In Salem a poet was born. Not the Salem of witch hunt fame in Massachusetts. But rather Salem, Indiana. His name was John Milton Hay. A good name for the fountainhead of all beltway policy wonks. He moved with his family to Illinois and read law literally next to Abe Lincoln’s offices. From advising Lincoln’s successful campaign, to sitting at the assassinated president’s bedside, the bright ambitious young man then moved through the world of private practice and diplomatic and other government postings. As well as writing a definitive biography of the great man.

By the time he passed early in the 20th century, he had advised various presidents, especially McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt, and had shepherded treaties with the U.K. and Panama, and others, as Secretary of State. Yeah, he was a lawyer. What else could he be? Although today he would surely have acquired multiple degrees in law, economics, and business. And he was a poet. This is starting to get insufferable.

So. There is now a John Hays Initiative (they wisely took out the puritan poet to avoid confusion no doubt). It is a gleaming banner under which policy wonks, especially foreign policy experts, have congregated with a firm gaze to the future. Despite, or because of, Caligula/Trump’s storming of the Roman Republic. And many of the members of the John Hays Initiative are still firmly NeverTrumpers.

Will they resist the siege of their erudite Alamo by Gotham City’s dark forces? Will any of these foreign policy experts – the ones who so successfully advised Romney’s campaign – decide that Trump represents something more than a brief angry revolt that will have fizzled by November? Will any of them bring their expertise over to The Donald’s camp? And does Trump want them?

Think of it this way. If Trump is going to successfully attack Hillary during what will be a nasty, nasty campaign, he will need to home in on things like Benghazi and do so from a detailed, informed perspective. The disasters in Iraq and Syria and Clinton’s role as Secretary of State will have to be mercilessly hammered on. And he will also have to fend off Hillary’s counter attacks, which will come fast and furious. The Putin-Trump bromance will have to be swatted away time and time again. Trump will need some wonks on his side. Right?

Because if Trump feels he can take on Hillary on foreign policy without having his own contradictions exposed and without having some capable experienced advice, he is likely mistaken. He can’t refdefine America’s foreign policy on the basis of his shrewd but untutored gut instincts. Can he? No, he can’t. Not in a general election. So all you John Hayers. Some of you may at some point want to help. Maybe. But leave the poetry out of it, please. And if you need convincing from the man himself, consider what Hay wrote in 1884:

I have never been able to appreciate the logic that induces some excellent people every four years because they cannot nominate the candidate they prefer to vote for the party they don’t prefer.