Election 2016

On Foreign Policy, Clinton Is Bad and Trump Is Worse

Trump's utter recklessness of thought should be disqualifying.

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Clinton and Trump
Credit: DonkeyHotey

Hillary Clinton has been wrong on one foreign policy issue after another, from the war in Iraq to the war in Libya to the war in Syria. She is secretive, averse to transparency, habitually deceptive and arguably corrupt. She is a risk to lead us into another messy conflict. 

Donald Trump has said some things that don't sound bad. He recognizes the invasion of Iraq and the bombing of Libya as mistakes. He vows to refrain from nation building. He says he'd make our allies do more to defend themselves. 

So let me be clear: If I had only these two choices of whom to be in charge of U.S. foreign policy for the next four years—or five minutes—I would pick Clinton in a heartbeat. 

Clinton is a bad option, in the way that Salisbury steak at a roadside diner is a bad option. Trump, however, resembles a tuna sandwich left out on the counter for days: definitely harmful and possibly fatal. 

Her speech Thursday, which highlighted the many ignorant, reckless and noxious statements he has made on the subject, should not have been necessary. The president of the United States has more power to do harm than any person on the planet, and such power should be entrusted only to someone who meets a basic standard of knowledge, judgment and maturity. Trump plainly doesn't. 

In this realm, as in most areas of government obligations, he combines ignorance and arrogance. He didn't know what the nuclear triad is. He came up empty when asked about Brexit—Britain's possible exit from the European Union. He insists "we are not a rich country." His chief idea for combating the Islamic State is to "bomb the s— out of them." 

Trump made a big speech on foreign policy in April at an event sponsored by the Center for the National Interest—which used to be called the Nixon Center, after a president who knew a great deal about the world and how to pursue America's interests in it. Richard Nixon was a terrible president. But had he known less, he would not have been better. 

On her worst days, Clinton evokes memories of him—stiff, charmless, overly enamored of air power, even paranoid. But she also has a wealth of knowledge of the world and many of its leaders, and she needs no on-the-job training in international affairs. At the routine daily business of international diplomacy, Clinton offers competence and predictability. 

Trump, however, has Nixon's darkest impulses and none of his understanding. The idea of someone so vindictive, petty and psychologically unbalanced having the power to start World War III ought to induce stark terror in every corner of the globe. 

Much of Clinton's Thursday speech consisted of airy banalities—"We need to be strong at home," for example, and "we need to embrace all the tools of American power." Sometimes she sounded less like a former secretary of state than like Captain Obvious. 

But Trump's example makes her platitudes appealing. It's true that he avoids the obvious. No one but him would think to ask, "Who the hell cares if there's a trade war?" No one else would say John McCain, who was tortured during his five years in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp, was not a war hero. But unconventionality can be a symptom of insanity or stupidity rather than creativity. 

Clinton, for all her flaws as a public official and a person, is neither crazy nor clueless. Her establishment credentials and outlook mean her mistakes fall within a predictable range. Knowing something about crafting policy and dealing with foreign leaders might also steer her clear of hazards. 

Robert Gates, one of the most informed and sensible people ever to serve as defense secretary, had his differences with her. But in his memoirs, Duty, he described Clinton as "smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world." 

Trump is doomed to make mistakes because he not only doesn't know much but thinks his lack of knowledge is actually an asset. The less you know, the simpler the world appears. But that's a dangerous illusion. 

Giving the presidency to Clinton is far from ideal. But if you needed a major operation, would you choose a surgeon with a haughty manner and a checkered past who loses more than the usual number of patients? Or would you trust the job to a taxidermist? 

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc. 

NEXT: Alberto Gonzales' dubious defense of Trump's attack on Judge Curiel

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  1. Annnnnd the libertarian case for Hillary begins.

    Thanks Chapman. Wouldn’t have expected any less.

    1. Chapman’s “Libertarian” Case for Hillary:
      Hillary may be an incompetent NeoCon interventionist who screws up everything she touches, but I can’t support a non-interventionist Trump because he doesn’t talk like an establishment hack.

      1. Pretty much what this article boils down to.

        And, Trump’s a big meanie who likes to fire people. Putting him in charge of the Execute Branch might get a lot of people in DC fired – which I think is why even supposed conservatives and libertarians well-connected there hate Trump.

        1. I knew this was a Chapman article the moment I saw the title. “Oooohhh, I’m such a libertarian, except I vote for the progressive statist hack every election”.

          He stinks on ice.

          1. He stinks like a bucket of dead carp festering under the sun at a Willie Nelson picnic. “I trust the proven warmonger over a guy who doesn’t know recent acronyms. I trust the ‘sane’ person who thought conquering Libya was a good idea and thinks poking the Russian bear with a sharp stick is a winning strategy, not some guy that wants to negotiate with our adversaries. I trust a self serving career statist with the blood of thousands on her hands, not some businessman who’s responsible for the deaths of no one. My name is Chapman and I’m a libertarian. No seriously,I am.”

      2. That’s what I got out of this one.

    2. Chapman is an unrepentant Democrat. It makes as much sense for Reason to publish him as it would Hannity.

      I don’t get it.

      1. His foreign policy and candidate analysis is as breathtaking as his work on economics.

        1. By “breathtaking” you mean the ugly baby on Seinfeld right?

      2. I would actually say hannity would make way more sense than chapman or dahlmia.

        They are both retarded. I give hannity at least a little bit of credit in that he’s figured out where the GOP base is moving before any of the other mainstream conservative talking fools.

        1. I don’t agree with Hannity on a number of things, but he’s not a retard. And as you point out, he’s is in no way carrying water for the GOP establishment.

      3. There are certain writers that Reason publishes that make me wonder WTF they’re thinking.

        1. Not me.

          It is precisely this sort of commentary that removes all doubt about what they are thinking.

          1. Progressitarian Moment!

  2. Yeah, a continuation of the status quo shitstorm?along aping for a Cold War redux with Russia?is totally a great FP.

    No thanks, I’ll take the Trump prescription of scaling back international involvements. The US doesn’t need to be kicking up every hornet’s nest & fighting everybody’s wars anymore.

