Trump’s Syria Strikes, Part 2: You’re (Almost) Dead to Me Edition

What’s louder, the sound of the bombs or neocons and their newfound leftist allies, still mad in the throes of Russia-Mania, jacking off today?

Is bombing Syria for a questionable chemical attack going to become an annual April tradition in the Trump Administration? Last year, we heard the same story, and like last year, the strike appears to conform more to the “4D chess” model rather than going all-in on regime change, but all the same, it’s just the latest in a long line of incidents that has soured me big time.

My support for President Trump is not unlimited and it’s weakened a lot recently. This isn’t what I worked or voted for in 2016. I voted for Donald Trump in large part because he was the only candidate that was explicitly against these stupid, unnecessary, military interventions that had zero relevance for American interests. Yet, here we are in 2018, with another Syria strike.

Syria Strike 2018

One of the things that made candidate Donald Trump interesting was the experiment he offered. As the only candidate to deviate from the orthodox, globalist consensus, he could reveal whether the people really got to decide matters of state on a deep level, or only on superficial issues like tax rates or abortion.

After 15 months of testing, things don’t look encouraging While I give Donald Trump credit on his recent trade moves, there has been no serious movement on immigration or foreign policy orthodoxies. In fairness, Trump’s tried on immigration – but that signing of the omnibus spending bill, which prohibited use of wall prototypes, was a major blow to his credibility. Obviously, there are still a lot of rotten people in Congress we need to take out, but the president isn’t blameless. If he really wanted to go to bat for what he said he would, he would have been far…tougher.

There’s been even less progress on the foreign policy front. Donald Trump, for all his “alpha” mannerisms, was always prone to seeking approval, and for some inexplicable reason he’s hired a ton of warmongers he disparaged during the campaign. The Syria strikes also makes it appear like he’s caving into pressure from the media and “intelligence community,” who hate him and always will.

After 15 months, it doesn’t look like the people control the state, but the faceless bureaucrats who are concentrated in Washington, their financiers, and their mouthpieces in the media.

Fox News is creaming itself this morning, but Trump’s real base isn’t thrilled. These people are the backbone of his power, the springboard from which he won the election. If his base isn’t motivated to go to bat for him, his power dissipates. The only motivator then becomes the fact that the opposition is worse, but as we saw with Hillary, that motivation doesn’t work so well compared to true enthusiasm. The mid-terms are coming up, and the left is more angry than enthusiastic, but as Stumped readers will know, anger is a marvelous pendulum they can ride.

Will these strikes help? Not with me. I’m less enthusiastic than I was before, even if the Syria strikes, like last year, are small.

On Shark Tank, Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary has a famous catchphrase:

Donald Trump is going to have to win my support back. I’ve largely checked out of politics for the last year because of the noxious atmosphere anyway. Whatever fight I have is more against his enemies than for him at this point, which isn’t a mental state a leader should encourage in his followers. I’ll be happy to be enthusiastic again if he gives me reason to be, but there’s just been too much done that’s been the opposite of what I gleefully supported in 2016. I didn’t vote for escalating war in Syria, and as we know by now, once you get agreement on something (“but it’s just a small strike!”), you’ll likely get further agreement. Here’s hoping trade with China and North Korea talks go well.

Obviously, I’ll continue to closely observe Donald Trump from a persuasion standpoint, but my enthusiasm is far lower than it was.

Unfortunately, personal persuasiveness can only take you so far. This Syria strike is just a further step from the moment that Donald Trump seized in 2016, the moment that is of key importance to his overall persuasiveness. Find out more about that moment by reading Stumped.