In 1987, Donald Trump placed an advocacy-style ad in the New York Times echoing the same basic foreign policy ideas that he would recycle for the rest of his political life about how America is being had. Even at the time, many of the arguments he made were typically questionable. In the long-view, however, his arguments have fared even worse. There he was praising Japan’s economic success just a few years before Japan’s Lost Decade began. He claimed the world was laughing at the United States, just a few years before the Soviet Union collapsed–and made no reference to the Soviet Union.
Yet the ideas he stated here are the same ones he’s pushing in 2016. He may refer to China’s economy in the place of Japan’s, but he still talks about making Japan “pay” for having troops there, which they do to the tune of US$4 billion a year in base-related expenses. You will see the rest: