In the days after Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States, a number of friends asked me what concerned me the most about a Trump presidency. The answer was comprehensive. I had concerns about Trump’s character, his associates, and his policies.
Those concerns were well-founded. Our temperamental, impulsive, and inexperienced president began his his first term taking advice from the likes of Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn. His ideologically incoherent campaign had at various times cast doubt on our NATO alliances, advocated withdrawal from Afghanistan, argued that U.S. forces should commit war crimes, advocated an economically ruinous form of protectionism, and promoted a starry-eyed view of Vladimir Putin that was utterly at odds with reality and American interests.
Indeed, when elements of the Trump coalition said “burn it all down,” they truly meant “all” — not just the Obama/Clinton Democratic establishment, not just the McConnell/Ryan Republican establishment, but the post–World War II economic and military order. They wanted a revolution, and Trump was the man they chose to bring it about.