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State of American History, Civics, and Politics

The Trump Doctrine versus the Truman Doctrine

How will THE DONALD adjust to the real world?

Periodically during the course of American history, individual Presidents are remembered for a doctrine or mantra they have enunciated. The words are not necessarily legally binding in any way. Instead they provide insight into the thinking of the President as to how he (so far) views the world and chooses to guide himself. This vision or guideline may apply during his term and may be considered advice to future Presidents and the American people as well.


The first such words were issued by our first President. George Washington recommended a policy of no entangling alliances. He offered these words based on a lifetime of experience being caught in the world of British and French interactions along with lesser actions by Spain and the Netherlands. Given the current situation after the French Revolution, it was difficult for him to imagine a Europe that was not consumed by wars. Even the ancient experience of the Thirty Years War would have confirmed that war in Europe is what European countries do so try not to get involved.

Our current President naturally is unaware of Washington’s words. A person who didn’t know Lincoln was a Republican, Frederick Douglas was dead, and the British burned Washington, D.C., cannot be expected to be knowledgeable about American history. Still he seems to share Washington’s aversion to alliances.

In so doing, he is not drawing on any personal experience in war and diplomacy. The serial draft avoider confines his physical competition to the scripted world of the professional wrestling arena and reality shows that aren’t real. What then is the source of his antipathy to alliances?

Once again, here is where it becomes necessary to recognize that we are dealing with an immature child and not an adult. Alliance is an adult term like separation of powers or oaths to the Constitution. These concepts have no meaning to him. It is not that he rejects them but that the seventh-grade smart-aleck/dumb-aleck does not have the mental necessities to grasp such adult concepts. Of course, he can say the word and use it in a sentence but he simply is unable understand its meaning.

Consider the recent words of Cheon Seong-whun, an analyst at the Asian Institute in Seoul:

He sees everything in terms in money but there are values other than money in an alliance (NYT 6/13/18).

Yes, there are values other than money in an alliance, but the immature child really is genuinely not capable of understanding that. The narcissistic seventh-grade smart-aleck/dumb-aleck operates on the basis of TRUMP FIRST, TRUMP ALONE. Relationships are measured in terms of loyalties by subordinates and money for customers/rivals/others. How much does South Korea pay for retaining the services of the United States to protect it? If it is not paying its fair share, then the deal is abrogated. There is no alliance. There is no friendship. There is no shared values or traditions. There simply are deals, transactions between two and only two parties; and if the transaction is costing him, meaning the United States, money, then America is out of there. Nothing else matters. If you were surprised by his unilateral actions in Singapore then you are admitting that you still seek to understand him as an adult instead of the immature child that he is. It is not fair to judge him by adult standards since he isn’t one: TRUMP FIRST, TRUMP ALONE.

If you have doubts, consider his comments about North Korea. Look at all the beautiful beachfront property! Can’t you see opportunity all over the place? Now is the time for the country between China and South Korea to take advantage of the possibilities to build resort communities. And in case you have doubts about who should develop those properties, have I got a real estate developer for you! Think how different the rescue efforts in Puerto Rico could have been had he had a resort there.

In case you still resist the idea of analyzing his actions as those of immature child, I call your attention to my description last August of the seventh grader and another 13 year-old, Tom Hanks in Big. Now consider the words of Roland Paris, a former foreign affairs advisor to the now rotting in a special place in hell Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau (didn’t Madeleine Albright use the same words to condemn (black) woman who didn’t support a female candidate for the Democratic nomination?):

Big tough guy once he’s back on his airplane. Can’t do it in person and knows it, which makes him feel weak. So he projects these feelings onto Trudeau and then lashes out at him. You don’t need to be Freud. He’s a pathetic little man-child (NYT 6/11/18).

Still not convinced he really is an immature child? Now consider NYT reporter Peter Baker’s words later in the same article almost paraphrasing my comments about forcing him to act adult in my Tom Hanks post:

Mr. Trump never really wanted to attend the Group of 7 meeting but aides [meaning adults!] pressed him to go even as they feared it would be a disaster because he was being forced to do something he did not want to do [know any parents who dread taking an immature child out in public?]. He rebelled by showing up late and leaving early….He arrived 18 minutes late for a Saturday session…and did not bother putting his headphones on for the translation [have you ever seen an immature child act out in public when forced to do something he doesn’t want to do?].

For Washington, no entangling alliances meant don’t enter into any so as to maintain peace in our country. TRUMP FIRST, TRUMP ALONE means there are no alliances, only transactional deals that are financially beneficially.


Roosevelt like Washington, led a vigorous life. Just as Washington drew on his own personal experiences before recommending no entangling alliance, so Roosevelt drew on his own life when he suggested Presidents should speak softly and carry a big stick. It is hard to imagine any words less appropriate to the whiner-in-chief. Not only is he a constant whining baby thanks to technology not available in Roosevelt’s time, We the People have the good fortune to be able to read every stream-of-conscious whine by the immature child.  We are all trapped in airline with a crying baby with nowhere to go and way to shut him up. I thought the Constitution forbade cruel and unusual punishment.


Perhaps the most relevant doctrine to understanding our current President is the Truman Doctrine. Truman Burbank was a reality star. And unlike the current celebrity reality-star in chief, Truman’s ratings were boffo at the box office. The difference is that Truman didn’t know he was a celebrity reality star. He did think the artificial reality in which he lived was the real world just as the celebrity reality-star in chief thinks his alternate universe is the real world. The suspense and drama are in the moment of truth, the moment when the reality show star comes face to face with the fact that he is living in a no longer sustainable artificial reality and has to deal with the real world. What will he do then? Can he succeed in banishing the real world and in continuing to live a lie or will he have to adjust for better or for worse to the world as it really exists?

We know what happened to Truman.  SPOLIER ALERT! Through a series of events, the adult Truman seizes the initiative and takes control over his life. He sets sail into the open sea that has always frightened him only to bump into the sky and learn that someone has built a wall. He pierces it and enters the real world. In Truman’s case, the truth sets him free. He leaves the artificial reality that has governed his entire life, takes a chance on real emotions, and goes forth to live a better life.

Nothing like the Truman Doctrine will occur in the TRUMP FIRST, TRUMP ALONE reality. He will never take the initiative to leave the alternate universe for the real world where Russia violated the United States in the 2016 election, 5 million people didn’t vote illegally, and his parade was smaller. Why shouldn’t he remain in the alternate reality, look how far he’s gone?

Whereas Truman left his reality world for the real world, Trump seeks to extend the artificial reality to the world at large. He is likely to fail. But when and how?  Not everyone watches the Bull Trump Network. The seismic shock recorded from North Korea after the Singapore meeting was from the laughter of people who recognize that John Kelly and Rex Tillerson are right: the American President is a stupid ignorant moron. You can get something for nothing. Now the whole world has seen the deal maker in action. Now the whole world has seen the negotiator in action. Now that Iran has seen him at work, is it any wonder it is eager to negotiate a new nuclear arms treaty on the same terms offered North Korea? After all, Iran has beachfront property too. How many resorts do you want to build here?

At this point America’s allies know that no alliance has any meaning in the TRUMP FIRST, TRUMP ALONE universe.

At this point America’s foes know that they have nothing to fear in the TRUMP FIRST, TRUMP ALONE universe as long as they have something to offer him, like a Nobel prize and real estate development opportunities.

At this point America is learning about his fraudulent foundation to match his fraudulent university. Everything in his life is tainted. The world has seen the truth. The only mystery is when will We the People catch on.