    1. Trump is doomed to make mistakes because he not only doesn’t know much but thinks his lack of knowledge is actually an asset. The less you know, the simpler the world appears. But that’s a dangerous illusion.

      The usual technocratic fallacy of so-called ‘expertise’. That simply pumping a person with apparent information will enable them to make better decisions. Yet real-life rarely works in that way.

      One needs good instincts to use information appropriately. Hillary demonstrates time and again she doesn’t have good instincts?see Libya, Syria, an inability to understand what a security clearance entails, etc., etc.

      Also funny how nobody raised an issue about Obama’s lack of FP knowledge when he was running for president (along with being another example of someone with shit instincts).

      1. That’s the problem. I already have a pretty good idea of how a Hillary presidency will work. She’s a neocon who has supported every U.S. bombing campaign over the past 25 years.

        So why not Trump? He’s at least entertained the notion that bombing people into prosperity doesn’t work.

        1. There’s a chance that Trump might ask “then what?” when some idiot proposes bombing another country. We know Hillary won’t.

      2. “One needs good instincts to use information appropriately. ”

        Hillary Clinton has a track record of foreign policy mistakes. A track record. Vote for experience, vote for Clinton! /Chapman

        1. In Clinton’s case it would be better if she did not have a track record.

  3. Hello Steve:

    Thank you for all of your efforts for liberty. I appreciate them.

    I think your fervor against Trump (which I wholeheartedly share) is blinding you. It is not so much that you are incorrect, it’s that you aren’t fully evaluating the alternative. I applaud your equating Nixon & Hillary, I lived through Nixon’s foreign and domestic policies. To this day, I cannot tell which had the more devastating effect on me and my fellow citizens, but they tasted like Hillary is now advocating.

    Clinton is a known quantity, a warmonger to the core. Trump is an unknown quantity, his ascendancy has the chance of destroying what is left of the American republic. Two evils, indeed.

    Your article falls into the age old trap… The lesser of two evils is still evil. Please reconsider your advocacy of a warmonger OR a vile racist “Know-nothing”. IMHO, it is better to fail advocating freedom that to “succeed” advocating a tyrant you deem less tyrannical than the other tyrant.

    Sincerely,

    Joseph Bacanskas

    Free Market Anarchist since 1969

    If you can, vote for the peace candidate, they are marginally less likely to kill you outright

    1. If you can, vote for the peace candidate, they are marginally less likely to kill you outright

      Donald J Trump

  4. Hello Steve:

    Thank you for all of your efforts for liberty. I appreciate them.

    I think your fervor against Trump (which I wholeheartedly share) is blinding you. It is not so much that you are incorrect, it’s that you aren’t fully evaluating the alternative. I applaud your equating Nixon & Hillary, I lived through Nixon’s foreign and domestic policies. To this day, I cannot tell which had the more devastating effect on me and my fellow citizens, but they tasted like what Hillary is now advocating.

    Clinton is a known quantity, a warmonger to the core. Trump is an unknown quantity, his ascendancy has the chance of destroying what is left of the American republic. Two evils, indeed.

    Your article falls into the age old trap… The lesser of two evils is still evil. Please reconsider your advocacy of a warmonger OR a vile racist “Know-nothing”. IMHO, it is better to fail advocating freedom that to “succeed” advocating a tyrant you deem less tyrannical than the other tyrant.

    Sincerely,

    Joseph Bacanskas

    Free Market Anarchist since 1969

    If you can, vote for the peace candidate, they are marginally less likely to kill you outright

    1. Good to see that Joe is still pedaling the anarchism he was so known by in his S.I.L. days.
      Still out there in Seattle area?

      1. So he’s one of the kooks busting in downtown Seattle storefronts at those stupid hippie riots? Lovely.

  5. This article is so wrong on so many levels it scares me that it would ever appear in a libertarian publication.

    “she needs no on-the-job training in international affairs”

    No, she needs “untraining”. Her understanding and instincts are BAD and extremely dangerous.

    “But if you needed a major operation, would you choose a surgeon with a haughty manner and a checkered past who loses more than the usual number of patients? Or would you trust the job to a taxidermist?”

    Chapman’s mistake is to assume that Hillary is anything near a “surgeon” and Trump a taxidermist. More apt is Hillary as a primitive still using bloodletting, but Trump examining the field anew.

    My greatest fear is Hillary could blunder us into a shooting war with the Russians. Hillary wants to get tough with Russia, and has insulted Putin. Whereas Trump and Putin have had kind words for each other. Hillary is a self-righteous faux feminist and Putin is a macho dude. A minor incident could occur and Hillary would try to show Putin who’s boss. One thing would lead to another and pretty soon the nukes would be flying just so Hillary could prove she’s tough as any man.

    Hillary’s an ignorant neo-con with an inflated sense of her own abilities. Trump indeed makes a few reckless unserious statements. But he backtracks and qualifies them later on. The problem with Hillary is that she is serious and rarely backtracks. That’s what makes her dangerous.

    Trump hands down superior to dangerous Hillary.

    1. It would be ironic if the first woman president ended up using nukes.

      We have heard for years and years how a woman in charge would be so much more peaceful because …. woman.

    2. This article is so wrong on so many levels it scares me that it would ever appear in a libertarian publication.

      This is a publication whose foreign policy “experts” are Chapman and Richman. Let’s just say that no one magazine can have expertise in all areas.

      1. Yes, but this means that they have NO expertise in ONE area…

    3. “The problem with Hillary is that she is serious and rarely backtracks.”

      Indeed. I’m not sure if I can remember any case of Hillary backtracking on any issue without immense outside pressure.

    4. “she needs no on-the-job training in international affairs”

      No, she needs “untraining”.

      Bingo! And not just in foreign policy.

      Trump *might* be a disaster in some ways, but we can be certain that Hillary will be a disaster in all ways.

    5. I absolutely agree with your analysis. Although the seeming recklessness of Trump will make him feared. That in itself is useful. As Machiavelli stated in The Prince. It is good to be liked, it is necessary to be feared. That, more than anything else, is where both Clinton and Obama have failed in foreign policy. Nobody fears them.

  6. Here are some link’s regarding Hillary’s arrogant ineptness.

    confrontational with the Russians (very dangerous) –
    http://www.ibtimes.com/new-mem…..a-1596674.

    Scary neo-con Hillary (note that Israel has about 80 nukes and could well respond to an attack by Iran without the U.S.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aaGqGvZV_c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAO4fH6g0g0

    Hillary gloating about taking out Gaddaffi (scary glimpse into her personality)- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtH7iv4ip1U

    Hillary on NATO expansion dangerous – http://baltimorepostexaminer.c…..2016/02/13

  7. “Trump’s utter recklessness of thought should be disqualifying.”

    I’d prefer Trump’s recklessness of thought to Hillary’s recklessness of action.

  8. I bought a top of the range Renault 5 after having earned $5990 this last 4 weeks and more than ten-k last month . no-doubt about it, this really is the nicest-job Ive ever done.H4

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  9. I’d vote for neither but the lesser would be Trump.
    Clinton was in DC involved in world police actions.
    Trump was out golfing with Barry.

  10. COZMOS VOAT HITERY 2 GET INVITTED 2 COKTAIL PARTYS

    1. Couldn’t Chapman….vote for GayJay?

      1. Oh, Swiss, no one’s voting for GayJay.

        Reason will, for the next few months, print articles ostensibly about Johnson that will mention the candidate many of the staff will ACTUALLY back alongside articles explaining why it’s better to have a leftist, interventionist corrupticrat than someone that makes SJWs cry.

        GayJay’s only hope of doing better than last time is if there’s enough trump-hate for the msm to try to create a Perot effect. And they may–because the Sanderistas are going to be pissed when Hillary gets the nom.

        But Reason’s been Ready For Hillary for a while now.

        1. Reason is only ready for Hillary because they are anticipating those freedom-enhancing justices she will appoint to SCOTUS.

          Yeah, I don’t get it either.

          1. Don’t forget the millions of freedom-enhancing voters she will christen. Justices don’t reproduce to make more Justices. Citizens do.

            Import/christen enough big government voters, and it’s game over. The open border crowd will rocket us to a permanent one party big government state. No thanks.

            If not for immigration, I’d probably be enthused about Jay’s Big Adventure.

        2. Ready to welcome her with open arms.

      2. But then how could he make the libertarian case for Hillary?

    2. Except almost everyone here commenting on the weakness of Chapman’s position has backed it up with facts and reasoning. Answering that with a moronic all-caps sneering strawman makes you look as thoughtless and ignorant as the “yokels” you resent so much.

      1. Facts and reasoning. Well, then.

        Riddle me this: what else is there to do with Trumpites besides sneer at them?

        1. Ignore them and just make your case? Same short term result without the long term negative effects of mockery.

          1. If he had a case, he wouldn’t just sneer.

            That’s the usual thing with AntiTrumpers. They don’t actually have an argument. Just sneering and hysterical pants shitting. When that doesn’t work, they’ve got nothing.

        2. I have to pretty much agree with John DeWitt. Answering Trumpelos every time with insults and sneering doesn’t really do much to make your case even to people more inclined to agree with you than them. It makes them look like the more reasonable ones.

          And, more to the point, not every person taking issue with a point attacking Trump is a Trumpelo. Chapman’s point here is just really weak. I won’t speak for you, but I have enough confidence that I disagree with Donald Trump to acknowledge when an argument against him is as silly and unprincipled as he is. To say that a hyper-interventionist like Clinton is better (from a libertarian perspective) than Trump when he’s at least giving indications that he might be less interventionist sounds pretty silly.

  11. I just knew Reason was going to endorse Hillary on the sly!

  12. Steve Chapman is a columnist war hawk and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.

    FTFY.

  13. Once again Chapman shows that he has no understanding of how Trump operates. Scott Adams has a good blog entry on “The Risks of a Trump Presidency.” And on going to war he writes this:

    The defense industry needs America to fight wars. History suggests Clinton will be a normal president who starts wars when the defense industry tells her to do so. Trump is less likely to play that game because he doesn’t need their money. That makes Trump the lower risk of starting a war. He has no profit motive.

    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/1…..presidency

    1. He has no profit motive.

      Eh, I think Adams doth protest too much. Trump’s selling point on war and foreign policy is that he has no interest in remaking the rest of the world according to some notion of how it should be. Hillary “Sniper Fire in Bosnia” Clinton, on the other hand, …

    2. I like that Adams post, but I don’t think he gets the Mil-Industrial complex at all. Presidents don’t start wars to line their pockets as much as the complex fabricates a threat, amplifies it, crafts the solution to the perceived threat and pushes it across the desks of key congressmen, advisors, and ultimately the boss. Not to suggest presidents are naive pawns in this process, it’s just not personal profit motive behind it (more like political power)–and Trump will not be immune. If anything he’ll be more susceptible to it.

  14. Here, in a nutshell, is the difference between a freedom-oriented and a socialist-oriented philosophy. Even though Trump pays his female campaign staff more than Hillary, he’s the one being criticized because his pay-gap between men and women is greater than Hillary’s.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/new…..story.html

    1. I wonder how much of Hillary’s staff is kept around mostly to pad those numbers?

    2. This is hilarious.

  15. “He didn’t know what the nuclear triad is.”

    A three-way involving Marie Curie, Edward Teller and Robert Oppenheimer?

    1. He didn’t know what the nuclear triad is.

      As yet undemonstrated is why that matters.

      1. “So we’re thinking of making you Chief of Thoracic Surgery at our fine hospital. Could you tell us what a surgical clamp is?”

        “Well it’s very smart of you to consider me. Many, many smart people, brilliant people, think I’d be perfect for the job. As to your question, why, it’s the thing that does stuff, of course!”

        “Uh, of course. Thanks for showing up. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

        1. “So, Dr. Clinton, about those patients who died under your care…”

          “At this point, what difference does it make, you sexist? Do you feel threatened by powerful women? And speaking of being threatened by powerful women, how’s your family?”

          1. Yep, HRC and DJT would be equally shitty surgeons, and I wouldn’t care to trust my life to either of them. If I had to choose between them, I’d pick neither and wait to die.

        2. Except is the nuclear triad really part of the president’s job? I can’t speak for you, but I don’t consider detailed knowledge of nuking people a prerequisite for the White House.

