Trump, Trade and a Century of Peace

The following, with some slight changes, appears in today’s American Thinker

 

For 28 years, the American people have been played for suckers. Since the fall of communism in 1989, we allowed ourselves to be taken advantage of, militarily and economically. The working men and women of this country have paid the biggest price for this foolishness.

It made some sense back during the Cold War, when we needed a world wide alliance against the Soviet threat. But once the USSR was gone we refused to act in our own self interest, out of unthinking inertia and a desire to promote the globalization project. Globalization was the path to world peace, according to deep thinkers like the Bushes, Clintons and Obama. The welfare of the American worker was sacrificed for this higher cause.

The election of Donald Trump changed all that. The global project was out, and America First was in. The world took notice, quickly.

The first to react was South Korea. That country’s spectacular, and improbable, transformation from an economic basket case to a first world powerhouse was possible only because of the free trade policy of the United States, backed up by the U.S. Navy’s guarantee of free world commerce. The South Koreans are an American dependent, and they know it. They quickly cut a trade deal with Trump, KORUS, which has been fully implemented. The best hope for South Korea is that we will find them useful in the future.

Next up was Mexico. Another economy dependent on trade with America, and a political leadership painfully aware of that fact. After his election in mid 2018, incoming President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador let his predecessor know that if a deal could be made with the Americans, he would sign on when he came into office. The deal was cut, and ratified six months ago. The USMCA is not a sweetheart deal for Mexico like NAFTA, but it was the best deal they were going to get.

The Canadians, under prima donna PM Justin Trudeau, somehow thought they could resist this new trade regime. But they soon had to confront the reality that they can’t function economically outside the American orbit. Not long after the Mexicans, they signed on to the USMCA as well. They really had no choice.

Japan’s Prime Minister Abe watched this all happen, and drew the logical conclusion. Four of his country’s largest trading partners — the US, South Korea, Mexico and Canada — were now part of an American led trading bloc. Japan’s other major trade relationship is with China. So Abe had no real choice. He had to cut the best deal he could get with the Americans, and he took it in September. He had no alternative.

With the election of Boris Johnson in the UK, the tight circle of America’s closest allies will soon be complete. The upcoming trade deal with the United States is Britain’s best, and only, hope for better economic times. The transition will be painful for some sectors of the British economy. But the Brits have no better alternative. They have a special relationship with us, and we’ll give them the best terms we can, consistent with our own self interest. They bring things to the table that no one else can– like a navy with two powerful supercarriers.

Add in Australia and New Zealand, and all the great maritime nations of the world are comfortably under the American umbrella. Central and South America are included as well, as junior partners. India is a friendly affiliate, along with most of southeast Asia. The Dutch and the Danes will partner up in due time.

This all leaves China out in the cold, along with Russia. But just now the Chinese have begun to come to their senses. Russia can’t really do them much good. They need to reach a new, fundamental understanding with the United States. That process is now officially underway. Our two countries are at the beginning of a long and winding road. As Lao-Tse said, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and that step has been taken.

President Trump has succeeded in all these negotiations not because he knows the art of the deal, though he does. He’s winning because he understands that the United States is by far the most powerful country in the world, and under his leadership it’s becoming even more dominant. He’s got the high hand, he holds all the cards, and he’s the first President since Reagan who fully uses this strength to his country’s, and ultimately the world’s, advantage.

Peaceful American engagement with China is the key to a peaceful 21st century. It’s a hard pill for many to swallow, but President Trump is creating a new world order, founded on geopolitical reality and mutually beneficial commerce.

And blessed are the peacemakers.

 

Fritz Pettyjohn lifted much of this analysis from Peter Zeihan, author of the uncannily predictive The Accidental Superpower (2014), and The Absent Superpower (2017). Zeihan’s latest, Disunited Nations, is slated for publication in March 2020.

Fritz blogs at ReaganProject.com.

 

 

What’s a Democrat to do?

Pete Buttigieg is a rising star in the Democratic primary, propelling himself into the Final Five, with Biden, Warren, Sanders and Bloomberg.  This is according to the 538.com polling average, which is now the go-to place for polling.  Not only is their model more sophisticated, it’s presented in a format that shows trends over time.

Nobody else is within shouting distance.  And Mayor Pete has a great opportunity in front of him.  He’s been caught, red handed, at a Salvation Army event, and so he’s being attacked for tolerating bigotry.  The Army is Christian, and believe in marriage between a man and woman.  So they’re a hate group.

