Ah, the supposedly isolationist Trump. That rare species, occasionally sighted by Andrew Bacevich, Stephen Cohen, and a number of others.
Long as it was about beating up the GOP's stooge collection, or appealing to paleocons, he could sound like this.
At the same time, the same guy was saying: "Cut the head off ISIS and TAKE THEIR OIL!" "Why didn't we leave a group in Iraq to keep their oil?" He saw the worst military crisis in history, demanding the highest budget increases, and he would deliver! He promised to break the Iran deal, the worst deal in history, and he delivered. He promised to enable and encourage every Israeli drive to seize and settle, and he has delivered. He promised to end the Obama sunshine policy on Cuba. He delivered. "Why can't I use nukes," he asked? Fire and fury, he promised: absolutely unforgivable threats to wage nuclear war, delivered to the General Assembly. South Korea did the end run on that, and he saw an opportunity to adapt and play the negotiator, reaping criticism from the liberal policy establishment. Add to this all his other statements approving political violence generally, and executive impunity on all things. Consider the constant racist and xenophobic talk, the anti-immigrant stance, the "Muslim ban," the contempt for humanity generally. These too were present in his talk from the start, well before he was pressured by the establishment to play presidential. These too are programmatic, a long-running theme for him. The misogyny is also an indicator. His earlier major political interventions, such as calling for the execution of the Central Park Five, are an indicator. His playing a mean psycho tyrant character on TV. The course of his political career since 2011, i.e. starting by leveraging a takeover of the racist movement as the Supreme Birther. What about the declaration that is easy to win all the trade wars he started? The willingness to escalate tensions with China? These too. Etc.
There are three views on this contradiction. One is untenable: the belief the isolationist, the guy threatening to break up NATO, was the real Trump, and that he is weak and has been seduced by the usual cabal of bad advisors and swamp creatures and Democrats threatening him with Russigate. This requires forgetting the other statements, and most of his history.
Second and common is the view that his contradictory rhetoric generally is typical of the mothbrained, superficial, vain, constantly distracted, narcissistic, attention-grabbing, always performative ass that he is. In this view, he believes nothing for more than a minute, and does whatever his last advisor told him to do. He has no ideology.
For me the third option was always self-evident. His violent, hateful approach to life has been life-long and undisguised. There is an ideological core to Trump. He expresses it constantly. Not only is it right wing, it is atavistic: his might is always right. The occasional isolationist talk is a case of playing to an audience, of posing as a mediator or negotiator. But the war talk was programmatic. He left no doubt about this in the early choices of advisors (including Flynn), the closeness to Kushner, staging his first trip to Saudi Arabia, and in countless statements and actions since.
We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.
To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.TopSecret WallSt. Iraq