        3. Yeah, that’s the same……….

      2. Has anyone talked about “the nuclear triad” since the 80s?

        If he didn’t know about delivery systems for nukes, that would be something to learn. But there’s no evidence he doesn’t know *how* nukes are delivered, he just didn’t know a bit of jargon.

        As with most hyperventilating criticisms of Trump, a big nothing sandwich.

        1. Yes. It’s a common term the military and anyone familiar with nuclear force uses. It’s basic jargon for anyone who’s bothered to study a little bit about foreign policy.

        2. He demonstrated ignorance of a bit of terminology commonly used in the position for which he’s running, so it’s not unreasonable to wonder in what other aspects of the position he lacks knowledge. And he’s never looked to have prepared for Presidential debates given his demeanor during them and his fallacious or evasive answers to pretty much any question put to him, so I doubt he’d suddenly become well-versed between the day of his theoretical election and the day of his theoretical inauguration.

          In short, Trump is, presidentially speaking, a goddamn blithering idiot who shouldn’t be allowed within a light year of the Oval Office.

          1. In short, Trump is not a part of the Military Political Complex– unlike Hillary and Bernie whose leechlike mouths are so tightly fastened to the government teat that they’ve fused with the body of Big Government like males to a toothy anglerfish hottie.

          2. So, you’re ready for Hillary? Or feeling the Johnson?

          3. “In short, Trump is, presidentially speaking, a goddamn blithering idiot who shouldn’t be allowed within a light year of the Oval Office.”

            True dat! But then there’s the likely alternative of Hillary Clinton as President to consider.

          4. Holy shit, you’re a hyperbolic moron. No, he fucking isn’t. In fact I’m sure he’s far brighter than you are. Clearly you don;t know a fucking thing about business, or you would understand that Trump can’t be even average, let alone an idiot, to successfully manage all his operations.

            Disagree with his positions all you want, I certainly do, but have some fucking sense of reality. You just equate his being out of lockstep with your ideas, with his intellect. It doesn’t work that way.

      3. nuclear triad

        So Neptune has nukes now?.. not surprising. There’s been how many warheads lost at sea now?

    2. Grudging applause

  16. “Her speech Thursday, which highlighted the many ignorant, reckless and noxious statements he has made on the subject, should not have been necessary.”

    That’s one way of describing transgender foreign policy.

  17. I would have thought the commenters had shamed Reason into *not* doing The Libertarian Case For Hillary.

    1. Once GayJay starts polling within the margin of error for less than zero expect the floodgates to open wide.

      1. “starts polling within the margin of error for less than zero

        Ouch! And funny because it’s true.

        Polling results are 1.1% (margin of error +/- 3%)

    2. Meh, we don’t get free drinks for our opinions. We’re kind of bitter about that

    3. Nothing was going to stop the libertarian case for Hillary.

      Because then they wouldn’t be able to mix with all the cool kids….

      1. AT COKTAIL PATREES

        1. WHY COME THEY NOT SERV ICEHOSUE THEIR

        2. Gods above, Warty, have you had a stroke?

          You’ve been sounding like some half lobotomized cosmo retard for months now.

          1. My tolerance for half-lettered yokelish whining has become extremely low. It’s a problem. Blame the election, I guess.

            1. It’s unnerving.

              But the rational response helps.

        3. ITZ PARTIEZ YOU IGGERAMOS!!!

    4. Progressitarians have no shame.

  18. “…he described Clinton as “smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world.”

    Aside from the sparkling ridiculousness of the article, it’s intriguing that none of those attributes have been observed.

  19. That rumbling noise you hear is the stampede of Trumpalos rallying to defend their patriarch. It is a majestic and dangerous spectacle. Let’s get closer so we can have a better look. Don’t get too close though, they have a poisonous stench that renders their prey incoherent and babbling nonsense about immigrants. That’s when they strike.

    1. Look, I’m all for Reason running an article about how much better Gary Johnson is than Hillary OR Donald.

      But thats not what Chapman did.

      I suspect he’d use this article as proof to Hillary that he doesn’t need to go to the reeducation camp.

      1. You’ll notice earlier that I fixed Chapman’s title for him.

        Really though…you’ve got a Libertarian candidate. Why this article even appeared here is beyond me, but I do appreciate a variety of opinions (even if I think Chapman is an idiot).

        1. I do not appreciate Steve Chapman’s opinions any more. If I wanted to read drivel I’d go over to Salon, the man does not belong on this website any more than once per year.

          There may be arguments for a lot of things for which Hillary may be better than Trump, but claiming the stupid bitch who war mongered for Iraq, Libya and Syria is better than the guy who didn’t want to go to Iraq and claims that we cannot be nation builders and world police is sheer fucking idiocy.

          Let’s not forget to mention that American soldiers have zero trust for HC after Benghazi. That alone should disqualify her as Commander in Chief.

          1. I have no idea why his articles are published here. Are there not better writers who are actual libertarians?

    2. As per usual, the criticisms of Trump just aren’t arguments.

      1. At least I’m not going on and on and on and on about COKTALE PATREES like some people.

        1. Agreed. This meme is ridiculous. I’ve heard the best, wildest cocktail parties were always the ones that Cato’s Ed Crane had at his house at the lake. Who the heck would care about going to a Wasserman-Schultz cocktail party??

          1. That how pathetic reason’s cosmos are. No way in hell will they be invited to the raging orgies, but there a re a few open slots at wasserman- shultz’s.

            1. a few open slots at wasserman- shultz’s

              The *horror*.

    3. Crikey! He’s angry! Imma get closer and touch ‘im. Beaut specimen.

  20. Chapman, you are a fucking moron. Clit has disqualified herself from ever holding a Gov job with a security clearance above that of the cafeteria worker.

    1. This.

      Besides her inept contributions to the debacles in the Middle East, Hillary handed all her email as Secretary of State to the Russians, Chinese, North Korea, Iran, and any other country that gave a damn. Because it’s not like the Secretary of State has communications we might want to keep secret from our enemies.

      This would be considered the greatest security snafu of all time if the Office of Personnel Management decided it had to top that and give up 20+ million personnel records, including security screening records. It’s hard to imagine a more colossal defense failure that doesn’t include nukes exploding on US soil.

