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In Foreign Policy, Donald Trump Is The Powerful Man Barack Obama Never Could Be


“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”—Alexander the Great

Some men walk into a room and the room just belongs to them. The head guy in the room. The man in charge. It doesn’t matter if it’s a room of five or a room of 500, everyone looks.

It’s not a height thing. It’s not a wealth thing. It’s not about brains or brawn or what kind of car he drives. It is simply a matter of having “it,” and “it” is a quality that few men possess.

Luckily for America, Trump has this in spades. It may be maddening to his domestic opponents in the media, but it is positively enraging to America’s enemies. And we are a lucky nation for it.

As someone who once vehemently opposed Trump (I poured my heart and soul into getting Ted Cruz the GOP nomination), so many parts of Trump’s nomination were difficult to fathom. Looking back on it, I should have known better. Every debate was all about Trump. Every TV interview, no matter the candidate, was all about Trump. The media and the moderators made it all about Trump.

In the end, for those who loved and those who hated him, the voters made it all about Trump. Because he’s simply one of those guys who create a gravitational pull around him. Wherever he goes, it’s all about Trump. Even the general election was all about him. (Granted, it helped that his opponent, Nurse Ratched, gave people little to cheer about.)

Why People Avoid This Truth

People avoid this subject for a couple of reasons. Some avoid it because it’s difficult to define. One can no more define “it” than Bill Clinton can define “is.” But most avoid it because they want to be that guy and simply do not have what it takes.

It is the natural instinct of a man to want to be “the man.” Men don’t flock to movies about the guy who never gets the girl and slaves away in middle management, unless that movie is a comedy and they’re there to laugh at him. Men watch “Gladiator.” Men revere professional athletes. Men honor the warriors of our military. A man wants to sit on a throne he just conquered and have the people chant his name. But God didn’t make many of those men.

Some men—and we all know someone like this—have been so consumed by jealousy that they hate “the man” simply because he is what they want to be and cannot achieve. We all know this guy. There are hundreds of them running around news rooms and college campuses in America. He’s the one with a journalism (or law) degree from Yale and no girlfriend.

He uses words like “assiduous” in casual conversations with friends. He knows they don’t understand that word, but soul-crushing student loan debt and big words are all he has in life and, dang it, he’s going to use them. He thinks this makes him look smart and admirable. It doesn’t. It makes him look like a snobby jerk who talks over people’s heads.

Trump Is Used to Being in Boardrooms Calling Shots

I used to scoff at Trump’s early supporters claiming he was some master dealmaker. Trump’s guiding principles may not be limiting spending or a return to constitutional government, but his guiding principle of making “the deal” sure is paying off. I once laughed at people who would throw that “He’s a deal maker!” stuff around.

Maybe—and this has never happened to me before—I was wrong. Trump’s marriage to “the deal” can and does make small-government conservatives pull their hair out when he sits at the table with Democrats after a school shooting and voices his support for limiting Second Amendment rights. That’s the bad part.

But there are plenty of good parts. The DC Beltway types who spend their lives hammering out 2,000- word essays about what a bumbling dullard Trump is (when they’re not staring longingly at their 11th grade debate team trophies), well, those guys were just plain wrong.

The truth is Trump has spent his life in boardrooms hammering out deals. And he’s used to being in charge of that boardroom. This is not a small thing, especially when dealing with male-dominated dictatorial cultures like North Korea and Iran. Trump knows how to handle himself with other powerful men, and that is worth something tangible.

Donald Is What Barack Never Could Be

Part of the journalistic angst that Trump is that guy comes from the fact their savior, Barack Obama, just could never be. There are two big reasons Obama’s foreign policy had all the staying power of raw shrimp in a hot car. His natural inclination to agree with foreign dictators that America is an evil place in need of “fundamental change,” as he put it, hurt him when dealing with them.

But what hurt him the most was his rank amateur status at anything involving the real world. He never stood in a room of powerful men used to getting what they want and trying to assert their dominance. He moved seamlessly through a world of academia, liberal activism, then politics. It’s not even reasonable to expect a man to stroll off the cushy world of liberal academia into a room of wolves and expect him to perform. He got eaten alive. Conservatives joked about that video of Obama curling women’s yoga weights, but maybe the mullahs of Iran were laughing too.

And those mullahs respect Trump. They hate his guts, but they respect him. They just recently recovered from the sore stomach muscles they got from laughing at Obama’s capitulation, just in time to have Trump take Obama’s crappy deal and rip it up in front of their faces. So, let them burn American flags and Trump posters. They do so with the knowledge they can no longer treat the American president like a piñata.

Never in my life have I been more thankful to be wrong. With so much insanity in the world today, I am happy he’s my president. Now, I am no prophet. The rest of Trump’s presidency could be a domestic policy disaster full of deficit spending and gun control. He could lurch to the left. A scandal could take him down. The market could crash.

Nobody knows. But one thing I do know is he won’t ever walk into a room too big for him. Because Donald Trump is the room.