Trump’s Tariffs
Constitutional Moment

The Trump Disaster

By Jonathan B. Wight

Perhaps “disaster” is premature. Perhaps America’s institutions—and the global institutions we helped create after World War II to promote prosperity and peace—are strong enough to withstand the tsunami of Trumpian diplomacy.

But who can be sure?

Everyone remembers the night the lights went out in New York City in 1977. Suddenly civilization turned to mayhem with widespread looting, arson, and vandalism across many neighborhoods. And this was just in one day of darkness.

According to a jaundiced view, civilization is perhaps a thin veneer, held in place by social and moral norms. As long as everyone buys into the necessity of maintaining that veneer, we get along and society advances in fits and starts.

The current administration has no apparent respect for maintaining any tradition, for supporting long term friendly alliances, for strategic goals for trade beyond “I win, you lose.”

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, and neither is Josh Marshall of TPM. Yet he observed:

“Over the course of 16+ months, President Trump has acted consistently and with some success to destabilize and break up the western alliance (both its formal manifestation in NATO) but also its less formal dimensions in trade and other partnerships. He has also worked consistently on really every front to advance the interests of Russia…

“If candidate Trump and President Putin had made a corrupt bargain which obligated President Trump to destabilize all U.S. security and trade alliances (especially NATO, which has been Russia’s primary strategic goal for 70 years) and advance the strategic interests of Russia, there’s really nothing more remotely realistic he could have done to accomplish that than what he has in fact done.”



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