Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
If CNN had any clue as to why they have declining ratings, they need look no further than one of their recent opinion pieces by Julian Zelizer, a CNN political analyst. In a piece posted online, the Princeton professor outlines the horrors inflicted upon America by the international order that he, the author, lies at the feet of President Trump who he compares to Groucho Marx in Horse Feathers.
And just what has Trump done that ruffled the feathers of the good professor from Princeton? Let us count the ways.
Preserving historic alliances? He’s against it. As promised, Trump has followed through to keep “America First,” but it has been to the country’s disadvantage globally… As a result of his blistering words and policies, most recently with the separation of migrant children from their families at the US southern border, the President has reversed the improved standing that the US had achieved around the world under Obama. He has taken concrete steps to pull out of a series of international agreements that were at the heart of international efforts to combat climate change, reduce the nuclear threat and strengthen global market exchanges. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal have all been abandoned in the President’s first year and a half in office.
Well, imagine that: a CNN analyst railing against putting “America first.” If one remembers correctly, that was the mantra of Trump’s campaign and I am sure there are a few red hats floating around out there with that very message.
As for America’s standing in the world, allegedly improved by Obama, when you go globetrotting apologizing for every ill in the world and placing it at the feet of America, I guess that now qualifies as “improving one’s standing in the world.” Regarding pulling out of the Paris Climate Change Accords, it is people like Zelizer who believe that signing such an agreement will somehow save the world from exploding in a heat ball. And Iran, a designated terrorist state by several administrations, will suddenly see the error of their ways. With the TPP, again remembering the campaign, Hillary was for it before she was against it. Unlike most people elected to President, Trump is actually 3 for 3 on these campaign promises here.
He goes on:
Pursuing peace and reconciliation? He’s against it
. In the Middle East, the President is playing a dangerous game by throwing strong support to Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Starting with the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump has shifted US policy in the region away from any attempt to achieve a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. Instead, the US has
influenced a regional alliance between Israel and the Persian Gulf States against Iran.
So now it is a “dangerous game” to support the only democracy in the Middle East and a staunch ally. Apparently to Zelizer, you cannot offend a staunch European ally, but you can the Israelis. In fact, this bold outlined statement seems to contradict his previous bold outlined statement. Then again, Zelizer seems to think that Iran is no problem in the Middle East because Obama wished it away. As for Jerusalem, that now makes Trump 4 for 4 on campaign promises.
Avoiding the disastrous trade wars of the Great Depression era? He’s against it. On the economic front, the President has further alienated our allies by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.
In a tweet, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) complained,
“Europe, Canada & Mexico aren’t China. You don’t treat allies the same way you treat opponents.”
And with China, President Trump’s trade war has now officially gone into effect. On Friday, the US imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products. Warning that President Trump has “launched the largest trade war in economic history,” the Chinese immediately hit back with its own $34 billion tariff on US goods.
These moves make Trump 5 for 5 on campaign promises. If we’re talking steel and aluminum from Europe, we are really talking about Germany who exports only about 4% of the steel they produce to the United States. As for China, $34 billion is a drop in the bucket given the trade imbalance with that country. Before we start invoking the ghosts of the Great Depression, why don’t we wait and see how this all pans out? Of course, he lends some “credence” to his complaint by trotting out Ben Sasse who seems to like Twitter and Facebook a lot more rather than legislative achievement.
Zelizer is not finished:
Standing firm against authoritarian regimes? He’s against it. With President Trump in the Oval Office, the United States has also been remarkably quiescent and sometimes outright supportive of authoritative regimes. Human rights don’t seem to matter in the Trump White House. Strong-states have thrived — most notable has been Russia. The President has refused to come down hard on almost anything that the Russians do, even after US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had interfered in the US election on an unprecedented scale…Added to that list is Kim Jong-un. Thus far the opportunity for a historic diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea has not materialized. Though it is important to give the administration time to work out a deal that would curb North Korea’s nuclear program, Trump’s strategy has only served to elevate Kim on the world stage.
This is just plain silly on so many levels. First, regarding human rights, the last time we had a President who based foreign policy on “human rights” we had hostages taken in an embassy in Iran. Second, the Trump administration has implemented sanctions not only on Russian officials, but also Russian companies and those who do business with them above and beyond those required by law. And in case Professor Zelizer was unaware, anyone with nuclear weapons that poses a threat to the United States is already “elevated on the world stage.” Benign neglect, or strategic patience, which is what Zelizer seems to be suggesting, got us into this situation with North Korea in the first place.
News flash for CNN: Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton and, by extension Barack Obama, won the 2016 election. As Trump heads to Europe for meetings with NATO allies- yes, they are still allies despite the pablum from the Left- let us be reminded that Trump, unlike previous candidates, is actually keeping campaign promises. You can argue with the substance of those promises which is what elections are for, but be careful of what you wish for. To date Russia has been sanctioned out the butt (is there anyone left in Russia to sanction?), some NATO countries are increasing defense spending, trade partners are put on notice, Iran is becoming isolated, we are at least talking to a threatening nuclear state and the oceans have not inundated our shorelines. Oh- and ISIS has been defeated and all in all, Afghanistan and Iraq seem to have stabilized. Are they “great?” No, but they’re a hell of a lot better now than they were under Obama despite Obama.
Trump is the anti-Obama and we are all still here. Just remember that CNN is the same news organization that gives a voice to Chris Cuomo, Brian Stelter, Chris Cillizza and Fareed Zakaria- or to use a Zelizer analogy- Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo. At least they were funny.