The Times covers Trump's latest ruminations on his "America First" foreign policy vision and there is a lot to be alarmed about. This gets the lead:
CLEVELAND — Donald J. Trump, on the eve of accepting the Republican nomination for president, explicitly raised new questions on Wednesday about his commitment to automatically defending NATO allies if they are attacked, saying he would first look at their contributions to the alliance.
Asked about Russia’s threatening activities, which have unnerved the small Baltic States that are among the more recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing if those nations have “fulfilled their obligations to us.”
“If they fulfill their obligations to us,” he added, “the answer is yes.”
I mean, what? At the minimum edge of deterrence I would think these reviews would be ongoing, with members urged to pick it up or else. (Or else what? Don't ask - when I channel my Inner Trump I don't get a strong, consistent signal).
But this suggested process - hmm, Estonia's been invaded, let's see if they are up to our double-secret standards and then we'll decide what to do - is Trumpian in its absurdity.
But speaking of absurdity, this is the Times, the gift that keeps on giving. This bit started in Turkey, my emphasis:
Mr. Trump also said he would not pressure Turkey or other authoritarian allies about conducting purges of their political adversaries or cracking down on civil liberties. The United States, he said, has to “fix our own mess” before trying to alter the behavior of other nations.
“I don’t think we have a right to lecture,” Mr. Trump said in a wide-ranging interview in his suite in a downtown hotel here, while keeping an eye on television broadcasts from the Republican National Convention. “Look at what is happening in our country,” he said. “How are we going to lecture when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?”
Asked if Mr. Erdogan was exploiting the coup attempt to purge his political enemies, Mr. Trump did not call for the Turkish leader to observe the rule of law, or Western standards of justice. “When the world sees how bad the United States is and we start talking about civil liberties, I don’t think we are a very good messenger,” he said.
The Obama administration has refrained from any concrete measures to pressure Turkey, fearing for the stability of a crucial ally in a volatile region. But Secretary of State John F. Kerry has issued several statements urging Mr. Erdogan to follow the rule of law.
Mr. Trump offered no such caution for restraint to Turkey and nations like it. However, his argument about America’s moral authority is not a new one: Russia, China, North Korea and other autocratic nations frequently cite violence and disorder on American streets to justify their own practices, and to make the case that the United States has no standing to criticize them.
Ahh, so now Trump is siding with North Korea, China and Russia? Their key link seems to be violence on America's streets, because I missed their clarification when, just to stab at an example, Obama cited America's declining moral authority as a key impetus in closing Gitmo:
Defending his decision to close the military detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Obama said the prison has made the United States less safe and caused a setback to the country's "moral authority."
"There is also no question that Guantanamo (led to a) setback (to) the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world," Obama said. "The record is clear: Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security."
While he supports the anti-establishment candidate of the Democratic party, Reich said he’s deeply concerned about the rise of Trump and the voters who support him.
"They are fomenting this backlash against the establishment in some very ugly ways that is leading to polarization, and name calling, (and) racism, and tarnishing America's moral authority around the world — which is also bad for American business," he said.
Why do they hate America?