While most voters see right through the intellectual dishonesty, the US media is still trying to convince audiences that there’s something strange about being tough on allies and friendly with foes.
From petty matters in your personal life to issues of enormous consequence in global politics, it’s not at all uncommon to tread lightly with foes and aggressively with friends.
At some point, should strategy and/or diplomacy fail, our relationships with our foes could turn brutally hostile and result in literal fights to the death. But that’s all the more reason we tread lightly with them.
Friends (or allies) on the other hand, pose much less risk. Blowing up at your husband is a lot less risky than blowing up at some stranger or — worse — someone you know and don’t like, and who holds you in equally negative regard (ie, a foe).
There’s nothing remotely unusual or suspect about President Trump being tough on our allies. He campaigned on putting America first while lamenting what he perceived to be bad trade deals with those allies. He also said that one of his greatest qualities as President would be his negotiating skills. And since the media is playing stupid about this, we’ll have to spell it out for them: When then-candidate Trump promised to negotiate better deals with allies he thought were taking advantage of us, nobody thought he meant he was just going to ask nicely. Negotiations are tough. Getting good deals is tough. And when someone at the table has to give up something that they’re accustomed to having, there are going to be some tough conversations along the way. And some parties at that table will, in the end, fare better than others. And if that doesn’t happen, then nothing really happened. You effectively just shuffled some things around to give the optics of change, when no actual change happened.
President Trump, already a billionaire and using the Presidency to actually enrich our nation instead of himself (how novel), is committed to effecting actual change that will help our nation and its workers. And so he’s going to negotiate hard, and hit hard, in pursuit of that. If Trudeau or anyone else want to try to play hard ball back, they’re welcome to. In fact I’m sure the people of Canada would expect it, and President Trump would respect it. But given where our economy is since his inauguration, we’re in a position of tremendous strength. So trying to get leverage on President Trump right now will almost certainly be a losing proposition.
On that note, I always laugh when “experts” whine about Trump picking these battles now, “when things are going so well for our economy.” What would they have us do? Wait until things are going badly and then grovel, asking for help/concessions/welfare? Now, when things are going well, is the time to for us to throw some weight around and stop being a doormat for our friends and neighbors. The world isn’t a socialist order. We don’t confer deals predicated on Marx’s abilities vs needs analysis. We confer charity that way, but not allegedly equitable trade and other international agreements. Previous administrations, terrified of conflict and misguided by idiots who have never spent a second in the private sector, were happy to leave well enough alone. They didn’t want to negotiate better deals for the US. Sure they might shuffle some things around to give the appearance that they’re helping a specific industry or voting bloc, but ultimately they were fine letting the US give far more than we got. “Why upset what seems to be working?”, they were no doubt advised to wonder.
The electoral college handed Trump a victory because we don’t think being the world’s doormat — on everything from immigration to trade — was “working.” We don’t think socialist standards should guide the world order, wherein the US is taken advantage of simply because we’re perceived to be better off than other nations. And he said he’d work harder, smarter and tougher than past administrations — who were largely hobbled by the idiots who are on cable news now insisting that President Trump is wrong. (These are the same idiots, by the way, who said he’d never win the GOP nomination, and then swore he’d never become POTUS. Every time I see one of these persistently anti-Trump people on CNN or MSNBC crying about how wrong Trump is, all I think is “Had he listened to you, he’d never be President. So spare us your so-called wisdom. You’re the reason our nation is in half the messes we’re in. You were wrong then. You’re wrong now. And you’re just scared because he promised to drain the swamp that you and your media pals depend on for survival.”)
So yes, President Trump will be tough on our friends and allies. And despite the hand-wringing, pearl-clutching and finger-wagging from the media and other swamp dependents, there’s virtually no risk in that. And yes again, he’s far more cautious in his dealings with our foes. Those who criticize this dynamic act as if they’ve never heard the expression “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.” Or perhaps, more appropriately, “It’s better to extend an open hand than a closed fist.” Obama intimated that, and was widely praised as a pragmatic peace maker. Trump actually does it, and is chided as a buffoon who is clearly in Putin’s pocket.
President Trump is playing it tough and smart with both our friends and our foes, and the positive results keep stacking up as a result. And the voters see that. And as the media and their swamp bottom-feeding “experts” keep playing stupid about what’s going on — “Why does he praise dictators and attack our friends?!” — they lose yet more credibility while President Trump earns more support from intellectually honest voters who see right through it.
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