What was billed as Hillary Clinton's foreign policy speech was instead one, long warning about the dangers of a possible Trump presidency. But that is just what the doctor ordered, writes DW's Michael Knigge.
One does not have to be a fan of Hillary Clinton to appreciate what she has done in her speech on foreign policy and national security in California on Thursday. She took what Donald Trump tries to sell as a coherent foreign policy and debunked it point for point as a noxious mix of rants, lies and insults.
Even more importantly, by exposing his constant falsehoods, his proud ignorance and his dangerous hubris on practically all matters of international affairs, Clinton made a strong case for why Trump is unfit to be president and commander-in-chief of the United States.
To be sure, nothing that Clinton said about Trump and his worldview is new. Trump's pernicious positions on key global issues such as immigration, terrorism, Islam, NATO, nuclear proliferation and Russia have been amply documented and decried by numerous observers both inside and outside the US. That's why it's not hard to discredit his case to be president. One closer look at Trump's public record and behavior should suffice.
Unfortunately, though, his Republican rivals for the presidential nomination - for various reasons - were all either incapable, unsuitable or unwilling to take a serious stand against Trump - until it was too late. As if to highlight the dismal state of the Republican Party, the endorsement of Trump by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had been critical of Trump and had long been considered a possible last-minute alternative for the nomination, was made public during Clinton's speech.
That's why - with the GOP fully captured by Trump - it is now up to Hillary Clinton to expose and challenge Trump's nativist-authoritarian vision for America, which would not only endanger the US, but the world.
Clinton's speech in California was her first serious effort to do just that. It was not a policy or a strategy speech. It also was not a great or memorable speech. It was a campaign speech intended to take on Trump directly. This was long overdue. And as Trump's Republican rivals can attest to, in politics, like in school, it takes guts to confront the big, bad bully.
Hillary Clinton deserves credit for having done so convincingly. It likely won't be the last time.
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