Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

PS25
drew35_Win McNameeGetty Images_trump Win McNamee/Getty Images

Apocalypse Trump

To commemorate its founding 25 years ago, PS is republishing a selection of commentaries written since 1994. In the following commentary, Elizabeth Drew thought the US president’s behavior had triggered a sense that America was spinning out of control.

WASHINGTON, DC – For those who hadn’t yet figured it out, the price of having a US president who disdains expert opinion and who is impulsive, mendacious, not very smart, disturbed, uninformed, incurious, incompetent, intemperate, corrupt, and a poor negotiator became irrefutably clear in recent days. Three large developments from last Wednesday through Saturday unnerved even some of Donald Trump’s Republican protectors, who had rationalized that, after all, he had cut taxes (mainly on the rich and corporations) and put two conservatives on the Supreme Court bench. But the dangers of having such a person in the Oval Office were now becoming harder to ignore.

All three big events were alarming, and on a bipartisan basis: each was damaging to US national interests, and each was avoidable. Worse, because they came in rapid succession, they created the sense that now (as opposed to previous alarms) the Trump presidency was truly spinning out of control.

On the morning of Wednesday, December 19, Trump tweeted that ISIS had been defeated and that the US would, therefore, withdraw its troops from Syria. The decision came as a bolt from the blue for all but a small number of government officials – every one of whom had tried to dissuade him. Key members of Congress hadn’t been informed, much less consulted; nor had America’s allies, some of whose troops have been dependent on the presence of the US military. Major foreign policy decisions simply aren’t made that way: allies are consulted beforehand; relevant congressional figures are at least informed before any such announcement. Such precautions are about more than good manners: an administration might learn something as it consults and informs.

25 years of the World's Opinion Page

Project Syndicate celebrates its 25th anniversary with PS 25, a collection of our hardest-hitting commentaries so far.

To continue reading, log in or register now.

Register / Log In

Get unlimited access to all PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine. Subscribe Now.

Project Syndicate celebrates its 25th anniversary with PS 25, a collection of our hardest-hitting commentaries so far.

Read More

https://prosyn.org/IAp6ya3;
  1. guriev24_ Peter KovalevTASS via Getty Images_putin broadcast Peter Kovalev/TASS via Getty Images

    Putin’s Meaningless Coup

    Sergei Guriev

    The message of Vladimir Putin’s call in his recent state-of-the-nation speech for a constitutional overhaul is not that the Russian regime is going to be transformed; it isn’t. Rather, the message is that Putin knows his regime is on the wrong side of history – and he is dead set on keeping it there.

    1