The usefulness of madmen

November 08, 2018

I am not a fan of President Trump. I didn't vote for him and have written plenty about what I don't like, including Half-truths, Manhood, and his anti-immigrant rhetoric. It's disgusting.

But I have to wonder whether the very long term is good.

In the medium-to-long term, Trump is going to hurt US relationships, particularly with allies.

But in the very long term, we might benefit from other nations' belief that we're capable of doing something just a little crazy—retaliating—if we don't get what we want.

I really hope this guy doesn't get us into a war. But short of that, I wonder if the US's negotiating position is a little bit stronger after Trump, because he's insane enough to start a trade war with China.

Tit-for-tat is optimal, but it doesn't work without retaliation.