Trump’s Flip-Flopping: Good or Bad?

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NATO Ministers of Defense at NATO

President Trump has made a lot of news recently by bombing Syria and Afghanistan amidst a boiling controversy concerning Russia’s involvement in our elections.  It certainly appears that Trump’s public relations strategy is to ignite new debates about how he could potentially be starting World War III before the previous news cycle is halfway finished.

As news emerged that rebel forces, not Assad, had been responsible for the chemical weapons attack that left about 100 civilians dead, President Trump moved on to his next bombing target: Afghanistan.  Trump loves a good show, and many people were wondering if it was strategically appropriate to drop the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used.

The Massive Air Ordinance Bomb (MOAB) weighed in at 22,000 pounds. The MOAB’s shockwaves could be frightened Pakistanis who live 20 miles from the detonation site.  The blast sound was so loud that people across the border in Pakistan feared the bomb had dropped right next to them.

Syria and Nato

President Trump’s itchy bomb-button finger is not a surprise to anyone.  Yet, it is surprising that Trump took such swift unilateral action against Syria, and then reversed course on NATO’s vitality.  President Trump had previously asserted that President Obama would need Congressional approval to attack Syria. Trump also openly opposed getting the military involved in Syria.

Trump also made NATO a whipping post of his campaign.  He repeatedly declared NATO “obsolete.”  However, the Washington Post has reported that Trump has flip-flopped on NATO’s importance. Trump has no qualms about blatantly reversing course from his campaign positions. Concerning NATO, Trump reportedly said, “I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.”

“Who knew healthcare could be so complicated?”

Trump has also tabled his efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  It is also  widely believed that he has reconsidered his biggest promise, the border wall.

President Trump’s flip-flopping has been criticized by the media.  But what is best for the country?  When President Trump ran his divisive right-wing populist campaign, his agenda made many Americans fearful, as many of the goals seemed more the product of rhetoric than rational planning.

Ship of Fools

While the corrosive effects of extreme partisanship are considered to be the largest threat to our democracy, there seems to be little tolerance for our elected leaders changing their minds. Shouldn’t we hope that our leaders change their minds when presented with new information?  

Certainly, President Trump’s actions should be examined critically. Additionally,rump’s airstrike on Syria received the the praise of the Left, the mainstream media, and the war-happy American public should also be examined critically.  

Yet, we should all question whether the media and the public should truly expect leaders to blindly march forward with bad ideas, even if those bad ideas are the ones that got them elected. Sticking to your guns is not the best way to steer a ship. The rudder needs to be readjusted when the winds blow.

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