Hillary Roasts Trump: Clinton’s Foreign Policy Speech Was an Effective Takedown of Trump’s Dangerous Ignorance
What made it so effective is that Hillary pegged Trump as petty, ignorant, and weak. She called Trump’s foreign policy ideas “dangerously incoherent” and “a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies.” She poked fun at his obvious lack of basic knowledge about foreign affairs. “He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe pageant in Russia,” Clinton said, letting the absurdity of that real Trump statement do her work for her. “Donald Trump doesn’t know the first thing about Iran or its nuclear program,” she said. “Ask him. It’ll become very clear very quickly.”
And she called Trump “dangerous,” but more importantly she explained why Trump is dangerous. “This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes,” Hillary said, “because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war because someone got under his very thin skin.” This is the right way to frame the argument. Trump embraces the “dangerous” designation to a certain degree because he wants people to see him as someone who will shake the existing order. We saw this last week after President Obama said that world leaders were “rattled” by Trump’s nomination. “When you rattle someone, that’s good,” Trump said in response. “If they’re rattled in a friendly way, that’s a good thing.”
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What Clinton did was point out that the danger Trump poses is rooted in his own pettiness and instability. “I will leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants,” she said at one point, making a fairly pointed suggestion about his mental competence. She treated her rival with thinly veiled contempt and spent the majority of the speech portraying him as incompetent and, more importantly, weak and impotent. “We all know the tools Donald Trump brings to the table: bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets. I’m willing to be he’s writing a few right now.” That’s the kind of stuff that drives Trump nuts, and the more time Clinton spends needling him as a buffoonish cartoon character, the better.