The Ineptness of Donald Trump

At this point, we all know there is something fundamentally different about Donald Trump. He is an unconventional presidential candidate and can seemingly break all of the traditional political rules. This recognition also underscores how inept he is in grasping the basic issues any candidate running for President of the United States should be able to navigate. Most telling is his lack of command of US foreign policy and how it relates to global order. All of this tells us that Donald J. Trump is dangerous for the Republic and the global order.

Making America Great Again

It is evident that Donald Trump does not fundamentally understand the role that the United States plays in the world. He doesn’t understand that the United States is the world’s sole superpower. Making America Great Again is a wonderful slogan that Mr. Trump has manage to capitalize on with unparalleled precision but he continues to fail to recognize that America is great, hence it status as the world’s sole superpower. Donald Trump doesn’t seem to understand that the United States leads the world on a wide range of fronts including:

· High Technology Innovation (See Silicon Valley)
· Business and Finance Sectors (See Wall Street)
· Entertainment Industry (See Hollywood)
· Higher Education (See QS World University Rankings®)
· The Number of Immigrants Admitted in the US Each Year.
· Foreign Direct Investments
· First World Trade Profile
· Expenditures on Military Security
· The Largest Gross Domestic Product
· The Longest Functional Democracy in the World.

So when Mr. Trump pontificates that he wants to Make America Great Again, it is painfully obvious that he really doesn’t know what he is talking about. It is safe to say that America is pretty great by all conventional standards of what makes a superpower.

The Devil is in the Details

To be clear, Donald Trump claims that he wants the job of President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief, yet his lack of command of basic US foreign policy is beyond disturbing. It is hard to explore the bizarreness of Donald Trump’s statements because he uses absurdity to his advantage. But it is worth taking a moment to read the Sanger and Haberman New York Times interviews. The interviews reveal that Donald Trump routinely pivots from questions he doesn’t understand and deflects on long tangents into complete incoherence.

Donald Trump gave another interview with the Washington Post, and again he fails to show that he has the intellectual capacity to recognize the basic fundamental issues the United States is facing with respect to foreign affairs and foreign policy. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell captures how baffling it is during a segment of Meet The Press. These are just a few examples of Donald Trump’s ineptness. He is failing. He is failing hard.

Donald Trump Needs Intro US Foreign Policy 101

In many ways, my first year Intro to US Foreign Policy (IR101) students have a better command of basic foreign affairs and global events than Donald Trump. They have a better command of the issues because they have taken some time ensuring they understand the basics.

Donald Trump is profoundly inept. He doesn’t know very much about the major actors and states. He doesn’t know how those actors and states relate to one another in the global order. He doesn’t know where the most pressing problems exist and how that connects to America’s interests or the larger global order. He doesn’t have a foundation for analysis i.e., political, economic, geographic, cultural etc. and he has not really surrounded himself with voices that do have the skills to analytically and critically think about foreign policy and America’s interest. What we do know for sure is that the kind of ineptness that Donald Trump presents is dangerous for the American Republic and the global order.

Mr. Trump, I have a seat available in my Introduction to US Foreign Policy course. It would likely serve you well.