ETHICS and the ECONOMY
[Much of what follows is by way of Walter Russell Mead and Tony Abbott (former Australian Prime Minister) in recent Opinion articles in The Wall Street Journal]
American presidents since World War II have largely preserved the liberal internationalism of the times – until now. Donald Trump is a revisionist who’s changing the approach of America to the global order, shifting it from the concept of ‘leading from behind’ employed by his predecessor to a more active role. America now assumes a position of leadership even distinct from that of Ronald Reagan, a position that is shaking up both world and national politics.
Realizing that the Washington Swamp includes major media as well as both political parties, the president has taken to social media to communicate directly with the general population that supports him. In this effort he has shaken up the system to the point of being hated by a cohort of the media and both parties while at the same time remaining in touch with his own supporters. His support in Congress is minimal and he has been unable to fill numerous key governmental positions to the point of stifling his ability to govern effectively. Nevertheless, he’s been able to cut taxes and improve the national and world economies remarkably in just the first year-and-a-half of his presidency as well as lowering unemployment significantly (especially concerning minorities). He has also spoken directly with leaders of America’s adversaries and defused, at least temporarily, threats to world order. America is now more respected (if not particularly liked) by major nations.
This president has upset the status quo, putting other nations on notice that America will no longer be nearly alone in funding world order; other major (and lesser) nations will be expected to share the financial load. He has gotten out of the Paris Accord and will no longer fund futile attempts to lower earth’s temperatures. He is applying economic pressures on China to help control North Korea with some success. He plays down the Russian ‘threat’ as that of a nation inferior in economy and military strength more dangerous to American voting than to world order. In other words, he is not in awe of the two largest threats to America, dealing with them in more of a businesslike nature that that of military opponents. In this effort he is virtually alone, but quite successful. He has put Iran on notice and is willing to work with Arab allies in that regard, so long as they don’t expect us to carry all of the load.
Speaking of successes, this administration has proposed saving $500Billion by deregulating Obama-era auto emission standards; reforming the Endangered Species Act to aid many thousands of landowners; and raising the number and pay of military personnel for the first time in nearly ten years, among other things. Less successful is the move to confirm government appointees by the Senate and solving the immigration problem, along with missteps regarding world trade. On balance, the Trump Administration is and has been quite productive, although the media has been absent in reporting its successes. Future prospects are even better.
Things are pretty good and getting better. It’s time to start capitalizing on improvements and securing our borders. You can help. Vote…