      1. And she and Bill have been selling (literally) their offices every minute they’ve held them. After you clean the slime and the vile slime out of the D.C. sewer system, the uncleanable gunk that remains is Clit.

  21. Trump, however, has Nixon’s darkest impulses and none of his understanding.

    Not sure what that means other than Nixon is still the bogey-man to leftists. He was certainly a very successful foreign policy President – cleaned up JFK and LBJ’s idiot adventure in SE Asia, opened up China, and avoided other large conflicts.

    Maybe Chapman is referring to his one scandal – which makes him look like a total amateur compared to Clinton and Obama. Bet Nixon never thought that the way to make people forget about Watergate was to get himself involved in a half-dozen new scandals and call it “old news”.

    1. He was probably talking about Nixon’s enemy list.

      Nixon was a piker compared to the Clinton’s enemy list.

    2. Nixon is still the bogey-man to leftists

      Which is ironic because he’s the perfect Leftist. Escalated foreign wars where we had no national interest, started Affirmative Action and the EPA, instituted sweeping economic controls, decoupled the dollar from any tangible assets.

      1. Oh, and ended the draft. Which was revivified by Carter…

      2. What war did he escalate? If my memory is correct, Vietnam peaked in ’68. We were mostly out of it by the end of Nixon’s first term.

        1. Ummm, you might look up Laos and Cambodia sometime.

          1. So did we escalate, or did the North Vietnamese when they occupied them? When the Allies fought the Germans in Belgium, were they escalating or were the Germans?

        2. “What war did he escalate?”

          He asked Dr. Manhattan to intervene in Vietnam. Something JFK and LBJ had refused to do.

          1. And don’t forget about the Comedian’s shenanigans.

      3. Nixon was a RINO – except that when the majority of the GOP are RINO’s, it’s time to face the fact that the GOP isn’t what they advertise and the real RINO’s are the ones who aren’t RINO’s. Paul, Amash, Massie, Lee – those guys actually believe in smaller government based on the idea that you can run your life better than the government can. Unfortunately, most everybody in politics believes the opposite, that’s why the sonsabitches get into politics in the first place.

      4. Don’t forget to mention War on Drugs and Gun Control.

  22. “Her speech Thursday, which highlighted the many ignorant, reckless and noxious statements he has made on the subject, should not have been necessary.”

    Absolutely true. But as they did with McCain, the press will be much harder on Trump once it’s a choice between him and the Democrat. We’re seeing that already.

  23. Hillary for President, she is a foreign policy genius

    She supported the Iraqi invasion which has killed huge numbers of people, destroyed much of Iraq and forced millions into exile and opened the door for terrorist to take over large parts of Iraq.

    She supported the attempt to overthrow the Syrian government which has killed huge numbers of people, destroyed much of Syria and forced millions into exile and opened the door for terrorist to take over large parts of Syria

    She supported the successful overthrow of the Libyan government which has killed huge numbers of people, destroyed much of Libya and forced millions into exile and opened the door for terrorist to take over large parts of Libya

    Just think of what she can do with 4 years as President.

    1. The Libya fiasco causes blood to stream from my eyes. If a Republican president had bombed Libya, it would STILL be front page news today, seven days a week. It was such a blatant overstep, such an unforced, unnecessary error that, that words fail me. Not to mention that was after Iraq — the fiasco that only an idiot would think was a good idea. Yet Libya was/is practically a carbon copy of Iraq! Anyone remotely involved with it should be ashamed and hiding under the nearest rock, yet the primary cheerleader for the action is about to become the Democrat presidential nominee!

      I’d say more, but I’ve got to find a box of kleenex and wipe up some of this blood.

      1. They bombed the one fucking guy who legitimately gave up a WMD program! It was like they were trying to fuck things up and convince the world not to trust us!

        1. Convince or reaffirm?

      2. Democrats aren’t pacifists. They love war and killing. They just love being the ones in control most of all. Ever notice how Cindy Sheehan was thrown away like rotten garbage the minute Obama took office?

  24. So the problem with Hillary is her “haughty manner”? It’s like Chapman’s only knowledge of her consists of being snubbed by her at a party.

  25. Let’s make things simpler here :

    Let’s say you run a burger joint. Now you have an old cook in there, she set fire numerous times, blamed other people for it, showed quite a lack of concerned about her fellow employees and even more contempt for the customers. You also suspect the old crook to use her job to give freebies to her friends. Also, she let your secret recipes book laying around for all the world to see.

    Now there is a manager position that is open, and there is a guy that shows up with no experience in the food industry but he’s got experience running other types of business (some went bad). The guy is obviously a blowhard, but it’s either that or your old crook.

    Now you’re telling me you’d rather give that position to someone with a proven record of lying in your face and a history of screwing things up because she has more experience in food (even when you know she never probably flipped a burger correctly by herself)?

    I’m no business manager here, but I’d be more willing to give the job to the person that I think might screw up than to the person that did screwed up, and lied about it. Still no good reason to vote for Trump, but I think I made my point.

    1. you forgot to mention the till was always short after her shift.

      1. Because she gave it to the managers of competing restaurants for sexual favors

        1. There could not have been enough money for that. All the gold in ft Knox would not be enough. That would be like having sex with a radioactive cactus covered in Tabasco sauce.

  26. At the routine daily business of international diplomacy, Clinton offers competence and predictability.

    I think this line is a real howler. That anyone who was watched Hillary fuck up every job she has had in the past thirty years could sincerely write this is mind-blowing.

    1. One day, she’ll be at summit somewhere and bust into a coughing fit. The word “Gollum” will come out eventually.

      1. Nasty teabaggerses!

        1. Two hits in a row!

  27. Voted for Iraq and then learns her lesson. Forgets said lesson, bombs Libya and then relearns said lesson. Reforgets said lesson, pushes for Syria. I’m still waiting for her to rerelearn the lesson on that one.

  28. The case for Gary Johnson is self-evident – you want a strong LP and any LP candidate is better than any non-LP candidate. The “libertarian case” for any other candidate shouldn’t be “why libertarians should support this candidate” but rather “why this candidate getting elected is better for the LP than the other candidate”. The case for Trump is Hillary Clinton, the case for Hillary is Donald Trump. The question isn’t which candidate is better but which candidate is better for the LP?