Buttigieg, being gay himself, is certainly sensitive to homophobia.  But he knows true Christians aren’t homophobic; they accept him and his partner as they are.  Even though the Christian ideal is a heterosexual couple, that’s not a problem for Pete.  He’s all about live and let live.  The gay lifestyle is all about tolerance, isn’t it?

So in the nexrt debate he needs to step up and defend the Salvation Army.  It could be his Sistah Souljah moment.  It could be a plea for tolernace, and respect for opposing viewpoints. It could even be a rousing defense of the First Amendment.   That’s how you attack intolerance on the left.  A gay man taking on the extremes of political correctness would resonate.

Pete and Bloomberg are now political vultures, waiting to feast on the bones of a dying Biden candidacy.  As the actual voting gets closer, Democrats are starting to think.  And right now they’re thinking that they don’t want another hard leftist like Labor’s Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.  Warren is already fading, losing a third of her support in the last two months.  Sanders has been steady for six months.  His 18% share isn’t going anywhere.  His voters are loyal to him, personally.  He had a heart attack, and it didn’t matter.  But he’s stuck at less than 20%.  The people his fellow leftist Warren has lost aren’t going to Bernie.  Without them, he’ll never get close to the nomination.

Which leaves nutty old Ukraine Joe.  The guy’s running a couple of quarts low, and he’s liable to blow up at any minute.  God only knows when or how it’s coming, but he going to go off the rails, big time.  Who will take his place as the reasonable, normal candidate, Buttigieg or Bloomberg?

Mayor Pete’s problem is blacks.  They don’t like him, and it’s because he’s gay.  70% of blacks think homosexual behavior is a sin.  Homosexuality is unacceptable to most African-Americans, especially men.  It’s common wisdom in the black community that vulnerable young black boys are disproportionately the victims of predatory white gays. This may or may not be true, but it’s believed, and Buttigieg will pay the price.

Bloomberg’s problem is his money.  He’s trying to buy the nomination.  Democrats will not put up with a rich old white guy using his wealth to hijack their nomination.

So who’s left?  Andrew Yang and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, each at around 3% in the polls.  As curious as it sounds, one of them may well emerge as the heir to the Biden vote, when Sleepy Joe self destructs.  It will all be a joy to watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wake me when it’s over

The impeachment hoax became a joke some time ago.  But it’s not funny anymore, just boring.  The ruling class is hopelessly out of touch with normal, everyday Americans.  We know it, of course, and they’re beginning to realize it too.  And it’s eating their guts out.

He’s not just Orange Man Bad.  He’s Orange Man Bulletproof.

The promise of Article V

As a former state legislator, I know what would happen if 34 states pass resolutions calling for an Amendment Convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment.  The legislative leadership of each state would meet, and decide who they wanted representing them at this historic meeting.  Every legislature has members who are recognized as knowledgeable in constitutional law, and writing budgets.  These men and women, along with the House Speaker and Senate President will form the delegation of each state.

They will meet at the time and place set by Congress (after consulting with the states).    The Speaker or Senate President of the host state will open the Convention, and will immediately call for nominations to be Chairman of the Convention.  Then temporary rules will be adopted, committees will be formed.

The delegates all know the drill.  They know how to run a legislative chamber, and that’s how the Convention will be run.  Everyone present will understand the procedures to be followed.   It will be orderly, with strict decorum.  CSAN will be watching.

Everyone present will know that their first priority is to propose something that can  be ratified by 3/4 of the states.  So it can’t be partisan.  It has to pass muster in some blue states to get to the supermajority.  So Democrats, who will be in the minority, will be closely consulted throughout.  Nothing will be rammed through.  It will be a deliberative process all Americans could take pride in.

When the delegates succeed in agreeing on a proposed resolution, and prior to adjournment, a delegate will move that the floor be opened to a discussion of what the next Article V Amendment Convention should address.  Most delegates will agree, and a general discussion will take place concerning proposals to reform the federal government.  Term limits will be considered, and campaign finance reform, and other ideas that have broad enough public support to get a 3/4 supermajority.  The topic or topics which attract the most support will then be adopted as a recommendation of the Amendment Convention.

When the delegates return to their state capitols, they will attempt to pass resolutions call for a second Amendment Convention, to propose an amendment based on the recommendation of the first.  If this process succeeds, it can be repeated as along as the federal government needs reform.  It could last a long, long time.

The architecture of the Constitution itself will be amended by the addition of a new, supervisory branch, the Convention of States.  It has the power to control the other three branches, so long as it acts in unison.  Any democratic institution that requires a 3/4 supermajority to act is one that will never go to an extreme.

The Convention of States will emerge as the ultimate safeguard of American freedom.  Just as the Framers intended.