Gary Johnson may be crashing and burning from #Aleppo, but it proves one thing: every presidential candidate should have to take a verbal geography test sometime before the election to prove they know basic world events. We tried a president-we’d-like-to-have-a-beer-with and it did not go well.
Gary Johnson failed his geography quiz, but is there any doubt that Donald Trump would fail one, too? I wrote debate advice for Hillary Clinton in a previous column suggesting that Clinton should ask Trump point-blank on the debate stage if he could name three cities in Iran or locate Estonia on a map. It’s good advice considering Trump routinely says suspiciously ignorant things, such as that he gets his foreign policy from “the shows” and that he asks himself for advice. Trump can’t even locate on a map where President Obama was born, and on the campaign trail deliberately ignores the Birther controversy simply by declaring he won’t talk about the subject anymore.
A publicly administered geography test is extra important for Trump given that he is not opposed to breaking up NATO and abandoning Eastern Europe to Russian expansion, nor is he opposed to nuclear proliferation. In general, Trump’s grasp of foreign policy is bipartisan in its ability to provoke confusion, disbelief, and alarm.
The Atlantic published yesterday a cheat sheet detailing which Republicans are refusing to vote for Trump, and the record shows contemporarily unprecedented GOP disunity. The deciding factor for support of Trump — tepidly or wholeheartedly — seems conspicuously centered on careerist opportunism, and the vast majority of political retirees from the W. Bush Administration, along with every retired Republican president, on the list agree that Trump should not be president.
Seriously, peep the link — it’s an enlightening glimpse into the intra-GOP moral dilemma of whether or not to support Trump, and the moral struggle is especially difficult for many Republican pundits and opinion-makers. Columnist George Will sums up the #NeverTrump sentiment with a concise observation: “This is not my party.”
The one candidate least likely to fail a geography quiz, however, is obviously Hillary Clinton. As a former Secretary of State, Senator, and First Lady, she has traveled all around the world, and as Secretary of State alone she traveled 956,733 miles between 112 countries.
Besides George H.W. Bush (the Eagle Scout of American politics, Bush Senior fought as an aviator in WWII and then served as a US Representative, Ambassador to the UN, Chairman of the RNC, Envoy to China, Director of the CIA, and Vice-President) Hillary Clinton is the most qualified presidential candidate in modern American history, and is certainly the most geographically prepared candidate of Election 2016. Say what you will about Clinton, geography ignorance will neither derail her presidential campaign nor guide her foreign policy.
Please, please, please, will someone in the media — particularly a presidential debate moderator — give Trump the #Aleppo treatment next?