Fair enough. Though in my view, democracy in America is much stronger than any president. I mean hey, if Bush couldn’t kill it, it’s pretty durable. So it’s not something I would worry about, but everyone has their own view on the matter.
But I would debate one thing you brought up: treaty agreements. I’m a firm believer that America should uphold and honor any treaty agreements she’s a party to. But I also think we’re too careless about the treaties we sign. I try to follow geopolitics regularly, and I get into many debates with people, especially about China.
Most Americans never want to go to war with China (personally, I’d rather not), and many are absolutely unwilling to go to war with China (I would if I had to). The problem is that we have treaty obligations to defend three of China’s neighbors that currently have territorial disputes with China. In fact, China has arguably already launched a maritime invasion of the Philippines, who we’re obligated to defend. So what do we do?
I suppose I bring it up because I find that many people — and I don’t know if you hold this position, but if so, it may be worth reconsidering — but many people who decry Trump’s call to reevaluate defense treaties as “isolationist” are also vehemently opposed to war with China. I hear the phrase “jingoistic war monger” a lot. But if China’s aggression continues, then the only way to keep our many defense treaties, and also avoid war with China, would be to do nothing when a nation that relies on the US for defense is invaded by China. This would be unacceptable to me. A word, once given, should be kept.
So it seems like a clear-eyed reassessment of the merits of each mutual defense treaty may be in order, if the American public is unwilling to support the defense of a nation. And it’s not just China’s neighbors either. I spent a couple of minutes on google just now, and got the following list from the US State Dept site of all the countries the US has a mutual defense treaty with:
Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Argentina, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
That’s a lot of countries that we’re officially on the hook for, and a lot of blank checks we’ve been handing out… Maybe it’s time we weigh the wisdom of that. I’m not the least bit surprised if any of those countries are now wondering what those checks could possibly be worth, if anything. I’m no war monger, but if the US is unwilling to go to war, then we shouldn’t be signing treaties that obligate us to do exactly that.