    I say Hillary. She’ll have a GOP Congress dogging her and it’ll be a third Obama term with pretty much nothing getting done. With Trump, things will get done. Government doing things is almost always a net bad thing. Government will grow slower under Clinton than under Trump. Want to see government actually get smaller? You’ll need to see what happens after Trump gets done eviscerating the GOP. If Trump gets elected, the GOP will just reformulate around Trump’s populism – as I’ve already seen a couple of pundits make the case for Trump – and we’ll all be Democrats now and the LP might as well just pack up their bags and go home.

    If Trump loses, however, the GOP is going to be a broken party trying to figure out what to do next and just maybe after four more years of Hillary trying to grow government they’ll hit on the idea of actually believing the bullshit they’ve been spewing for the last 80 years or so about smaller government. That’s the LP case.

    1. Trump is right when he says the GOP establishment has got to go, but he has no intention of getting rid of it. He’s just going to co-opt it for his own agenda. Trump is exactly what’s wrong with the GOP – they have no principles beyond doing whatever it takes to win and they don’t have a problem with Big Government, they just want to use that power to do these things rather than those things. Trump is a true-blue Democrat in that he believes every problem has a government solution. Hillary even moreso – but she will have some opposition that Trump won’t. Regardless of what problems we face, the biggest problem is always too much government and Trump with a GOP Congress will result in more more government than Hillary.

      1. He will have opposition in the form of a media that will hound him.

        She will have a compliant media that will continue to cover for her.

      2. It’s nice to elect the right people, but that isn’t the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.

        — Uncle Milty

        I’m not that concerned if the same hacks are sitting in the chairs, as long as they help enact Trump’s proposals.

    2. “why this candidate getting elected is better for the LP than the other candidate”

      Which candidate is better for freedom in America?

      It sure aint Hillary. By importing voters and justices for big government, she will usher in a thousand years of darkness from day one.

      Jay would be better short term, on justices and policy, but they would just postpone the thousand years of darkness because they will import the same voters for big government.

      Trump will shut off the flow of big government voters. That’s job one. That gives us a *chance* at a free future. And his Justice list wasn’t bad, although I was hoping for Janet Rogers Brown.

  29. “We KNOW Hillary is a godawful shit sandwich who will inevitably fuck shit up in the world without limit or remorse, but Trump MIGHT be worse!” Hell of a way to troll the commentariat, Stevie. I give you two Hihns up.

    1. *Snicker*

    2. I give you two Hihns up

      Magnificent.

      *prolonged applause*

      1. Be careful in invoking that name. Things could suddenly become “unHihnged”.

  30. The difference between Hillary and Donald is that Hillary could roast children alive on the White House lawn and get a pass, while Donald won’t be able to clear his throat without drawing criticism. Because of that I’d rather have him in there than her, because at least the media will be paying attention with a critical eye.

    1. This is the ONLY semi-legitimate reason to vote for Trump.

  31. Chapman? Pass.

  32. How about we pick someone with a generally good foreign policy instead of having turd-polishing competitions like this? I hear there’s someone like that running. Barry Swanson or something?

    1. Sammy, Slappy… Samsonite. I was way off.

  33. Hillary’s touted experience has resulted in a perfect shitstorm of failure and she hasn’t learned a damn thing. Donald’s a loose cannon who’ll do God knows what. We’re boned either way.

    1. Nice, very pithy summary.

  34. Terrible analysis that completely misses the boat on two points.

    1) Iraq.

    Trump called Iraq a big fat mistake. Here’s Trump’s statement:

    “The Iraq war was a disaster. It was a mistake. We spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, thousands of lives, wounded warriors who we love all over the place. What do we have? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Iran is taking over Iraq as sure as you’re sitting there. And that’s the way it is. We get nothing. They get the oil, they get everything. We get nothing. So it was a huge mistake. Whether people like it or not. and I’m the only one with the vision to have said don’t do it. And I wasn’t even a politician when I said that.”

    http://tinyurl.com/jb9cdnu

    Meanwhile, the reason Hillary Clinton lost the nomination to Barack Obama was because she was more of a neocon–especially on Iraq–than George W. Bush. That’s right! Hillary Clinton criticized George W. Bush for being insufficiently aggressive–and from a neoconservative perspective. Back when otherwise anti-war Democrats were too afraid of being smeared as anti-American for opposing the Iraq War, it was at least partially because establishment Democrats like Hillary Clinton were so publicly enthusiastic with her warmongering.

  35. Good fucking grief. Chapman is a team player to the bone. The fuckhead was going to vote Hillary no matter who runs against her.

    1. Seems pretty clear to me that in the argument about who’s better between Hillary and Trump, Chapman decided to oppose Trump and support Hillary first–and then wrote the article.

      In other words, no one would use Chapman’s premises to arrive at his conclusions; you’d only pick those premises after you’d already decided to stand with Hillary.

      1. Even with that caveat, I would have written a better article. Hint: Hillary’s foreign policy experience is not a Plus. Just don’t even go there.

  36. Trump is doomed to make mistakes because he not only doesn’t know much but thinks his lack of knowledge is actually an asset. The less you know, the simpler the world appears. But that’s a dangerous illusion.

    Because knowledge when it is ruled by ideology never just becomes fodder for rationalizations. Never.

    Chapman never fails to disappoint.

    1. Never fails to disappoint? How ’bout this one?

      “[Hillary Clinton] also has a wealth of knowledge of the world and many of its leaders, and she needs no on-the-job training in international affairs. At the routine daily business of international diplomacy, Clinton offers competence and predictability.”

      Imagine it’s 1788, and Benedict Arnold is running for President.

      Imagine someone saying that Benedict Arnold is better because he has a wealth of knowledge of the British and many of their leaders.

      1. “Wealth” of knowledge of the world and many of its leaders.

        That had to be intentional right? Even Chapman can’t be that clueless.

        1. It’s a quote from Chapman’s piece above.

          He’s saying that Hillary Clinton has “a wealth of knowledge of the world and its leaders”.

          If Hillary has a wealth of anything from the world’s leaders, it’s their money she has in her purse.

