Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Two Americas

As you might have noticed, there are two Americas. The good America and the bad America. The America that elected Barack Obama and the America that elected Donald Trump. The first represents consummate virtue. The second is vicious, dishonest and malevolent.

Mainstream media organizations are pushing this narrative… as hard as they can. No matter what happens, if Trump is part of it, it is bad. Something is wrong. Anything that Obama did is good, no matter how many people died or how calamitous the results.

Dare we note that this is intellectually unsophisticated to an extreme. It has no subtlety, no nuance, nothing that resembles balanced judgment or the work of reason. It is pure bigotry, prejudice in its most raw form. If you thought that all bigotry was bad, think again.

For those who think that Trump is the Antichrist, the recently ended G20 meeting confirmed their judgment. It would not have mattered what happened. They will never admit to a fact that disconfirms their views, so the conclusion was predictable. You recall the riots in the streets of Hamburg—the fault was with Trump. See… it’s easy to belong to the intellectual elites whose sophisticated thinking has descended into pure bigotry.

Anyway, the media has been explaining that President Trump was isolated, even shunned by his fellow world leaders in Hamburg. Rather than being the leader of the pack, he was an also ran, unworthy of the obeisance of great leaders like Angela Merkel.

Everyone has quickly forgotten that Trump was treated precisely as a world leader on his momentous trip to Saudi Arabia. Where were the great European leaders while Sunni Arab nations were forming an alliance against Islamist terrorism? And didn’t they notice that one reason for the expression of good will toward America was that Barack Obama was no longer in the White House?

To dispel this illusion, Irwin Stelzer offers some perspective. He begins with the issue of immigration. You know that Donald Trump has substantially reduced illegal immigration to the United States. By comparison, the nations of Europe are being flooded with immigrants.

Stelzer explains:

Led by Chancellor Merkel (and contrary to the wishes of many members of the European Union) Germany welcomed 1 million largely Muslim immigrants—many with no identification, some with forged passports, most in need of all the welfare state could provide.

The resulting clash of civilizations has made it unsafe in major German cities for women to enjoy an unmolested evening stroll, or a street celebration on holidays. It seems that the immigrants' attitude towards women, or at least the attitude of enough of them, is not quite consistent with the values Ms. Merkel preaches. And the unity of the European Union is fractured by the fact that, having rolled out the welcome mat, its partners-in-union have left Italy to bear most of the costs.

You would be hard put to show how the Merkel open-arms policy has been anything but a major catastrophe. Since the media loves Merkel and her Obamaesque policies, you will not be reading about very much of this. To those of Merkel’s ilk, the problem is not protecting citizens and producing prosperity. It lies in the ability to control the flow of information, to suppress inconvenient truths in favor of lies that make it look like the policy is a great success. And that Merkel is a great leader… a Germanic Hillary Clinton.

Naturally, the media has been up in arms about America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. We alone have dared to defy the will of the world’s technocrats… though, for all I know, the agreement was weighted to punish America and to favor everyone else. If it was negotiated by Barack Obama you can feel fairly confident that it was all about American guilt.

Stelzer puts it in a little perspective:

Being ostracized for having withdrawn from the Paris climate deal seems a price worth paying: The deal is unenforceable. The signatories can change the plans to which they have agreed at any time. And even if they all keep to their promises—something Germany and most other NATO countries have refused to do when it comes to funding their obligations—the effect on emissions and temperatures will be insufficient to prevent the predicted disasters.

As for which countries are leading the world in pollution, Stelzer calls out China and even Germany:

All of this while China continues to increase its emissions and fund coal plants all over the world, some 700 of them, Germany's emissions rise, and Merkel's fatherland relies increasingly on lignite to keep the lights on. 

And then there is the small matter of currency manipulation. Allow me to yield to Stelzer on this topic, but he suggests that the Euro, in and of itself, allows Germany to sell its goods cheaply overseas… all the while impoverishing the nations of Southern Europe:

Meanwhile, Germany continues to run large trade surpluses, in part because for it the euro is an undervalued currency that is immiserating the south of Europe and allowing its manufacturers to steal a march on competing countries.

So, Stelzer is not impressed by the notion that America has been shunned by other world powers.

