How will Donald Trump rule the world?

Trump’s ‘foreign-policy address’ was really a punctilious, dys-Trumpian recitation of what sounded like a speechwriter’s words

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, United States, April 27, 2016. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, United States, April 27, 2016. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Closer to the Oval Office than ever before—about three and a half blocks—Donald J. Trump laid out his philosophical framework Wednesday at a Washington hotel for “the most peaceful and prosperous century the world has ever known,” a halcyon era that will be based on his own unique understanding of a fractious, bleeding globe.

Speaking to a cordial, but far from hysterical, think-tank audience of inside-the-Beltway deep-thinkers convened by the Center for the National Interest, the billionaire who presumes himself to be the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party predicted that, under a Trump Administration, Islamic State “will be gone very, very quickly” and that “we’re getting out of the nation-building business.”

“The legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be confusion, disarray, a mess,” Trump said. “This will all change when I become president.”

The New York mogul pledged, that “the world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies,” but that, should he ever need to project American military power beyond the nation’s borders, he will seek “victory with a capital V,”

“We will replace randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy, and chaos with peace.” Trump avowed in one uncharacteristically lyrical passage of his 40-minute tone poem. “I’m the only one, believe me. I know how to do it.”

The Donald’s oration, billed as “a major foreign-policy address,” was a measured, punctilious, dys-Trumpian recitation of what sounded like a speechwriter’s words. (He even read from a TelePrompTer, negating his own declaration that “if you’re running for president, you shouldn’t be allowed to use” one.) It came the day after he swept like a faux-blond tornado across five Northeastern states, winning not only at least 100 or more convention delegates out of the 110 in play, but prevailing in the popular vote in every single county of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

Trump declared—not for the first time—that the North American Free Trade Agreement* has been “a total disaster for the United States” and pledged that “we will no longer surrender this country nor its people to the false song of globalism.” But the “beautiful wall” on the Mexican border; the very, very bad national media; “Lyin, Ted” Cruz, and “1-for-38” (now 1-for-43) John Kasich—none of these was mentioned.

(As Trump spoke in Washington, Senator Ted Cruz was campaigning in Indiana, clumping The Donald with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton as “wealthy liberals,” and naming failed candidate and former high-tech CEO Carly Fiorina to be his running mate for the duration of his race to second place. Meanwhile, the White House itself was locked down for the second day in a row when, according to the Secret Service, “a male individual threw personal belongings” over the fence.)

The setting for Trump’s valediction was the Presidential Ballroom of the capital’s gilt-edged Mayflower Hotel, adding another layer of history to the 91-year-old hostelry where Monica Lewinsky laid up during the Bill Clinton sex scandal, Hillary Clinton conceded the Democratic Party nomination to Barack Obama in 2008, and J. Edgar Hoover ordered chicken soup, butter toast, grapefruit and iceberg lettuce for lunch every workday for 20 years, and brought his own diet salad dressing.

Read Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech.

The Christian Science Monitor reported that Trump would mark the occasion by being “Dressed with the trappings of gravitas,” but he wore his customary dark suit, white shirt and red tie instead.

Trump devoted much of his address to a spirited bashing of Barack Obama and what he called the president’s “reckless, rudderless, and aimless” foreign misadventures. His words elicited scattered applause from the audience, which included several newly-named members of his foreign-policy and national-security team.

“Mr. Trump is taking about a sea-change in foreign policy, which we have to do, because the sea has changed,” Curtin Winsor, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica during the Ronald Reagan administration, told Maclean’s.

“Would you have dreamed a year ago that you would ever be attending a ‘major foreign-policy speech’ by Donald J. Trump?” a correspondent asked Winsor, who said that he had been part of the Trump brain trust “for about 12 hours.”

“I think he emerged for me at the same time he emerged for everybody else,” the ex-diplomat replied. “We saw him on TV articulating things that no one else was articulating.”

Only one piece of foreign news tarnished The Donald’s excellent day. This was a report from Brazil that a Trump-branded hotel in Rio de Janeiro may not be finished in time for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. Honchos of seven international sports federations already have made alternate bookings, lest they be left out in the cold of a sub-equatorial winter.

“That is the one we fear,” one Olympic official told Bloomberg News, referring—unlike tens of millions of Americans —to the hotel, not the man.

CORRECTION, 27 April 2016: This story originally stated that Donald Trump referred to a North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement in his foreign-policy address. He actually referred to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Maclean’s regrets the error.


How will Donald Trump rule the world?

  1. “Rule the world”…what world do you live in?

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  2. Mr. Trump’s speech yesterday is a forewarning of the kinds of speeches, and policies, and actions, he might deliver after he might become president. He clearly doesn’t know what he means, because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. His policies and acts, as president, would undoubtedly be similarly afflicted. As Stephen Harper might say “He’s just not ready.”

    Who would volunteer to be Mr. Trump’s vice-president? Who would be in his cabinet? Who would accept his appointments to other, lower, positions? How would they react to his arbitrary, ambiguous, and contradictory pronouncements? Who would support those pronouncements in congress? Mr. Trump hasn’t thought things through.

