to see the mainstream media come to condemn the intellectual fallacies inherent with protectionist trade policies, there is nothing particularly novel about a president imposing tariffs. We saw the Obama Administration impose tariffs of foreign solar panels, while the Bush Administration did their own version of steel tariffs. Similarly, Trump's concessions on gun rights make him sound more like Reagan, Bush, and Obama, than the populist "drain the swamp" candidate on the trail.
So hopefully Trump's diplomatic outreach to North Korea will pay off. First and foremost to help de-escalate a truly dangerous threat to civilians in South Asia, but also to help illustrate the virtues of ignoring beltway group think here at home. The index card of allowable opinion has been a disaster for both the country and the world for far to long.