Theories and objective truths are built upon some pretty solid evidence. They evolve from seeing something, or observing an event, and then explaining its development by referring to constant or recurring phenomena over time. Evidence and reason are the keys, and the basis, for building both things and good policy.
So, for example, the theory of flight has been explained after years of watching things fly and then studying draft, thrust and embracing the principles of engineering (wings, for example). Airplanes and human flight are now possible.
The study of the human genome and the theory of evolution are no different, and help us understand medicine and health, as this clip makes clear.
Similarly, international stability and theories of major or "hegemonic" wars - the Napoleonic Wars, World War II, etc. - can be explained with reference to some pretty solid historical evidence.
Generally speaking, scholars of international relations can make the case that major or cataclysmic wars follow: (1) when a dominant nation, or a group of dominant nations, fail to maintain the conditions necessary for equilibrium or stability in the international community, or (2) because of the rise of a new power; e.g. France in the 18th century, and Germany in the 19th century. Understanding this helped the global community create the "islands of order" in our global sea of anarchy in the post-WWII era.
Here's the point I want to make. The unfolding global dystopian disaster should not come as a surprise to anyone. Apart from his narcissism and making money, there is no discipline to President Trump's thinking. We all saw it on the campaign trail. As president, Trump's references to NATO, while trying to charge Angela Merkel for Germany's "NATO bill," made it clear that President Trump has no idea about world politics, let alone what made our post-WWII world order so productive and stable.
In many ways - and unfortunately - President Trump is a product of America's rejection of disciplined thought, and 30 years of anti-intellectualism. America's embrace of pop thinking have made Fox News, Breitbart, and The Kardashians an accepted part of our popular culture for many Americans.
Why think when we can embrace reality TV, and then pretend our global stage is akin to a WWE match, where story lines can be pushed and the mob dutifully eats it up. At some point we shouldn't be surprised if President Trump shows up in a cape, or in cloak-like attire (I'm only half joking). Circus and bread are not new in the human experience.
Let's face it, decades of pushing false narratives and embracing junk science are the reasons we're now saddled with Donald Trump and his sudden "let's be concerned about Syria" approach to foreign policy.
Strong thinking, solid theories, and objective truths no longer apply.
What's worse, many Americans now have a viral form of Political ADD, and President Trump is thriving on it. He's trying to distract the mob from his Russian ties, while covering for his kleptocratic family's activities. All of this, and Trump's collapsing poll numbers, are behind the false narrative and the junk science now driving the evolving Trump Doctrine.
Bluster is not a theory, nor what the Realist school of thought is about. And, seriously, if you think President Trump has any concern for Syrians I've got a bridge to sell you, in Iraq.
I'll have more to say about the end of objective truth and the embrace of junk science under President Trump in a later post.
Update: Ron Burgundy meme added after posted.