  3. If you look at the contenders from both sides, he may be the best of avery bad lot:
    -Clinton is old establishment with a VERY blemished history, particularly as Secretary of State.
    -Sanders is a left wing radical. His major supporters are youth who want everything for nothing.
    -Cruz comes across as a weasel and his success in the primary indicates most Republicans agree.
    -Kasich is part of the elite Republicans that has made Trump so popular because he isn’t
    Too bad Canada’s major trading partner is the U.S.-we’ll be negatively impacted by whomever the victor is!!

  4. I am astounded the United States with a population of over 360,000,000 million people cannot come up with at least one credible candidate from each mainstream political party. Electing Trump or Clinton will ensure that country is doomed to the stupidity of electing either one of them to anything.Clinton belongs in jail with Trump in a mental institution.

    • And Sanders right in the mental institution with Trump!!

  5. There has been a lot of intellectual pollution ( to steal a phrase from the late great Norman Mailer) over the issue of Trump. He is backed by a lot of rich and connected Jews, including some of his relatives…I pointed this out at the very beginning of his campaign and received the usual ridicule of shooting the messenger….that series of facts should be expanded upon at length and confirmed or denied….a lot of Canadian Jews supported Harper big time when they normally should have went liberal….people are shocked at the US Jews who are going with Trump….did he overwhelmingly win New York or not, yes or no and did he require the support of Jews to do that, yes or no…so you have to ask yourself the great University exam question: compare and contrast why Harper lost in Canada despite massive Jewish support and will Trump win with it….get back to me on that and don’t leave a stone unturned like most journalists and intellectuals are too gutless or cow towed to talk about….Henry Miller once said…I only want to talk about what no one wants to talk about.

    • Jewish people are 1.2% of the population in Canada and 1.6% of the population in the U.S. I’d suggest,
      in the total picture, that it is irrelevant who they vote for.

    • ‘Enough already’ with your nonsense about “the Jews”! Are you a born-again Nazi or something? Disgusting in this day and age! They produce a smart bunch of people who over millenia of persecution have learned how to take up pursuits that are portable and are the fountain of much music, art and literature that we enjoy – and they often have a genetic genius for science , medicine and the like. True they also produce crass and disgusting TV and movies and are found in the ranks of realtors and used car salesmen and women. As for their influence being pervasive, nonsense! Jerome has pointed out the statistics. And as for their other aspects, they can be an heroic and effective defender of Israel when not pushed into the ground. Like Harper, I would defend their right to be themselves without the millenia of persecution and pogroms that you seem to want to return to. Shame, on you Craig Dobson!!!

      • Blacktop-I fully agree with you!!

        • I might add that old travesty that ‘the Jews killed Jesus’ is just that, a vicious bit of propaganda begun by the gentile wing of the early church and taken up with enthusiasm by both the RC and Orthodox branches, and finally become ingrained BS in the Protestant churches. Scholarship has now shown that it was the Romans who wanted a rabble-rousing nobody crucified, just as they had crucified thousands of others, squashed like a bug and hung up on a beam. Jews were the whipping boy (and girl) for two thousand years. Anybody who has seen the results of the Nazi killing camps would be disgusted at any further persecution of this religion (not a race, a RELIGION). People like Dobson make me sick after all we have learned.

  6. Trump. Here’s a guy who inherited some seed money & proceeded to make himself a billionaire. Too bad you media types north and south of the border didn’t scrutinize and evaluate the community organizer now in the oval office or the would be professor now in our pm’s seat, we might have done better. I think you all and I mean all, media types politicans lobbyists etc are green with envy every time you see a picture of the Donald’s plane or Trump Tower(s).

    • I see you’ve drunk the “successful businessman” koolaid. he is a middling 1%er, and apart from real estate, has not proven himself to be a very astute businessman. And even in real-estate – he starts projects, endoows them with his name, and then sells them off and moves on. He is not even in the top 10 of New York real estate developers. Now as a reality TV performer, he is brilliant, but do you want that in a president?

    • And despite my earlier opinions, at least his speechwriter hit the main problems in foreign policy, mostly caused by an ineffective Obama, a shrubbery of Bushes, and here in Canada a Pierre Trudeau. And God help[ us, now an inexperienced Justine.

  7. There are many dangerous situations and organizations/people in the world today. ISIS, Assad, Putin and numerous other extremist groups. But the most dangerous thing facing the world today is the possibility that Trump might actually become president of the US. I have lived through many serious issues the world faced even the Cuban Missal Crisis but even just the idea of this man controlling the US armed forces and their nuclear weapons is absolutely terrifying.

    • I too have lived through many crises going back long before the Cuban missile crisis. Apart form Roosevelt , Truman and Kennedy, the rest have been assholes who put Trump to shame. I am not enthusiastic for Trump but I have no use for Sanders, Clinton or the other Republican contenders. Perhaps the gravitas of the position, if elected, would make him think. The problem is that otherwise the cost is too hiigh and even the same old gang would be better i.e Clinton.

      • I don’t believe that Trump has the brains to think before acting. You seem to hate Hillary but Trump is far more dangerous and could actually start a nuclear war.

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