The Trump syndrome was on full display in Pence’s convention speech. The vice-presidential nominee praised Trump as the natural heir of Ronald Reagan, which, no doubt, Pence wishes Trump to be. Pence said that Trump would stop “apologizing” to American enemies. He would “stand with our allies.” He would “lead from strength.” But the same day as Pence’s speech, Trump gave a revealing interview to the New York Times. The candidate who would stop apologizing said: “I don’t know that we have a right to lecture. … How are we going to lecture when people are shooting our policemen in cold blood?” The candidate who would stand with our allies raised a cloud of questions about the United States’ commitment to NATO allies near Russia’s borders. We might come to their aid, said Trump, if they “fulfill their obligations to us.” The candidate who would lead from strength proposed a retreat from bases around the world. “When the world looks at how bad the United States is, and then we go and talk about civil liberties, I don’t think we’re a very good messenger,” Trump said. There is a type of isolationism in which the United States is corrupted by engagement in the world, its ideals sullied by the lure of empire. And then there is Trump’s type of isolationism, in which the United States is too corrupt to engage in the world. In the mouth of any Democrat, Republicans would describe these words as anti-American. I cannot imagine such thoughts even crossing Reagan’s mind, much less leaving his lips. I think it is fair to say that if Reagan were alive today, Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric would make him puke. There are many radiating effects of having a Republican nominee who is entirely ignorant about U.S. foreign policy but who wants to fundamentally redefine it. One of those effects is to make Pence look like a fool. His description of Trump had no connection to reality, which was demonstrated on the same day. Remember that soon after House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) reluctant endorsement, Trump attacked a Hispanic judge in a manner that Ryan called “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Every serious Republican who crosses the event horizon of endorsing Trump is sucked into a black hole of compromise and self-deception. And many of us — still loyal to a humane conservatism — will never be able to think about such leaders in the same way again.