Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trump Comes Out Swinging

It’s a boy/girl thing. It’s a weak/strong thing.

Yesterday, to the horror of his opponents, Donald Trump came out swinging. He went at them, directly, unapologetically. He sounded steroidal. 

Unsubtlely, he attacked his predecessor for being weak and cowardly, for refusing to name the enemy as “radical Islamic terrorism.” Trump pronounced the words, not quite to Obama’s face, but clearly and forthrightly. The media was horrified.

Trump declared that he wanted to unite the nation under the banner of patriotism. He declared that there was no room for prejudice when we were all Americans. He wanted to fight against the divisiveness engendered by his predecessor. The media was more than horrified. It was apoplectic.

Barack Obama had submitted to Iran, had surrendered to Islamic terrorism, had happily declared himself to be a citizen of the world, and embraced Angela Merkel’s cosmopolitan “open arms” madness. Trump retorted with an assertion of manliness, toughness and an aggressive posture. He declared that he would destroy ISIS and reclaim America’s inner cities from gangs and drugs.

True enough, he overpromised. One suspects that he will not be able to deliver. And yet, as Chris Matthews said last night, if he makes significant progress in these arenas, he will be counted a success. Surely, it matters that we now have a president is not willing to coddle criminals and to blame crime on white police officers.

If the nation has been fighting what Christina Hoff Sommers calls “a war against boys,” Donald Trump started the counterattack yesterday. Women are going to march today to reassert more womanly values. We shall see how that works. I suspect that it will unintentionally reinforce the Trump message.

After all, how could anyone not be sickened by the spectacle of American college students, traumatized beyond endurance, crying into the towels, hugging their puppies, sucking their lolly-pops, whining, whimpering and moaning over the result of an election? By Trump’s lights, and I am sure he is not alone, the snowflake generation needs to be slapped around… metaphorically, of course.

A little forced discipline, whether by a Trump or by the Tiger Mom, is better than sending out an army of therapists to listen empathetically to their plaintive wails.

Trump would certainly have done better to avoid the discredited slogan “America first.” His nationalistic and patriotic message would have worked much better if he had not evoked a slogan that was at best pacifist and isolationist, and at worst, pro-German.

Of course, Trump now has to deliver on promises that seemed more like threats. He has to do what he said he was going to do, to attack problems and to solve them. Otherwise, we were watching macho bluster, a giant bluff.

Yet, the barely loyal opposition is continuing its fight. It will fight against Trump as it fought against the Tea Party, as it fought against conservatives, as it fought against climate change skeptics, as it fought against Republicans, and as it fought against Fox News. The American Left, the Obamified Left has always known who the enemy is. It has been more comfortable fighting the enemy within, especially the enemy within the American mind than it has been fighting the nation’s enemies.

Recently, the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat offered this assessment of the Obama policy in the Middle East:

My fellow citizens, during the last eight years, the Obama administration has pushed for a settlement-building freeze, has surrendered to the Iranians and radical Islam and abandoned Israel to a hostile U.N. resolution
And, of course, Obama’s legions, having conceded world leadership to Russia and China now insist that Trump must declare war on Russia. Talk is cheap, especially on the pusillanimous left. For his part Trump has declared that he wants to deal with Russia and with Vladimir Putin.

He laid down another gauntlet yesterday when he repudiated the Wilsonian foreign policy that had been practiced by three prior administrations. When Trump said:

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.

It brings back memories of John Quincy Adams.

Last week I noted that Stephen Cohen, writing in The Nation, declared that Trump ought to resist those who don’t want him negotiate with Russia. According to Cohen, the true enemy is radical Islam and we might need Russia as an ally to fight and destroy it.

We recall that Wilson was not only the architect of the administrative state.  Winston Churchill once intimated that Wilson was the one man who could have stopped World War I. Considering that the Great War was, according to George Kennan, the defining event, that is, the defining catastrophe of the twentieth century, failing to stop it was a world historical error.

As you recall, in early 2015, when Germany sank the British ship, the Lusitania, Theodore Roosevelt argued in his op-ed columns that America should intervene in the war. To which Wilson opined that he was: “too proud to fight.” Cowardice can exact a terrible price.

One notes in passing that yesterday Trump returned the bust of Winston Churchill to the oval office. A symbolic, but meaningful gesture.

Wilson wanted to “make the world safe for democracy.” George W. Bush had a freedom agenda. Trump has rejected those policies and has discarded a moralistic, ideological foreign policy in favor of a Kissingerian Realpolitik, a balance-of-powers policy. The goal  of Realpolitik is to balance the interests of the different players, not to try to make the world into a new Jerusalem.

Fortune magazine reported on a recent Kissinger interview. I quote its report at length.

Henry Kissinger is OK with Donald Trump's bromance with Valdmir Putin. In fact, he said he hopes the two leaders get even closer.

Speaking via live stream at the World Economic Form in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, shortly before Trump's Inauguration, Kissinger said that he agrees with Trump's "general attitude" toward Russia. The former Secretary of State said America needed to be less confrontational with Russia, and that that should be a major priority for Trump.

"I hope that an effort will be made for a serious dialogue which tries to avoid the drift towards confrontation and in which Europe, America and Russia come to some agreement about the limits within which military pressure is carried out," Kissinger outlined.

Kissinger also took a jab at outgoing President Obama, saying that the he had withdrawn from areas of the world that he shouldn't have.

At one point, Kissinger said that Russia's leader Putin has "secured equilibrium in the world."

To be continued….


Ares Olympus said...

When offering advice to a new president, probably you can't go wrong with "Be bold" and "think big". At least you'll get to be responsible for what happens.

Here's some quotes from Trump to consider. My favorite "Rules are meant to be broken." What could go wrong?
Here are 21 of Donald Trump's best quotes from a lifetime in business.

1. "Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make."

2. "What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."

3. "It's a blip, not a catastrophe."

4. "As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big."

5. "I don't hire a lot of number-crunchers, and I don't trust fancy marketing surveys. I do my own surveys and draw my own conclusions."

6. "Everything in life is luck."

7. "If you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you."

8. "A tiny leak can sink a ship."

9. "When you are wronged repeatedly, the worst thing you can do is continue taking it--fight back!"

10. "Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to act effectively, in spite of fear."

11. "Remember, there's no such thing as an unrealistic goal--just unrealistic time frames."

12. "Criticism is easier to take when you realize that the only people who aren't criticized are those who don't take risks."

13. "I only work with the best."

14. "Leaders, true leaders, take responsibility for the success of the team, and understand that they must also take responsibility for the failure."

15. "Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game."

16. "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war."

17. "Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion."

18. "Rules are meant to be broken."

19. "Your business, and your brand, must first let people know what you care about, and that you care about them."

20. "In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake, but by what you finally accomplish."

21. "Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken."

Trigger Warning said...

There's a difference between an opening position and a "giant bluff".

Believing a billionaire is bluffing is a bad bet.

Of course, it's not all up to him. There's Congress, who rarely deliver anything except ridiculous, megalomaniac legislative titles (e.g., the "Affordable" Care Act, affordable only when other people are paying the bill).

Anonymous said...

"As you recall, in early 2015, when Germany sank the British ship, the Lusitania!" Changing the date makes history fresh.

Olympus Ares said...

The best Trump quote ( I think it was him, but at the very least someone much like him), particularly apt today with the Womyn's March on Fertility in DC, is...

"What is best in life? 

To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."

Brookside said...

The women marching today have resorted to knitting pink hats to protest President Trump. How ironic. They are not the least concerned about women that suffer under Islam, or women trying to raise children in crime infested neighborhoods.
They are open to every culture as long as it is not American. They don't want to be protected by American men. Islamist men are waiting in the wings.
They are Burka Ready Women.

Dennis said...

Mostly white women who need therapy. Kali's death cultists

Anonymous said...

The Great War.

1. By end of 1915, leaders of all the major powers knew it was hopeless. Victory would be Phyrric (sp).

But Peace Talks were out of the question. After so much loss, leaders feared Riots & Revolution. Perhaps correctly (IMO). Two more years of mindless massacre.

2. Soon, the Triple Entente lost Russia. Strengthening & emboldening Germany.

England & France were bankrupt. W/o US, they'd be forced to seek peace. Wilson lengthened the war (a v bad decision IMO).

