In Youngstown, Ohio on Monday, Republican nominee Donald Trump unveiled his vision for America’s national security and criticized the eight years of foreign policy incompetence that led us to the present moment. In the speech, Trump tackled the tough subjects, including Islamic terrorism, America’s relationship with Russia, and the flawed immigration system that exposes our country to danger.
“We cannot let this evil continue,” he said. “We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism.”
Trump’s speech was decisive and inerrant, delivering a forceful contrast between what must be done to protect our nation’s interests and what is actually being done by the Obama administration. He charged Obama and Hillary Clinton with creating a “vacuum to let terrorism grow and thrive” in the Middle East. At one point, he described Obama as “an incompetent president” who had allowed all hell to break loose in Egypt, Syria, and Libya.
“We will not defeat it with closed eyes and silenced voices,” he said of Islamic radicalism. “We have a president who doesn’t want to say the words. Anyone who cannot name our enemy is not fit to lead our country.”
Trump also criticized America’s role in guiding foreign governments. “If I become president, the era of nation building will be brought to a quick and very swift end,” he said.
Perhaps most newsworthy were his comments on pumping up the nation’s screening processes for incoming immigrants and visitors. Trump suggested a program of “extreme vetting” which would include a background check, a social media investigation, and a series of questions about the immigrant’s beliefs and values. Trump said that only those individuals “tolerant” of American norms would be allowed in.
Some will undoubtedly have their little criticisms about Trump’s speech and its included proposals, but we have to remember that this is as good as it gets right now. And, frankly, it’s pretty damn good. No matter how many Republican national security officials come out to rip this man down, the fact is that we have only one other choice – and she is completely unacceptable.
When the talk turns to Islamic terrorism or national security of any kind, the stakes of this election should become very clear. The difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton isn’t just rhetorical; in practice, that difference could be counted in any number of lost lives. At some point, we will confront ISIS and its offshoots with everything we have. The only question is whether we’ll do it now or if we’ll wait until a tragedy of unfathomable proportions changes the way we look at the world…