Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

The Decline and Likely Fall of Trump

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

The Decline and Likely Fall of Trump

Article excerpt

A recent essay in The Wall Street Journal described Donald Trump thusly: "Rather like the crazy boy-emperors after the fall of the Roman Republic, he may have problems with impulse control - and an uncontrolled, ill-formed, perpetually fragmented mind." That this observation appeared under the headline "The Gathering Nuclear Storm" - and was written by a conservative journalist, Mark Helprin - should give us pause.

The rubber bands Trump's advisers had wrapped around his brain to hold it together during the debate with Hillary Clinton apparently snapped after about the first half-hour. Freed from the restraints, Trump went on to rant against a former Miss Universe's weight gain and a female comedian "who's been very vicious" to him.

Centuries hence, historians will pore over the debate manuscript and attempt to answer the question: "Who was Rosie O'Donnell?" They will try to explain the civilizational import of Sean Hannity, whose name Trump evoked seven times as a kind of defender.

But let us move on to the "big stuff." National security.

Trump had this to say at the debate:

"But when you look at NATO - I was asked on a major show, What do you think of NATO?' And you have to understand, I'm a businessperson. I did really well. But I have common sense. And I said, Well, I'll tell you. I haven't given lots of thought to NATO. But two things ... .' "

Not having given lots of thought to NATO didn't deter the Republican nominee from talking out loud about ditching U.S. obligations under the 67-year-old North Atlantic Treaty Organization - rattling our European allies and pleasing Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Trump went on: "I said, and very strongly, NATO could be obsolete because - and I was very strong on this, and it was actually covered very accurately in The New York Times, which is unusual for The New York Times, to be honest - but I said, "They do not focus on terror. …

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