Several Brit historians, including Niall Ferguson, assert it. And convinced me.

Wilson was a terrible POTUS. Virtually comatose during final two years. COL House & Mrs. Wison (illegally) took power. -- Rich Lara

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

It is clear that the concept of "America First" is a really, really radical and disturbing idea to a great many Americans. That's where we are in America today. Curious.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Really think about that... "America First" is radical and somehow divisive. Well then, what ought to go first? Really, let's hear it. What should go first? Being a citizen of the world? Are America women in burquas a possible option? A fashion choice? Would that bring happiness to American women? People had better wake up and realize that culture is E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Everything! People are being hopelessly naive. We are a nation. To pretend otherwise in some self-congratulatory and morally magnificent manner is to be living in an alternate universe. Safe spaces, indeed. Safe spaces for what?

Brookside said...

An article from The Daily Caller is about one of the four main organizers for the women's march today. She is Linda Sasour, head of the Arab American Association and is linked to Hamas.

Anonymous said...

Ever consider what the average or median income of today's protesters is? You might be shocked to find out it's not low.

Anonymous said...

Gah, just how did US turn out like this?

It explains why we have girls like Lena Dunham and Emma Sulkowicz.

Pop Culture with its whore idols and Political Correctness with its dementia created a generation of vulgar stupid trash.

Dennis said...


"When I think of feminism I think of Hamas (not mine)". They seem of have commonly shared goals, killing children for they own benefit and beliefs. I am trying to think of what the differences in blowing up a Palestinian child and partial birth abortion? I guess the Palestinian child does not know it faces death whereas the partial born child feels the pain of having its brain sucked out or being killed. If one can kill in this gruesome manner is it not easier to justify killing anything that gets in the way of self actualizing?
You have come a long way baby.

Dennis said...

After listening to these women talk about abortion and other topics one wonders whether Florence Nightingale was not only right, but prescient as well.
Also interesting that Soros is tied to at least 50 groups involved in this so called Women's march.

Dennis said...

I do love free speech. I would do nothing to stop these protests especially the Women's so called march. This was one of the best examples of why the left will fail. It was an orgy of insulting and alienating millions of Americans. You go girls.
Does one really want to take moral instructions from any of these women? Women running around dressed as a Pu**ys screaming expletives, threatening to "blowup the WH," and not one cogent example or explanation of why they were there other than hate and the desire to kill their failures to take responsibility for their own bodies, et al. Yeah women's march.
Another example of why a "fish" really does need a bicycle for who would the fish blame every time the fish falls off.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Dennis @January 22, 2017 at 7:51 PM:

Thank you for sharing that quote by Florence Nightingale. Very interesting. While I will not cast dispersion categorically on women that Nightingale did, I will say there is a danger in our age of phony sympathy that requires no effort, no care, but is merely a public relations in pretending sympathy.

My wife read off a number of Facebook posts from Saturday. These were from women who are her friend, of which I know many. These women were going on in posts about how they were standing up against injustices 97% of us would find unjust. These platitudes were somehow meant to contribute solidarity to this culture of angst that expressed itself in women's marches across America. There was genuine fear, and the emotive harangues and the "Likes" flying around were dizzying. It was all so cathartic and silly. It wasn't serious. It demanded sympathy for their plight as women... women in Trump's America, a brutish and vengeful place.

I really didn't see the point at all. How does one disagree with "Stop Rape"? Or, as one mutual friend so eloquently said, "Don't touch the wet paint." What really settled in with me is how these were all well-to-do women. College educated. Either homemakers or with outstanding careers. These women wanted for nothing. They are protected in one of the most affluent, protected communities in America. Yet they are scared, and they are angry. Angry as hell.

What gives? It seems the more we have , the more we complain and fret over peripheral issues we read about or see on the Glowing Box. I'm inclined to agree with Nightingale. These women don't appreciate what they have, and I doubt they express gratitude to others. They're just want something to get pissed off about, and express phony sympathy to and for others. Clicking a button is not generous. It's patronizing and emotionally voyeuristic. It's not real. Yet point this phoniness out to any of these women and, well... you might as well be Donald Trump, too.

No perspective. Nothing real. No effort required.