"‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine."
Two years ago, The Atlantic's editor-in-chief Jeffery Goldberg published an epic survey of then-President Barack Obama's international vision and legacy. "The Obama Doctrine" was a delicate study, nearly 10,000 words in length, examining the former president's hits and misses.
Recently, Goldberg sought out White House officials to hear how they understand the doctrine of President Donald Trump.
Now, as the president emerges from a contentious G-7 summit and heads to a historic meeting with North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, one official summed up Trump's foreign philosophy to Goldberg in only three words: "'We're America, Bitch.' That's the Trump Doctrine."
What to foreign affairs wonks appears as incoherent and tantric decision-making is, for Trump and his supporters, exactly the point.
Trump wants to upend global diplomacy. That means shattering the ramparts of niceties which since the world wars had held the international order intact.
"Permanent destabilization creates American advantage," said one adviser. "It doesn’t pay to argue with [America].”
This also means flouting the expertise of technocrats for the sake of making a splash and letting other nations know who's boss (Or, at least, who thinks he's the boss).
“Obama apologized to everyone for everything. He felt bad about everything,” the official said. “[Trump] doesn’t feel like he has to apologize for anything America does.”
Another official agreed with the slogan, only offering one amendment: "We're America, bitches," he said, pointing out that no nation, neither friend nor foe, is spared this approach.
"The president believes that we’re America, and people can take it or leave it," the official said.