Searching for common sense in politics

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Reasons Behind Trump's Taiwan Call Could Tell Us A Lot

I honestly have no idea if Trump (and his team) are just so incompetent that they didn't realize the diplomatic ramifications of having a phone conversation with Taiwan's President, or if they intentionally chose to buck 40 years of protocol. The answer to that, though, could tell us a whole lot about how the next 4 years are going to go.

If it was incompetence, we could be in trouble. This is a President-elect, and an incoming administration, who does not seem to be wildly interested in learning the intricacies necessary to lead a superpower. This is mostly the same group that couldn't even notice that Melania's convention speech blatantly copied parts of a past Michelle Obama speech. That kind of incompetence would be a frightening trait for the leader of the free world. I wouldn't be totally shocked if Trump was not even aware of the volatility in Asia surrounding the China/Taiwan relationship. It's not like he's gone out of his way to surround himself with seasoned foreign policy professionals who could bring him up to speed on delicate matters such as this.

If he intentionally wanted to throw the political and diplomatic worlds into a tizzy, it's tough to say if that is a good or bad thing. Everything about Trump is different than what we've seen in modern political times. Trump was such an unconventional candidate that it was impossible to judge him using long-accepted metrics, which is what made his electoral victory so shocking. The prevailing theory, based on those metrics, was that he would lose the election badly, but he won. Now, he could be proving to be such an unconventional president that the same logic applies. There's no way for us to know, at this time, if his unprecedented style will pay off or cost us dearly.

I certainly hope this was a calculated risk by the Trump team. Even though it remains to be seen whether that kind of unconventional style will reap benefits, at least it's better than being woefully unprepared.


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