In her latest column-as-civics-lesson, which reads like a GED practice essay, Peggy Noonan predicts that President Trump will face a foreign policy crisis. Not only will it be a “full-fledged” crisis, which, in Noonan Speak, means it will be serious; and here, like a 17-year-old version of herself, holding a Clairol Son of a Gun hair dryer as both microphone and trophy, ignoring her siblings’ shouts to “Hurry up in there,” Noonan continues her Class Day Oration by telling her fellow graduates of Rutherford High School—by telling us, too—that “History resides in both the unexpected and the long-predicted.” Before her brother Jimmy can hurl their father’s folding chair against the bathroom door, before he can smash the door by bashing it with the dented frame and torn seat cushion of their father’s favorite chair, and drag Peggy from the mirror—before he can spare us further agony, she keeps talking. From class orator to deranged oracle, she says: “The National Security Council is not fully staffed. . . . Think, study, talk, and plan.”
According to Noonan, a president cannot do the right thing without the right staffers, like the ones Presidents Kennedy and Bush (H.W. and W.) had; like the ones who, respectively, gave us defeat in Vietnam and disaster in the Middle East.
Without the right advisers, Kennedy would not have prevailed during the Cuban Missile Crisis, or so Noonan suggests, because the world would have ended.
Had Kennedy failed, he would have done the wrong thing for the right reason: He would have destroyed the world to save it from Peggy Noonan.