Trump

“Foreign policy analysts largely celebrated this concentration of power in the executive branch, and prior to Trump, their logic seemed solid. They pointed to the public’s ignorance of and Congress’lack of interest in international relations. As political gridlock and polarization took hold, elected Democrats and Republicans viewed foreign policy as merely a plaything for the next election. And so most foreign policy elites viewed the president as the last adult in the room.

What they failed to plan for was the election of a president who displays the emotional and intellectual maturity of a toddler. As a candidate, Trump gloried in beating up on foreign policy experts, asserting that he could get better results by relying on his gut. As president, he has governed mostly by tantrum. He has insulted and bullied U.S. allies. He has launched trade wars that have accomplished little beyond hurting the U.S. economy. He has said that he trusts Russian President Vladimir Putin more than his own intelligence briefers. His administration has withdrawn from an array of multilateral agreements and badmouthed the institutions that remain. The repeated attacks on the EU and NATO represent a bigger strategic mistake than the invasion of Iraq. In multiple instances, his handpicked foreign policy advisers have attempted to lock in decisions before the president can sabotage them with an impulsive tweet. Even when his administration has had the germ of a valid idea, Trump has executed the resulting policy shifts in the most ham-handed manner imaginable.”

– Daniel W. Drezner, “This Time Is Different- Why US Foreign Policy Will Never Recover”. Published in ‘Foreign Affairs’ May/June 2019 Edition.

A quiet space

Sometimes, I get physically exhausted from talking to people. It is the curse of the introvert. I have built up some social skills over the years. It’s not like I am without ability. A few quips remembered. A bit of banter- keep the conversation moving, try to sound animated, ask others about themselves, the usual small talk skillset.

But if extroverts are recharged by social connections, there is no way I am one of them. A lie down, a long walk, a quiet room. Anything to feel human again.

We all need a quiet space from time to time. The brain feeds off the infinite, and it needs to be quiet to tune in.