Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Is a Mind-Boggling Failure

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In the Washington Post today, David Nakamura has a good piece about President Trump’s foreign policy—such as it is. As Nakamura correctly notes, Trump has pursued a one-note campaign of bluster and economic feuding against allies and adversaries alike: Canada, Mexico, North Korea, Europe, China, NATO, and virtually the entire rest of the world except for Israel and Saudi Arabia. At best, the results have been uniformly unsuccessful. At worst, they’ve simply alienated everybody while getting nothing in return for the United States.

But as good as the piece is, I still want to gripe about this:

Though he lured Kim Jong Un to the negotiating table through a “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions, Trump’s historic summits with the young dictator ended in failure after talks collapsed in February.

Trump didn’t “lure” Kim Jong Un to anything. Kim has wanted a high-level summit with the US president since the day he succeeded his father, and Trump decided to go ahead and give it to him without getting anything in return and without any sort of staff preparation beforehand. Now, this was not indefensible: sometimes a bold move can crack open a stalled negotiation—if you know what you’re doing. Trump didn’t, so it led nowhere.

Either way, though, we shouldn’t pretend that Trump’s infantile tweets along with his continuation of the Obama sanctions campaign had any effect. Trump could have offered Kim a meeting on January 20, 2017, and Kim would have taken him up on it.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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