It would be great to have a President who would ask "what's in it for us" before charging around globe spending blood and money on causes. But would Donald Trump really govern that way if elected?
He singled out the recent trade pact with South Korea, signed after a military showdown with communist-ruled North Korea, saying it was a "joke" with insufficient benefits for the United States.
"We go over there, we protect them, we protect them with our ships ... Did anyone pay us for this? No! So, what is happening is mind-boggling."
Imagine the election of a populist with a strong focus on the national collective interest (as distinct from the interests of assorted ethnic groups, investment bankers, or assorted idealists). If someone actually tried to govern based on a rational calculation of national interest the press and elites would attack such a President mercilessly. He's be labeled racists for not wanting to bomb African or Middle Eastern countries. He'd be labeled a threat to the economy if he demanded no more currency manipulation by major trading partners.
America's foreign policy of the last couple of decades amounts to living beyond our means and without a rational calculation of the national interest.With a budget deficit on the order of 10% of GDP we can't afford an irrational and expensive foreign policy. If Trump would make serious steps in the direction of demanding clear net benefits to our Defense and State budgets (with large cuts due to their excesses) and foreign aid spending I'd vote for him.