“Trump, the Insurgent, Breaks with 70 Years of American Foreign Policy,” the New York Times declared on December 28. The article, by Mark Landler, describes foreign leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismayed at an erratic and uninformed (Landler does not use the word “stupid”) President who not only does not know what he is talking about, but whose public statements and tweets frequently contradict and undercut members of his own administration. Our long-time allies no longer find the US “reliable,” Landler writes, and, in some cases, have begun charting courses independent of Washington.
This is all well and good—or bad, rather—and if Landler had stopped there we would have few grounds for objections. But Landler departs from reality in his closing paragraphs. Landler writes that Trump “holds a radically different view of the United States’ role in the world than most of his predecessors” and has broken with the “rules-based postwar international order” the US has upheld for the past seventy years.
Hogwash. Even before the coming of Sauron the Orange-Haired to Washington, the US was a lawless, imperialist Leviathan.
Adam Johnson of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) provides a fine takedown of the Times story. Johnson calls the Times story an example of “Trumpwashing”: “whitewashing, obscuring or rewriting the broader US record by presenting Donald Trump as an…