Trump and Carson Foreign Policy
The two Republican front runners are better at brain surgery and bluster than foreign policy.
In the last debate Donald Trump was asked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He went on about Chinese currency manipulation. Rand Paul piped up that China isn’t a partner in the deal. In fact the point of the deal is to contain China.
You knew that, right? Neither did I. But The Donald claims he did. The WSJ has its doubts about that.
So does Charles Krauthammer:
Ben Carson had an awful night — the Chinese intervening in Syria? But it was bookended and thereby saved by two good moments: an early answer, the preemptive “Thank you for not asking me what I said in the 10th grade,” and his closing statement about the suffering in the country being overcome by America’s inner strength.
Trump shares with Carson the GOP’s vast anti-politics constituency, now fully half of the Republican electorate. Carson’s antidote to the nation’s failed politics is moral strength. Trump’s is unapologetic brute strength.
Trump did not have a particularly good night, either. He was again at sea on foreign policy. And when asked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation trade deal he opposes root and branch, Trump did his riff on the Chinese economic menace — to which Paul calmly pointed out that China is not party to the TPP. Indeed, the main strategic purpose of the TPP is precisely to contain China by binding its Pacific neighbors to the United States, thus blunting Beijing’s reach for regional hegemony.
Never mind. As long as the anti-politics mood prevails, neither Trump nor Carson is even dented by such policy misadventures.