How Trump broke through the moralistic BS of American foreign policy

That the single death of Khashoggi, tragic as it may be, has garnered far more coverage and provoked far greater indignation among members of the bipartisan foreign policy community and the journalists who report and comment on it does not speak well for anyone involved. On the contrary, it illustrates how the free-floating moralism that suffuses discussions about foreign policy in Washington easily produces paradoxical and even perverse judgments, with the mass suffering of multitudes shrugged off with a fraction of the concern accorded to single individuals.

Nothing would be better for America than for this moralism to be dissipated or dispelled — for the country to recover its capacity to think clearly and reasonably about its dealings with the wider world. It’s in this one, limited respect that the presidency of Donald Trump, for all of the man’s considerable faults, may well end up doing a bit of good — by forcing defenders of America’s bipartisan foreign policy consensus to reflect critically on the foolishness that so often follows from their moralistic assumptions.