This is the Trump doctrine summed up in one act. Only after Trump accused Obama of wiretapping him did he ask aides how FISA warrants worked.
“So much of this is new to Mr. Trump that only after he publicly accused Mr. Obama of having wiretapped his telephones last year did he ask aides how the system of obtaining eavesdropping warrants from a special foreign intelligence court worked,” Peter Baker wrote in the New York Times.
President Trump has shown himself to be a person who acts first and gathers information later. He lashes out, and then later might listen to experts who might change his mind. Or not. Depending on when you ask him.
So many of the sweeping promises Trump made to his base were predicated on his limited, black and white thinking and misinformed biases. For his ignorance, Trump is paying dearly. He is despised by a majority of the country and the pundits can barely keep the contempt from their voices as he lies so much it’s impossible to put into context just how huge, glaring, and inept his lies are.
But there’s one thing Trump can do that the pundits love. He can act impulsively, accuse Obama or Clinton of hiding under his bed to scare him at night, and attack other countries without thought or plan.
Now that Trump has learned that the one way he can get love is to drop a bomb, we have in the week leading up to Easter and Passover, launched missiles at Syria that did nothing to affect change but did kill four babies and 18 Syrian allies, launched the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan, again accomplishing nothing but wow were the pundits impressed because apparently it takes a lot of strength to point at a new toy that gets you a lot of praise and pick it again. We are also sending dozens of troops to Somalia on a “train and equip” mission.
Now Trump is saber rattling at North Korea. Mind you, this is the man who – much like Sarah Palin – didn’t understand any of the nuances or even basic power dynamic around North Korea. He was quite surprised to learn that it wasn’t so simple as Beijing pressuring North Korea.
So of course Trump accused President Obama of wiretapping him, clung to this belief even in the face of zero evidence and a lot of push back, and then at some point he ostensibly asked an aide how this wiretapping things works, only to discover that if he were wiretapped, it would suggest a judge had reasonable cause to issue the warrant, which is to say, it would mean bad things about Donald Trump.
All presidents learn on the job. But Donald Trump brought not only a stunning ignorance about reality to the White House and a refusal to believe facts and evidence when presented with them, but also a lack of curiosity. Trump always thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, which is the surest way of indicating that he is likely to be the least smart person in the room.
The same impulse that drove Trump to accuse Obama of wiretapping him is also driving him to bomb bomb bomb.
Act fist, learn later– if at all. Because while he has shown that he can learn on specific issues, he only learns that he doesn’t know things when forced to learn. He has yet to learn that in general, he might want to ask for information first. He is incapable of discernment, so even when presented with information that he chooses to believe, he has no way of putting all of the experts’ opinion into the mix and determining what is most accurate given all of that information. This is a man who still believes millions of “illegals” voted in the 2016 election. To suggest that he can learn on the job sufficiently is to ignore the way his brain is wired toward conspiracies that fuel his emotions.
This is the Trump doctrine. This is the thinking behind the bomb bomb bomb spree with which the media is so impressed. And that says horribly depressing things about the intellectual capacity of our media. It’s no wonder they were so hostile to Obama’s foreign policy. Randomly bombing other countries with no plan is “presidential.” They will prop this president up no matter what it takes, because after all they are heavily invested in him.
It’s really no wonder we ended up with Donald Trump as our president. He operates at the same low level functioning as too many in the media. It’s all about the show, not about the know. Act first, ask later.