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National Security & Defense

Krauthammer’s Take: Trump Laid Waste to the Vision of JFK and Ronald Reagan

Charles Krauthammer argued that Donald Trump’s inaugural address made no distinction between friend and foe, opposed the idea of America sustaining the free world, and ultimately reversed the international vision of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan:

I think he did lay waste to the vision of John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. When Trump excoriated foreigners for draining us of our wealth, for being essentially free riders, for using us, exploiting us — the most striking thing about that is that he made no distinction between friend and foe. When John Kennedy spoke, he said, “We will support any friend, oppose any foe to ensure the success of liberty.”

No mention of liberty, no mention of the free world, no distinction between friends and enemies. So when you are in Britain and you do hear this, you hear this essential indictment of all the outside world, all the others, as being responsible for American decline, despair, economic problems, et cetera — then you’ve got to ask yourself, “This is a new country.”

You can make the argument for this and say that when we won the Cold War, we decided we are through carrying the world on our shoulders. This speech, I think, is 25 years late and it is remarkable that we went a quarter of a century maintaining the burden. But this is a way of saying: “We’re done.”

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