Trump in­her­its Rea­gan’s wind

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY CHARLES HURT

from Mr. Trump’s cam­paign — Ge­orge H.W. Bush dreamed of a “new world or­der” where sup­pos­edly benev­o­lent global elites would dic­tate the new or­ders. How has that worked out? Af­ter the Kuwait war, Mr. Bush squan­dered the high­est ap­proval rat­ings of any pres­i­dent up to that point and promptly lost to Bill Clin­ton in the next elec­tion.

When it came to for­eign pol­icy, Mr. Clin­ton’s North Star was what­ever was the lat­est trou­ble his un­zipped pants had got­ten him into.

Mr. Clin­ton fa­mously lobbed his “Mon­ica Mis­siles” into Su­dan and Afghanistan as a di­ver­sion from the scan­dal in­volv­ing the young White House in­tern, Mon­ica Lewin­sky.

Though fairly pop­u­lar abroad, Mr. Clin­ton did not en­joy much ac­tual suc­cess on the global stage. He is best re­mem­bered for Haitian boat peo­ple, failed Mid­dle East peace talks and a dis­as­trous raid in Mo­gadishu in which 19 U.S. troops were killed, two Black Hawk he­li­copters shot down and the bod­ies of crew members were dragged through the streets and mu­ti­lated.

Like his fa­ther, Ge­orge W. Bush dreamed of a new world or­der af­ter the 9/11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks. Mr. Bush should for­ever be praised for pre­vent­ing any other at­tack on U.S. soil, but his dream of thwart­ing ji­hadi terrorism through na­tion-build­ing lasted only as long as it would take Amer­ica to elect the next dunce to the White House.

Which, of course, is ex­actly what hap­pened in 2008 with the elec­tion of Barack Obama. His legacy will for­ever be reignit­ing the pas­sion of ji­hadi terrorism on our shores. Oh, and hand­ing con­trol of the Mid­dle East over to a soon-to-be nu­clear Iran.

Mr. Trump is a stun­ning de­par­ture from all his pre­de­ces­sors back to Rea­gan.

Draw­ing re­buke and scorn, Rea­gan re­fused to live in a world that ac­cepted Mu­tual As­sured De­struc­tion as a nor­mal ex­is­tence. He vowed to change that.

A nu­clear Korean penin­sula with mis­siles aimed at our Western cities has long be­come a new ac­cepted norm. But not to Mr. Trump.

Same with Iran, rad­i­cal Is­lamic terrorism and il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion stream­ing across our bor­der with Mex­ico.

Even the meth­ods cho­sen by the two pres­i­dents have much in com­mon.

When Mr. Trump grew dis­grun­tled with North Korean despot Kim Jong-un, he wrote him a personal — al­most corny — letter can­cel­ing their planned sum­mit.

“I felt a won­der­ful dia­logue was build­ing up be­tween you and me, and ul­ti­mately, it is only that dia­logue that mat­ters. Some day, I look very much for­ward to meet­ing you.”

Sim­i­larly, when­ever a new Soviet leader would come to power, Rea­gan would sit down and write a personal note ap­peal­ing for peace.

Like Mr. Trump, Rea­gan ap­pealed for peace for the Soviet peo­ple. But, like Mr. Trump, Rea­gan’s top pri­or­ity was to Make Amer­ica Great Again. Con­tact Charles Hurt at churt@wash­ing­ton­ or on Twit­ter @charleshurt.

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