Muftic: A team of rivals v bowling alone
My greatest concern about Donald Trump becoming president is not just his campaign based on fear and loathing of certain religious and ethnic immigrants, hostile reporters, and anyone who crosses him. It is his arrogance and unwillingness to respect and consider other opinions in decision making. It is bowling alone when his measure of success is the opinion he has of himself and his ideas and who surrounds himself with yes men, valuing loyalty over anything else.
It is an ultimate contrast with the “team of rivals” style of the Obama administration. Barack Obama purposefully included those who had disagreed with him such as Hillary Clinton, to provide different judgement calls in the debates over shaping foreign policy. At last reports, Trump even had no team of foreign policy experts advising him.
Trump may be a strong leader, but the dangers of having too much strength by someone who is autocratic and egocentric in control of the White House is not good for democracy or our national security. We should be wary of a leader with that style of leadership in a democracy, particularly one that disdains or is ignorant the rules of law , vows revenge on those who ‘disrespects him”, tramples individual and human rights protected by the Constitution and who has no respect for the innocents he would destroy in pursuit of a foreign policy that would “bomb the ___ out of them”.
Trump’s demanding respect and then taking revenge when disrespected sounds more like something out of “The Godfather”. He is already been disrespected by the very allies, Arab and the United Kingdom, for his anti Muslim stance. That is a formula for having to bowl alone in executing foreign policy, using our own blood and treasure with little help from our friends.
Respecting and including different views leads to looking all options and collateral, unanticipated consequences, but that is wisdom in decision making. Say what you will about the decisions coming from of his administration, but Obama did deal with blunders of the prior Bush administration that upset the balance of power and kept us out of another Mid East war, the bottom line of most Americans. His international poll numbers show greater respect than his predecessors.
I am not one to call Donald Trump a fascist or a dictator, but he has the seeds within him when he makes proposals that ignore the Constitution such as putting American Muslims in monitoring devices, using religion as a test of who can and cannot enter the United States, and replacing general who do not agree with his preconceived notions or that “he knows ISIS better than they do”. Both former secretary of Defense and CIA director Robert Gates and retired Army Chief General Raymond Odierno as well as retired Rear Admiral John Hutson, who was the Navy’s top lawyer, have not been shy in criticizing Trump’s attitudes as well.
I have faith that our Constitutions’ checks and balances will kick in to constrain a leader like that but it will be a painful process. Worse, ignoring sound advice may lead to blunders that defeat him in the next election cycle. The stress and strain on the conflicts and power struggles will cause stress, chaos, distractions, that make the current Washington gridlock look like child’s play, accomplishing little, weakening our ability to form alliances in our fight against ISIS, and disappointing many.
For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com
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