The Condominium Doctrine

Ideas and Issues

New Orleans    Many presidents of the United States have been known throughout history for their foreign policy doctrines, good or bad.

The Monroe Doctrine was a message to the world from one of our earliest presidents that we would stay out of European conflicts, but other nations needed to stay out of the North America where we were asserting hegemony.  The Roosevelt Doctrine extended our oversight to all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Truman Doctrine became the policy of containment characterizing the Cold War designed to suppress the Soviet Union in Europe and elsewhere.

The Eisenhower Doctrine, as a key step in global stability, expanded the international role of the United States arguing that any nation state facing aggression from another state could request US economic and/or military aide.

And, so it goes from president to president as the White House defines its foreign policy.  Now in the wake of the first visit of a US president with the equivalent in North Korea, the fundamentals of the Trump foreign policy are clear.  I think, following one policy expert, we can call the current policy, the Condominium Doctrine.

We now approach all countries, friends and foes, on a transactional basis.  The core American value system has now been starkly revealed, and it’s rank commercialism.

Real estate developers are experts in sales-and-promotion.  They build “castles in the sky,” hoping others will believe in their mirages, and that they will reap their profits and be gone before the whole thing disappears in dust.

Trump is a real estate developer and television personality who happens to be living in the White House rent free for a bit and using that as his current stage.  In North Korea he showed a 10-minute video sales promotion of economic progress in North Korea with the end of sanctions.  He settled for an unwritten promise of demilitarization just as a developer would tout a promise of project financing contingent on a city council’s approval of new project to build a mall with a hotel in the middle of the retail space.  He reportedly gushed on about the beauty of the beaches in North Korea and their positioning in between China, South Korea, and Japan as a potential tourist destination.  Looking at one waterfront, he asked the North Koreans to imagine having a condo behind that beach.

You can’t make this stuff up.  We all desperately want to believe that there will in fact be peace and progress that emerge from the Singapore summit.  We all continue to believe in miracles, like children who believe in Santa Claus.

Like any developer, Trump is convinced he will be long gone from the White House before this deal and others he is making goes sour.  Like all developers, he will blame his successors, the government, banks and others for the failure, and will have taken his profits out before the crash.

That’s the way the Condominium Doctrine works.  Sell the view and downplay the monthly maintenance and upkeep fees and flip the thing as quickly as possible so that it’s the next owner’s problem while you take your money and run.


Please enjoy Bishop Gunn’s Shine.

Thanks to KABF.