      2. Ken,

        That is not fair to Arnold. Arnold was at least a competent field commander. He was a big part of why the US won at Saratoga. Arnold was a traitor but before that he was at least good at something and did render the country a great service. Hillary has never been competent at anything or rendered anything except using her position to fill her bank account.

        1. She’s pure evil, always has been. I suspect she is a clinical psychopath.

          1. “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power.

            Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating?

            Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face ? forever.”

            George Orwell channeled Hillary to write 1984.

  37. 2) Hillary Clinton accepted foreign donations while she was the Secretary of State, and by all reports, she continues to accept donations from foreign governments–even while she is running for President!

    “[Hillary Clinton] also has a wealth of knowledge of the world and many of its leaders, and she needs no on-the-job training in international affairs. At the routine daily business of international diplomacy, Clinton offers competence and predictability.”

    Chapman’s analysis is so dismissive of her being on the payroll of foreign governments while Secretary of State that it reads like a parody of something her spinmeister campaign staff might say when questioned about the tens of millions she receivedfrom Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, Oman, and the Untied Arab Emirates–as well as the donations she received from all the American defense contractors that needed her approval as Secretary of State to sell weapons to those countries.

    1. “The Saudi transaction is just one example of nations and companies that had donated to the Clinton Foundation seeing an increase in arms deals while Hillary Clinton oversaw the State Department. IBT found that between October 2010 and September 2012, State approved $165 billion in commercial arms sales to 20 nations that had donated to the foundation, plus another $151 billion worth of Pentagon-brokered arms deals to 16 of those countries . . . The sales boosted the military power of authoritarian regimes such as Qatar, Algeria, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.”

      http://tinyurl.com/o6x639e

      I strongly encourage Chapman to read that article in its entirety–it not only lists the donations Hillary accepted from foreign governments while she was the Secretary of State but also all the donations she accepted from defense contractors while deals were pending that required her approval.

      Chapman, for the love of all that’s good and holy, to cite Hillary knowing the players as a reason why she makes a better candidate than Trump on foreign policy is absurd; the reason she knows all the players is because–she’s on their payroll.

      1. He probably knows, and doesn’t care.

  38. He came up empty when asked about Brexit?Britain’s possible exit from the European Union.

    He clearly gave an opinion, that they should leave, but stressed that it was the Brit’s decision to make.

    He insists “we are not a rich country.”

    Based on the fact that American’s have basically no savings and are far more likely to have large debts.

    His chief idea for combating the Islamic State is to “bomb the s— out of them.”

    There are three main options; bomb them, invade them or do nothing. Judging by how you framed the question it seems clear that the “do nothing” option is off the table for you, Chapman.

    Robert Gates, one of the most informed and sensible people ever to serve as defense secretary, had his differences with her. But in his memoirs, Duty, he described Clinton as “smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world.”

    You are a tool, Chapman. You’re a progressive that calls himself a libertarian for some extra credibility. Stick to promoting “easy money” policies from the feds you Democrat.

  39. I am not clear why an article about why Trump is bad needs to also puff up Hillary as the less bad option. I mean we don’t talk up the awesomeness of polio by comparing it to ebola. Is this a cocktail party thing again?

  40. Downright scary when you think about it dude, seriously.

    http://www.Got-Anon.tk

  41. War mongers so gotta warmonger.

    1. Chapman is all about peace.

  42. “Clinton, for all her flaws as a public official and a person, is neither crazy nor clueless. Her establishment credentials and outlook mean her mistakes fall within a predictable range. Knowing something about crafting policy and dealing with foreign leaders might also steer her clear of hazards.”

    Jesus Christ, did I really just read that?
    I assume Steve Chapman is a paid Democrat Party employee?

    1. “Clinton, …. is neither crazy nor clueless. ”

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

  43. Chapman needs to provide some sort of evidence of Hillary’s alleged foreign policy expertise that he refers to.

    Based on her actual track record, I see zero justification for making that claim.

    1. She is haughty and Trump is reckless with his thinking. Point Hillary. I guess.

      1. Well that’s true if you ignore the part where Hillary was actually reckless with her actions.

  44. “He came up empty when asked about Brexit?Britain’s possible exit from the European Union.”

    GOOD. The US President SHOULD NOT CARE about BRITISH-EU politics that don’t concern him in the slightest!!

    ‘His chief idea for combating the Islamic State is to “bomb the s— out of them.”‘

    Which is the same as Clinton’s idea.

    “The idea of someone so vindictive, petty and psychologically unbalanced having the power to start World War III ought to induce stark terror in every corner of the globe.”

    My thoughts on Clinton exactly…

    ‘No one but him would think to ask, “Who the hell cares if there’s a trade war?”‘

    This is the one area where Clinton is better than Trump. I’d prefer “Make Trade Not War”. But if the only options are “Make Trade And War” and “Make Neither Trade Nor War” I’m going to take the option that doesn’t involve as much needless death and blowback.

    1. “In this realm, as in most areas of government obligations, he combines ignorance and arrogance.”

      Is there ANY better definition of the junction of ignorance and arrogance than someone who looks at the Libya clusterfuck as “smart power at its best”??

      “No one else would say John McCain, who was tortured during his five years in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp, was not a war hero.”

      Soldiers are professional killers. Not one is a hero. I don’t see why I should engage in the nation’s collective worship of murderers.

      “Robert Gates, one of the most informed and sensible people…”

      Only a progressive or a neocon would count “She has the support of the military-industrial complex and its worshipers” as a POSITIVE when considering foreign policy!!

      “Clinton offers competence and predictability.”

      What about Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, or the idea of having ground troops in Syria screams “competence” to you??

      Any criticism of Trump’s foreign policy, except perhaps on trade, can be laid against Clinton. Arguments that Clinton is “smarter” should be contradicted with all of her “smart” wars in the past. Very wise. Very smart.

      1. Trump’s still bad when it comes to foreign policy, but I’d rather have someone who questions needless alliances in NATO and the satanic alliance with Arabia to the vile creature that will enforce those entangling alliances and start WWIII (if we’re being hyperbolic) on their behalf!! At least Trump, if he were to start a World War, would do so for some bastardized understanding of America benefiting from it. If Clinton starts a World War it will be for the Saudis. Hooray.

