With little explanation and no real denials, President Trump has flip-flopped on a dizzying array of policies in a stunningly brief period of time.
China as a currency manipulator. The future of the Export-Import Bank. NATO’s relevance. A federal hiring freeze. The Federal Reserve chair. The wisdom of low interest rates. Syria air strikes. Russia as friend or foe.
Taken individually, the reversals of just the past week seem to prove the oft-stated point that Trump is not bound by even his own past words – that even Trump does not take his words literally. A president accused of having no fixed ideology is proving it by reversing himself on core campaign promises and a range of positions that seem to have been based on gut instinct, not evidence.
But add them up and a broader portrait emerges of a president who is changing his worldview in front of the eyes of the world.
Trump came to power with nationalist sentiments that coursed through his views on the economy and foreign policy. He is using power as a more traditional globalist who is accepting nuance in a way that moves him toward the broad mainstream of American politics.
It looks like a president on a steep learning curve – one bent by world events as well as the power dynamics inside his own White House. It’s no coincidence that Trump has shunned his “America first” populism at the same time that he’s sidelined chief strategist Steve Bannon, and as several products of the Goldman Sachs international corporate structure have seen their stars rise.
It’s not clear that there’s any real policy or strategy behind…