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The Big Picture

Method to His Madness?

Like Shakespeare's Hamlet, US President Donald Trump has inspired much debate about whether there is coherence to be found in his erratic behavior, or merely symptoms of psychopathology. But the bigger question is who will still be standing on the stage when the play ends.

In this Big PictureRichard Haass notes that Trump's reliance on summits is in keeping with his deal-making approach to governance, but warns that it could backfire. Likewise, Brahma Chellaney points out that most of Trump's foreign-policy actions make sense in terms of a short-term profit/loss calculus, whatever their effects on America's reputation.

  But Mark S. Weiner sees more than just transactional politics, arguing that Trump is actually driven by a coherent – albeit chauvinistic – vision of sovereignty. And, as Christopher R. Hill observes, Trump's identitarian approach to immigration has served him well politically, and could continue to do so if his opponents overreact.

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