October 12, 2019

Trump: “In My Great and Unmatched Wisdom…”

by Hal Gershowitz

Comments Below

Problem is, he really believes it. Bigger problem; a lot of people apparently don’t think that’s a problem.

President Trump was, of course, referring to Turkey’s incursion into the former Syrian territory in which the Kurds, previously safeguarded by the presence of a modest American contingent, guard thousands of ISIS prisoners and their families. These prisoners are, essentially, what remains of ISIS which Trump likes to say “he” (not the United States of America), and certainly not the Kurds, totally defeated. Well, hold on— much of the heavy lifting in that battle fell to our allies, the Kurds, who took the lion’s share of the casualties in our joint effort to defeat ISIS. The Kurds lost over 11,000 men and women fighting alongside America.

This decisive battle against ISIS played out in territory adjacent to Turkey and in an area heavily populated by the Kurds who have fought for a land of their own for centuries, and who would have a country of their own but for the arbitrary way in which Great Britain and France carved up the Middle East after the first world war.

Turkey has a restive Kurdish minority adjacent to this territory and the Turks consider the Kurds, all Kurds, to be terrorist enemies. The Turkish invasion into the territory in which the United States and the Kurds finally defeated ISIS is Turkey’s way of waging a war against the Kurds. A war that Turkey has the ability to win by inflicting enormous causalities among our former and fearlessly faithful allies, the Kurdish people. It is a war that Turkey would only wage with the approval, if not the connivance, of the Trump Administration. It is an almost unimaginable duplicitous treachery. President Trump acknowledged that the Kurds fought alongside America, “but we gave them tremendous military aid,” he complained, and then went on to castigate the Kurds for not being with us at Normandy. Oh, the wisdom of it all.

President Trump’s bizarre fixation on opponent Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, is, in our judgment, a remarkable demonstration of unhinged animus in the absence of anything remotely resembling wisdom.  He is waging a scorched-earth campaign of personal destruction against Biden, which is, of course, his call to make.

Trump, running a normal campaign, would have had a pretty decent chance of beating Biden in a man-to-man, traditional election dust off. Trump has legitimate complaints regarding the incessant, relentless attacks the Democrats have waged since the day he won the last election. And Biden has not particularly distinguished himself as one of America’s great political thinkers or tacticians. But a campaign of ideas and elevated thinking has never been in Trump’s campaign playbook. His is the campaign of personal destruction. He’s never studied the wisdom of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln or, say, Truman. Certainly not the wisdom of a John Locke or Tocqueville.

No, he fawns over the wisdom of Roy M. Cohn, an American enigma if ever there was one, and campaigns exactly as one might imagine Cohn would have advised him to campaign.

“Go after Biden’s son,” Cohn would have probably advised Trump. “There’s no evidence that he did anything wrong, but you sure as hell know he wouldn’t have that job on the Ukrainian energy company’s Board of Directors, or gotten the Chinese to invest with his company if he wasn’t Vice President Biden’s son.”

“Attack Hunter Biden,” Cohn would have advised. “Innuendo works great in political campaigns,” Cohn would have exhorted.

“Hunter, you know nothing about energy, you know nothing about anything frankly. Hunter, you’re a loser. Why did you get $1.5 billion, Hunter?… Joe’s son Hunter got thrown out of the Navy and then he became a genius on Wall Street in about two days,” Trump said while targeting the Democratic presidential candidate’s son. Cohn could have written those words exactly as President Trump spoke them.

Listen to his rally rhetoric as he elevates his campaign to recapture the White House. “Biden was never considered smart,” The President of the United States said. “He was never considered a good senator. He was only a good vice president because he figured out how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.” (The children of America get a lesson in great and unmatched wisdom).

It is going to be an awful year, these next twelve months, as America settles in for a Presidential campaign unlike anything in our history. This will not be a campaign of competing ideas or bold new initiatives. America’s real problems will not be on the agenda. Forget even a scintilla of constructive creativity. We have devolved from the campaigns of Lincoln and Douglas, and the Roosevelt’s, of Truman and Eisenhower and Kennedy and Reagan to a new political reality in America.

It will not be great, but it will be unmatched.

All comments regarding these essays, whether they express agreement, disagreement, or an alternate view, are appreciated and welcome. Comments that do not pertain to the subject of the essay or which are ad hominem references to other commenters are not acceptable and will be deleted.

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13 responses to “Trump: “In My Great and Unmatched Wisdom…””

  1. Ben Donenberg says:

    Fake news? Bad news.