        1. “If Clinton starts a World War it will be for the Saudis. Hooray.”

          FTFY

          If Clinton starts a World War it will be for the Saudis “charitable donation”. Hooray.

  45. I wonder why Reason publishes Chapman’s columns. He’s not a penetrating or creative thinker. Reason has better in-house writers, and an outsider like Sheldon Richman has much more to offer than Chapman, whose writing would fit in fine at the LA Times.

    1. CATO used to have his radio commentaries on their Byline to fuzz their ideology back when there was still a Fairness Doctrine in apparent force. They ran them so as not to sound too obviously libertarian overall.

      What’s HyR’s excuse? I could see running some Chapman pieces, but not the like of this, with such gems as:

      The idea of someone so vindictive, petty and psychologically unbalanced

  46. And the Russian,Chinese and Iranian intelligence services all agree with this. After all, last thing you ever want to be if you are in their position is surprised.

  47. I wonder why Reason publishes Chapman’s columns. He’s not a penetrating or creative thinker. Reason has better in-house writers, and an outsider like Sheldon Richman has much more to offer than Chapman, whose writing would fit in fine at the LA Times.

  48. This article is dumb. That is all.

  49. Trump is an idiot with an ego. Shrilly is an idiot with an ego and an ideology. Trump thinks he should be King. Shrilly thinks she should be queen, AND the world in general should be run by upper-middle class college mis-educated drones like herself.

    If Trump gets us into a war, it will probably be because he wants to conquer the country targeted. If Shrillary gets us into a war it will be because she has all kinds of vague Good Intentions, none of which can be achieved by military force.

    Both are dangerous. Shrilly is an order of magnitude MORE dangerous.

  50. The only positive I can see to installing her on the throne would be that she is so horrible on Constitutional issues and universally loathed outside MSM outlets and the urban centers that she would be guaranteed to provoke the kind of response that would finally motivate Congress to put real and severe limits on the Executive branch and the virtually unlimited power its out of control regulatory agencies wield. The Western States Colonies might finally grow a pair and demand full statehood or even independence. Over the top FYTW Tyranny, Bankruptcy, open Rebellion and Revolution. What’s not to like about that ? Real “Hope and Change” in our lifetime.

    1. Only 10% Sarc here. On a serious note, as any addict will tell you – nothing ever changes until you have hit rock bottom and this seems to be true with political power as well. Which is a thing a thousand times more addictive dangerous than any drug. When the average voter is pissed off, unemployed, impoverished and can’t get toilet paper anymore then sometimes the hard truths may finally be worth reconsidering.

      1. You hit rock bottom, you bounce back up only partway to where you fell from. It’s still downward on net.

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  54. RE: On Foreign Policy, Clinton Is Bad and Trump Is Worse
    Trump’s utter recklessness of thought should be disqualifying.

    If the Amerikan political process had any sense, which it doesn’t, Comrade Bernie, Heil Hitlery and Trump the Grump would have been disqualified months ago.
    But that’s just common sense.
    Oh wait.
    Common sense doesn’t enter into the equation of Amerikan political thought.
    My bad.

  55. i think Hillary is better

  56. RE: On Foreign Policy, Clinton Is Bad and Trump Is Worse
    Trump’s utter recklessness of thought should be disqualifying.

    Another sterling example why there is no difference between the two parties.
    Thank God for bourbon.

  57. This article was fucking stupid.

    1. It’s a Chapman article. So that is implicit.

  58. I REALLY dislike Hillary….OK I hate Hillary.
    I REALLY dislike Trump…..but this article tends to make me dislike him a bit less.

    1. I REALLY dislike Trump…..but this article tends to make me dislike him a bit less.

      Trump haters are the primary creators of Trump supporters.

  59. youre an open borders anarchist who loves shipping US jobs UNCONSTITUTIONALLY………..

  60. Sorry, but I’m not buying it. You’re comparing Trump unleaded with Clinton-in-a-bag. You think we’ve seen the WORST of Hitlery Clinton? Not by a long shot. But as a politician, she’s kept the public display of her criminality reined in. That’s right – the selling of influence she’s engaged in? The tinniest tip of what would be the Hitlery sell-out-American iceberg.
    Does that mean Trump’s a better choice.
    Yes. But he’s only better in the sense that holding a lottery ticket BEFORE the drawing is better than holding a losing ticket AFTER the drawing. With Trump, we could get something great. Or really crappy. But worse than Hitlery? Unless they reanimate Joseph Stalin – not possible.

  61. “At the routine daily business of international diplomacy, Clinton offers competence and predictability. ”

    WHAT

  62. He came up empty when asked about Brexit?Britain’s possible exit from the European Union.

    “Oh yeah, I think they should leave,” Trump said.

    Clear enough for you?

    1. Not ‘nuanced’ enough for Chapman.

  63. LIBERTARIANS PREFER CLINTON.
    Writing on the prominent Libertarian website Reason, Steven Chapman has endorsed Hilary Clinton, a woman drenched in the blood of innocent people, over major party opponent Donald Trump a man who has never killed another human being that anyone is aware of. Some were surprised that a Libertarian, a political belief system whose primary principle is non aggression, would choose a known war criminal, suspected felon, and radical statist for the presidency but Chapman was effusive in his admiration for the Democrat candidate.
    ” I would pick Clinton in a heartbeat. She has a wealth of knowledge of the world and many of its leaders, and she needs no on-the-job training in international affairs. At the routine daily business of international diplomacy, Clinton offers competence and predictability. Her establishment credentials and outlook mean her mistakes fall within a predictable range. Knowing something about crafting policy and dealing with foreign leaders might also steer her clear of hazards.Robert Gates, described Clinton as ‘smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world.’ ”
    Seriously FUCK YOU Chapman. You are as evil as Clinton.

  64. Agreed completely. Clinton would be a really bad President. Trump would be infinitely worse.

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  69. talk about faint praise. donald is not qualified to work in any government job much less the top job. hillary is ready to go and has been for years. if you don’t think she’s learned from our clumsy meddling in foreign affairs that deny others the self determination we used to advocate then you are stupid, ignorant, or most likely a right wing political ideologue who would never say anything positive about her.

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