Donald Trump’s Asymmetric War on the Establishment


Personally I am all for Trump tweeting. It’s frankly refreshing. I like that he’s waging asymmetric warfare on the #oldmedia, the #cronymedia, and the establishment generally. I am enjoying watching the casualties mount up.

Saying that, if I was Trump I probably wouldn’t have called senator Schumer a clown today. But hey, maybe I would have. Trump undoubtedly knows the New York senator. Maybe Schumer is a clown. Still my southern sensibilities would have probably reined me in.

(From The Atlantic)

I have no idea what to do with all this. I’m a global-affairs editor; these kinds of statements from the president-elect seem newsworthy. On the other hand, if we chased down and thoroughly unpacked all of Trump’s tweets, or even just the foreign policy-related ones, we’d never do anything else. Nor, given his penchant for surprise off-hours tweets, would we get much rest. As a presidential candidate and now as president-elect, Trump has had a famously adversarial relationship with much of the media; I’m now thinking of Trump’s tweets as a kind of asymmetric war on the press—like a guerrilla force doing random “attacks” all over the place to spread out the “adversary’s” resources and prevent them from concentrating enough force in any one place to produce a decisive outcome. It need not take him much time or forethought to opine on nuclear strategy; it can take us hours of research to properly examine and contextualize what he means. And there’s a cost to that in terms of all the other things around the world we could be paying attention to.

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