President Lear

He came into office determined to shake up the status quo and to do things differently. He asked some good questions. Is there a better way of dealing with the North Korean dynasty? If we had better relations with Russia, would we need NATO? What the hell are we still doing in Afghanistan and Iraq? Who’s the real threat in the Middle East? Is there really a two-state solution to Israel-Palestine? Why have we shipped so much of our productive capacity to China? But Trump had absolutely no idea of how to get anything done in a Washington that was bound to be deeply hostile, both to the man and to his agenda. Reality TV skills can get you elected. They don’t make you a statesman. Trump has essentially spent his presidency being manipulated by people, at home and abroad, with other agendas. He is a Lear-like figure. The time was, and more than ever is, ripe for a wholesale reappraisal of the world order and of how we set and manage global priorities. For good and evident reason, starting with his character, temperament and cognitive capacity, Trump is not the man for this moment. We’d be better of with a Nixon.

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