Fareed Zakaria on Trump's Speech: "It Was Sort of Rambling to the Point of Being Incoherent"


FAREED ZAKARIA: I thought in the main theme he really stuck to his guns. It was populist, nationalist, protectionist. You know I will look after America first. The trade deals were at the center of it. That was all familiar. But he expanded. It was sort of rambling to the point of being incoherent. He contradicted himself several times, it struck me.

He said, "We're going to get out of nation-building, but we're going to create stability." How do you do that? You get out of nation-building in Afghanistan, you'll get more instability. You got out of nation-building in Iraq, you got more instability.

He said, "The allies can rely on us, but we will be completely unpredictable."

He said, "Spend what it takes to rebuild the military, but we're going to pay down the debt."

"We're going to spread Western civilization, but we're not going to spread democracy."

And he ended with a truly bizarre statement about the greatest problem in the world is that we have too many weapons. And once again, a strange place where you might find out that he and Bernie Sanders are one.

So I thought that when he tried to flesh out an actual foreign policy, it was pretty incoherent. He was very strong on his protectionism and anti-trade American unilateralism. He was very strong on attacking the Obama-Clinton legacy, and as you say, really that's mostly the Bush legacy when he talks about the trillions of dollars spent trying to nation-build in the Middle East. That's the Iraq War. That's the Afghanistan War. Both of which were initiated by President Bush.

So I don't know that it's going to convince anyone. Certainly, it didn't strike me as a careful analytic laying out of a Trump foreign policy.

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