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The end of the road.

April 9, 2018

WTF is he doing?

That seems to be the question on everyone’s mind as President Trump doubles down all at once on everything from border security to North Korean nukes to Russian aggression to Chinese economic manipulation.

It isn’t so much what he is doing, as when he is doing it that seems to be boggling everyone’s mind.

It seems like a bad time to do all this, just eight months before the midterm election. Is it?

In a word, no.

The GOP seems to want candidates to run on what has already been accomplished. The President wants voters to support how much there is left to do.

That brings us to the question of timing. Unfortunately, for most people there never is a right time.

That’s kind of how we got to where we are today. Take the so-called trade war, for instance.

Although as yet none of the threatened actions by either side have actually happened, just the threat has roiled the stock market and affected prices for everything from pigs to gasoline.

That is undeniably hurting real live people, from the auto parts delivery driver to hog farmers, and those are essentially the heart of Trump voters.

New and smaller investors, used to seeing the stock market go up but never down aren’t any happier, especially if their portfolio is funding their retirement.

Like it or not, this what happens when the last kick of the can sends it over a cliff, and given our never-ending election season, these issues are always going to affect some election.

This day was always coming.

At some point, North Korea was going to try to go full-on nuclear, Russia under Putin was going to start going out in the open with its attacks in and on the West, and China, whose leader-for-life no longer has to worry about even sham elections, was going to leverage its economic clout.

It’s unfortunate that all those things happened at once, but they did. That’s the inevitable consequence of appeasement politics.

It would be easier to give Kim Jong Un a few plane loads of cash, turn a blind eye to state-sponsored attempted murder in hopes it wouldn’t happen here yet, or wait until the voice on Alexa started speaking in Chinese.

Maybe that way President Trump could get through at least one term without any major upheavals. That’s how politicians think and after all, it’s been working for both parties for decades.

That’s pretty much what globalism was supposed to accomplish, i.e. making each nation so dependent on the rest that everyone would stay in their corner and play nice with each other.

The only problem is, it didn’t work, even though we certainly tried to do our part.

We pared down our military, opened our borders, apologized repeatedly for our very existence, handed over our technology and at least grudgingly accepted $5 a gallon gas prices, all in the name of getting along.

We played the part of the perfect patsy about as well as we possibly could, until we couldn’t.

All of a sudden the mouse found it had to roar, or keep reaching for the cheese until the trap snapped shut.

That’s how we got Donald Trump, and only time will tell if we chose the right man at the right time for the job.

Lord knows, even his staunchest supporters wince at some of his rhetoric, and his apparent strategy of seeking public feedback through Twitter and open comments that are meant to appear off-the-cuff. Sometimes silence is the best strategy, but sometimes it’s not, and this may be one of those times.

Comments like “…there will be a little pain.”   He knows tariffs, if fully implemented, will hurt some people  and he wants you to know he does.

Make no mistake, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

That’s the trouble with standing up to the bad guys. Being a bad guy has worked for so long, they will always try to keep doing what has worked before.

Like a spoiled child who hears the word “no” for the first time, there will be tears and tantrums.

It’s kind of up to us whether we are the “good” parent that caves in and hands them the lighter, or the one smacks their hand and says “it’s for your own good.”


From → op-ed

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