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Patsy or Peacemaker?
History will treat this week far kinder than the present political classes have been. While the likes of Chuck Schumer may see President Trump’s historic visit to North Korea and his meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un as giving aid and exposure to a reviled dictator, there can be no doubt that this was a long-overdue overture to peace on the peninsula.
When Trump stepped over the small concrete step in the DMZ at the invitation of Kim, he was sending three messages:
- To Chairman Kim: I trust you, and you should trust me; let’s work this out.
- To the North Korean people: You are not alone, I’m working to get you the freedom you deserve.
- To the American People: Look what I can do! Aren’t I great!
But even as Trump became the first U.S. president to visit North Korea, the communist nation’s delegation to the U.N. accused the United States of being “more and more hell-bent on hostile acts” against Pyongyang. Is the president being used as a pawn in a game of global politics designed to quell the issue of trade balances? With North Korea essentially acting as a proxy state for the Chinese government, very few acts take place without some kind of to and fro. Could further progress in negotiations be a tool for China to put an end to the costly trade war?
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, “President Trump is the maker of peace in the Korean Peninsula,” and although it may be too soon to tell if this moniker is prophetic, there has never been greater hope that we are entering the first days of peace and the last days of conflict.
What to Watch For
Expect Democrats to remain largely silent on the North Korean issue. For Donald Trump, this is a legacy builder that, coupled with the economic boom, could make him an unassailable target in 2020. Contenders for the throne will want to avoid any talk of “history-making” as they campaign for those much-needed donations.
A Place for Patriots
As the United States celebrated Independence Day on July 4, it’s worth asking exactly what is happening with patriotism. It has become, in many minds, an ugly word associated with the worst excesses of nationalism; recent polling suggests that Democrat and Independent voters are less patriotic now than previously. Yet what does nationalism actually mean?
As LN’s Graham Noble writes:
“Nationalism is not a bad word even though, in certain parts of the world at certain times in history, it has had negative connotations of racial superiority, xenophobia, and exclusion. American nationalism means none of those, though. As is often said, America is a nation of immigrants, and nationalism in the United States cannot, by definition, make exceptions for ethnic origin.
A nationalist is a person who values his or her own nation above all others, and, in that respect, those who aspire to govern should be viewed with much suspicion if they reject the concept of nationalism.”
Shouldn’t we expect those who are campaigning to lead the country, those who are asking for your vote, to actually value their own country? It seems almost a prerequisite for the job. Yet in today’s pandering political climate, to express a value-opinion for one culture over another can be deemed as imperialism or racism. Surely the issue is with the politically correct fake piety rather than expressing honest patriotism.
What to Watch For
Most Democratic candidates will attempt to portray an internationalist approach that puts illegal immigrants on the same level as American citizens with regards to rights and access to the public purse. It is a reach to the far left that may well be the final unbalancing of more than a handful of campaigns.
Washington Whispers & Other Juicy Tidbits
Be on the lookout for:
- Before the summer recess, expect major horse trading to take place to get the U.S./Mexico/Canada trade deal signed.
- Be on the lookout for an international escalation of tensions with Iran. Britain may end up siding with President Trump over the European Union.
- Heat is building up in the Swamp over what line of questioning Dems and GOP are going to take with Robert Mueller during two upcoming public hearings.
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