To be ostracized by a group that has forfeited civil peace so that its well-protected elites can bask in the glow of its kindness to immigrants, and, of course, have access to cheap labor; that extols the virtues of the Paris accord while increasing emissions; that has a leading member that makes China's currency manipulation look like small-time trade distortion? It's more of an honor than an embarrassment.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Lefties are uncomfortable with the word "No." To them, such an utterance is code for bigotry. Yet the political and cultural elites remove themselves from the consequences of their most virtuous policy choices. It's quite disgusting, really... being called a bigot by such people.

trigger warning said...

IAC: "It's quite disgusting, really... being called a bigot by such people."

I see your point, but, personally speaking, I bask in the hate. I find few things in life more pleasurable than inciting a shriekfest among the Left.

Try to think of it as information, a signal that you're doing the right thing. Remember, a strong negative correlation is just as predictive as a strong positive correlation.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Good point, trigger. It's just a reframe that doesn't come naturally. I'll work on it. I suppose that's th pose of my refusal. That, and my comfort with saying "No."

Anonymous said...

W/few exceptions, Euros have Always disdained America. I saw and felt that as a US soldier in mufti.

I tried to pass as a Spaniard. Ha. Scowls, grimaces, tight lipped non-smiles for my money.

We're cowboys, gangsters, dolts, lawless killers (D.H. Lawrence), religious nuts, unscrupulous wheeler-dealers.

They're artists, philosophers, dreamers, poets, intellectuals, scientists, socialists, humanitarians.

Who somehow killed 100+ Million. Ruined in 1945, in terror of USSR till 1989.

We fed, led, protected, helped make them prosperous. Gratitude, phooey.

Most Euros are decent folks. Most Americans came from there, respect the 2500 years of WCiv.

But I dread our politics is becoming similar. And so it goes. -- Rich Lara

Ares Olympus said...

Wow, a lot of self-pity in this topic.

Stuart: The second is vicious, dishonest and malevolent.

If you want proof, you only need to look at the words of Donald Trump. Of course Trump has the biggest heart of all of us, so he's not only the most vicious to his rivals, he's also the kindest to his people.

He's so kind, he's willing to build a wall, and make our neighbors pay for it, because neighbors are there to be bullied and punished for being poorer than we are.

He's so kind, he's willing to give health care for all, and then he let's his GOP counterparts in congress write health care acts that cut taxes for his wealthy elite friends while encouraging healthy people to go without health insurance, and sick people to die because they can't afford what insurance would cost without subsidies.

He's so kind, now he wants to share our cybersecurity with our rivals who seem to be responsible for the biggest cyberattacks against our nation and the rest of the world. Of course he admits it can't happen, but it would if only everyone had a heart as big as Trump's.

The examples are endless, although the question of "who is deserving" and "who needs to be punished" seems ever-changing in Trump's world, and his naive followers.

Trump's election is certainly enough to make cynics of us all, so we'll give up paying attention to politics and let the rich and affluent just all take everything they want.

From Obama's elitism to Trump's anti-elitism, it's out of the frying pan and into the fire.

trigger warning said...

He's so kind, he wants to stop reaching into my pocket and seizing my property!

He's so kind, he wants to stop importing MS-13 thugs and idiots who vote demented Latino caudillos into office.

Thats my kind of kind.

Ares Olympus said...

trigger warning said... He's so kind, he wants to stop reaching into my pocket and seizing my property!

You'll have to go back 104 years and the 16th amendment to correct this problem, and I'm sure the billionaires of any party will all love you for it, their capital gains taxes are still above zero after all, although Republicans do seem to support the military and spending more money than all our rivals combined, and that has to come from somewhere.

I don't know much about MS-13, but it does seem like the US has spent lots of legal and illegal money overthrowing undesirable governments in central and south America. Who are the Latino caudillos?

This presidency reminds me of Reagan's sleepy distracted presidency, lead by Oliver North's illegal activities.

We know the reward for lying to congress if you're a republican - you're deserving for a presidential Pardon and the chance to run for congress!

Who can say how many new GOP stars will rise from the ashes of Trump's presidency? Believing you are above the law is a job requirement for a republican administration.