Trumpism is dead. It was given an early term abortion long before it could have been born.

Pre-Election Trumpism

The most interesting thing about the Trump campaign was his appearance of authenticity. He said things that you just don’t say when running for president. I don’t just mean his crass manner of speaking but even the substance of his issues: opposing free trade, opposing foreign interventions, and a hard line against illegal immigration. There are certain issues position you just don’t openly admit to having when running for president. This is why Bush and Obama both pretended in public to support the 2nd Amendment and unwasteful balanced budgets, and why Hillary Clinton had a public opinion and secret private opinion on various issues.

Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich

Paul and Kucinich.

When Trump said these things it brought to mind more fringe politicians like Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. These men were admired even by their critics for at least saying what they believed in. They were authentic: their public opinions honestly seemed to be their private opinions.

So when Trump said that invading Iraq was a mistake, that Obama needed Congressional approval to bomb Syria, that overthrowing Syria’s president was not in America’s national interest, that we’d be better served helping Syria defeat ISIS, and that turning Syria into a proxy war with Russia and risking World War III was a bad idea, it seemed safe to assume Trump meant it, because those comments fell into the category of Things You Don’t Say When Running for President. It’s the same sort of rhetoric that got Ron Paul mocked by the media elites as out of touch with reality. It was also the one and only redeeming quality of Trump’s rhetoric, the one lone reason I could see a libertarian saying why he held his nose and voted for Trump.

…but then Trump got elected.

Preserving Obamacare

I'm sure glad we didn't get Hillary for president. We'd still have Obamacare and be at war with Syria.I blogged that Trumpism was a mix of authenticity and an America-first policy of less foreign adventurism, trade protectionism, and immigration restrictions.

Naturally, he instead decided to make preserving Obamacare his administration’s first legislative priority.

Yes, Trump and Paul Ryan claimed it was a repeal, but all the legislation did was make a few minor tweaks to Obamacare while leaving some of its worst provisions in place; see here for details.

It’s a typical weasely politician move. Fortunately, the libertarian wing of the Republican Party blocked this scam. In response, rather than trying to repeal Obamacare, he instead threatened to strike a deal with pro-Obamacare Democrats and launch primary threats against the anti-Obamacare Republicans.

Return of the Neocons

Hillary Clinton: How dar eDonald Trump do to Syria what I was going to do to Syria?This was shortly followed up by bombing Syria and alienating Russia in response to the Syrian government not doing anything that affects or threatens the US in any way. Trump’s rhetoric has changed from being neutral to Syria’s president to calling for….wait for it…regime change! The unborn Trumpism comes to its end, fatally wounded on the battlefields of Syria.

The neocons are back! But they never left. Regime change, bombing the Middle East into democracy and peace: it’s the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama foreign policy of the last 36 years that Hillary Clinton campaigned on.

I am as cynical as it gets when it comes to trusting politicians, but I still thought if there would be one redeeming aspect of the Trump presidency then it would have been an authentic rejection of that failed foreign policy. Sadly, I was wrong.

Trumpism is dead before even being born. Long live neoconservatism.

Donald J. Trump tweets: "We should stay the hell out of Syria, the "rebels" are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS? ZERO." 16 June 2013. "No, dopey, I would not go into Syria, but if I did it would be by surprise and not blurted out all over media like fools." 29 August 2013. "If we are going to continue to be stupid and go into Syria (watch Russia), as they say in the movies, SHOOT FIRST AND TALK LATER!" 29 August 2013. "If Obama attacks Syria and innocent civilians are hurt and killed, he and the U.S. will look very bad!" 30 August 2013. "The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria - big mistake if he does not!" 31 August 2013. "Congratulations to our great men and women for representing the United States, and the world, so well in the Syria attack." 8 April 2017.

(I wonder how Gary Johnson would have handled it?)

Garry Johnson: Can't launch an attac on Syria if you don't know where Syria is.