  2. Steve marcus says:

    Your analysis of the complicated situation with the Kurds in Syria is excellent. It’s sad that so many don’t understand that the relatively small investments we make in countries far away are insurance policies against far greater investments we could well be faced with right in our own back yard. The experience of 9/11 is a good example if we need one. The past 70 years of leadership, both Democrat and Republican, have recognized this. Unfortunately many of us now seem to have lost sight of why we buy those insurance policies. And in the future, because we stopped paying our premiums, the insurers won’t be there when we need them.

  3. Elliot solomon says:

    unless something comes that we don’t know about yet, i think WW11 is irrelevant , the Kurds fought with us against isis ,suffered hugh casualties and like Israel deserve to have their own country and supported

  4. sheila says:

    Your thoughts on Syria, the Kurds and the Bidens are right on point and bolstered by Susan Rice this morning in her interview with Fareed Zakaria.

    Rice asks the rhetorical question of the hour at the end of the interview: who does this decision benefit — certainly not the U.S.

    The Rice interview on Syria begins at 8:21.


  5. M M Kaback MD says:

    Please go to Google and look up “sociopath “ and read the traits and “further” sections defining this mental disorder. You don’t have to be a psychiatrist to appreciate the meaning. Any first year med student could make the diagnosis! This is what our country is dealing with!

  6. Roberta Conner says:

    I too am troubled by the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. However, I am willing to maintain an open mind to see how the administration responds to any war crimes that may be committed by Turkey. Trump is right in one sense. We should not be the policemen of the world. Why must we continually sacrifice our blood and treasure to stabilize regions of the world where tribal conflicts have existed for hundreds of years?

    In castigating President Trump for his “scorched-earth campaign of personal destruction against Biden” you neglect to mention its root cause. Attacking Biden may be the most effective strategy Trump has of responding to the crazed, persistent democrat fixation on impeaching a duly-elected president. This “unhinged animus” of the democrats started it – knowing Trump would respond – as he always does – in an even heavier-handed way to survive.

    Finally, while it remains to be seen whether Joe or Hunter Biden broke any specific laws, their obvious use of high political office to achieve such huge monetary gains represents a heinous side of American political swamp life.

  7. sheila says:

    Robert Conner — Susan Rice speaks to the manufactured Biden scandal in her interview this morning with Fareed Zakaria. Begin at 13:25.


  8. Roberta Conner says:

    Sheila: Thank you for your viewing recommendation but I have no plans to listen to a proven liar like Susan Rice. Her own recently-released book reveals the lies that she was forced to tell on five different Sunday morning TV shows about the root cause of the Benghazi attacks. She was a good little Obama administration soldier who fell upon her own sword in a pathetic and ineffective effort to protect her masters.

  9. Robert borns says:

    The phrase “have you no shame” should be the headline everywhere. The Bidens,the clintons and all politicians who use the lowest class of payoff -giving a job etc to a relative or associate -which in most cases is not illegal but is an obvious payoff for a favor given should be recognized for what it is. Are we all deaf,dumb and blind or just plain stupid. As a real estate developer of 49 years I have run into the whole gamut of this type of lowlife behavior. Hal— why don’t you write a long column about congresspeople whose spouses are lobbying Congress. About congress that doesn’t use the medical bill they passed for the other Americans. Use Elijah Cummings whose wife is an example of this behavior. When Bidens son went to China with his father did he pay for the plane trip. Any one who doesn’t agree that there is an ugly corrupt swamp in our government must be brain dead. Trump is not the problem. The stupid voters who blindly vote for the same terrible people over and over are the problem. Bob ‘rant and rave’ borns

  10. James Fisher says:

    Why is Robert Borns the only respondent who sees the blatant abuse of power by democrat politicians and calls it out for the financial graft and corruption it represents?

    Any intelligent voter who turns a blind eye – and simply “pooh poohs” the Biden’s “mother lode” cash-rich situation that they mined in Ukraine and China – enables the continued likelihood of our elected officials becoming extremely wealthy while in the service of their country.

  11. Robert borns says:

    Oops. A reader friend just told me my math is off. I built my first apt project in 1960-that’s 59 yeas ago. Minor point.

  12. Dan says:

    Trumps decision making on the Syrian issue is downright scary. I too am deeply concerned about both the decision and the arrogant manner in which it was made. It is one of the worst since Trump came to office. Breathtaking!

  13. Michael Gong says:

    Rightly or wrongly, the United States made a commitment to fight alongside the Kurds for the ultimate defeat of ISIS. To renege on that trust is a clear moral betrayal. Also, for the President to use the power of his office to ask a foreign leader to interfere in our elections, in any way, is in itself treasonous whether a quid pro is expressly stated or not. Worse, if such a request is for his own personal benefit. That such acts are dishonorable, if not outright illegal, should be obvious to even the most ardent of supporters of the President.

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