Do you remember the summer of 2015? We were all so naïve. Mexico, if you recall, was sending their worst people to America (aka rapists), and Donald Trump had a great solution. Trump would announce his presidential candidacy with paid protesters and a promise to build a wall.
In August of 2015, the idea of a Trump presidency was so laughable. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was damaged because of some email scandal, but that would surely dry up well within 18 months. Right?
But I digress. Donald Trump, at this time, frequented news shows. In an interview with Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” Trump had this interaction.
Todd asked: “Who do you talk to for military advice right now?”
Trump answered: “Well, I watch the shows. I mean, I really see a lot of great — you know, when you watch your show, and all of the other shows, and you have the generals … and you have certain people that you like …”
Todd continued, “But is there a go-to for you? You know … every presidential candidate has a go-to.”
Trump answered, “Yeah, probably there are two or three. I mean, I like Bolton. I think he’s, you know, a tough cookie, knows what he’s talking about. Jacobs is a good guy —”
Of course, President Trump was referring to former ambassador John Bolton, who will be his new national security adviser. Pundits are scratching their heads as to why Trump would nominate such a divisive, zealot of a man.
In January of this year, Bolton told Fox News that Trump should dump the nuclear deal with Iran, re-impose sanctions and work on overthrowing the Iranian government. In a 2015 New York Times op-ed, he similarly argued that the United States should bomb Iran before they develop a nuclear weapon.
Bolton views the world in what international relations theory calls “realism.” He believes the world operates on a zero-sum gain basis, and that the security and sovereignty of the state matters more than anything else. However, Bolton perverts realism into justifying attacking every perceived enemy.
Bolton was not able to be confirmed as U.N. ambassador under the George W. Bush administration because of Democratic and Republican opposition to the warmonger. Let that serve us as a reminder that while President Trump is a disgrace, it does not mean Bush 44 was a great president we should be nostalgic for.
An extreme optimist would argue President Trump is using John Bolton as a token for his Iranian and North Korean nuclear negotiations. By adding someone so hawkish, he is making the opposing parties more willing to compromise on regulations that would prevent each state from having a nuclear weapon.
However, that is most likely not the case. President Trump has wanted Ambassador Bolton as a part of the administration since he was elected. I’m certain he actually did receive his foreign policy advice from watching television. Trump can barely read the notes he’s given like “I hear you” (in regards to the Parkland shooting survivors).
Ambassador Bolton is an exemplary fit for Fox News — he holds extreme opinions that resemble the channel’s pro-war Republican style. But moderate Republicans still find his views (and mustache) disturbing.
Pundits may remark that Trump is showing true signs of hypocrisy by hiring Bolton. During the campaign, Trump consistently called the Iraq wars “stupid.” He even claimed he was against the war from the beginning during the 2016 presidential campaign. Obviously, that is a lie, but he wanted the public to believe he was against Bush’s policy. Bolton represents the core of the former president’s failed foreign policy.
We should remember that Trump makes his own decisions whenever he wants no matter what he has said or done in the past. He once said the following about who he consults with on foreign policy:
“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”
And thus the stock market sinks.