We are now nearly a quarter of the way through the entire Trump presidency — and, depending how the 2018 elections go, we could be at the halfway mark.
Here are some headlines from that presidency:
“Defying Turkey, U.S. Decides to Arm Kurds in Syria”
“Iraqi Leader, in Washington, Gets Trump’s Assurance of U.S. Support”
“Trump Administration Lifts Sanctions on Sudan, Citing Progress”
“Trump Plans Visit to Asia to Buttress Korea Policy”
There are thousands of ’em, day after monotonous day.
In the last 10 months, has a single manufacturing job been created in Trump’s America? Has there been one opioid death avoided? Has 1 foot of the wall been built?
No, just more of this:
“Trump Praises Philippine President in Call Transcript”
“Trump’s Attempt to End the Saudi-Qatar Stalemate Ends in Recriminations”
Democrats realize that Trump’s main campaign issues, immigration and trade, were kryptonite to his opponents. The Democrats, the media, even Republicans threw everything they had at Trump — a Russian dossier intended to sway the election, an illegally obtained hot-mic tape, 100 percent negative news coverage for 15 straight months.
He still won.
Democrats know how Trump did it — and, unfortunately, they also know how to use the same kryptonite against him.
You will notice that smart liberals are NOT saying, We need more pussyhats, more angry rhetoric, more Rachel Maddow conspiracy theories! No, the smart liberals are begging Democrats to steal the central components of Trump’s death-defying campaign: immigration and manufacturing.
Andrew Sullivan recently wrote in New York magazine: “I don’t believe it’s disputable at this point that the most potent issue behind the rise of the far right in America and Europe is mass immigration. It’s a core reason that Trump is now president.” He called the Democrats’ sudden decision to treat illegal immigrants as a beloved constituency “political suicide.”
Then this week, former Obama administration official Steven Rattner called on Democrats to abandon liberal shibboleths and focus on winning the votes of “white working-class men.” Wage stagnation, he wrote in a New York Times op-ed, is “our most pressing economic challenge.”
And of course, several months ago, the Democrats’ meticulous pollster, Stanley Greenberg, produced a report telling Democrats that, to beat Trump, they need to win back “the nation’s working class communities, starting in the formerly industrial states and Upper Midwest.”
What does a laid-off steelworker, his town drowning in Mexican heroin, think when he reads daily headlines like these:
“Trump Suggests Bigger U.S. Role in Syria Conflict”
“U.S. Warship Approaches an Island Claimed by China”
Gosh, I’m glad we elected Trump! I haven’t been able to sleep at night, worrying about the Syrians and that island claimed by China.
What do the Angel Moms, whose kids were murdered by illegal aliens, think when reading these bulletins:
“As Trump’s Peacemaker, Kushner Finds Common Goals, and Friction, in Mideast Trip”
“Trump Won’t Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Yet”
Well, we didn’t get the wall, but thank God it’s pedal-to-the-metal on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!
At the end of Trump’s term in office, I promise you, the Israelis and Palestinians will not be living in peace and harmony. Kim Jong-un will not have called for democratic elections. ISIS, al-Shabaab, al-Qaida, and the Muslim head-choppers du jour will not have suddenly become pro-life.
The rest of the world will still be a godforsaken cesspool.
That’s why Trump’s campaign slogan to “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” was such a hit. Beyond the self-evident attractiveness of a president caring about us, instead of the rest of the world, fixing our country is at least something that’s achievable.
Our tender ministrations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and 200 other countries Congress is unaware we’ve even sent troops to has accomplished nothing good, and all too often a lot that’s bad.
We haven’t been able to get our leaders to focus on America’s problems for 30 years. The seduction of foreign policy is too great. War, military strikes, treaties — if you’re president, these are the antidote to whatever ails you! Presidents wear the mantle of national security like an amulet.
Any international conflict means a president can’t be criticized abroad. His short-term poll numbers will go sky-high. Even a dunderhead can feel like a master strategist when threatening to deploy the full force of the U.S. military. (See Nikki Haley.)
The rest of the world’s problems will never be solved, but it seems so adult and serious to be “working” on them.
We need to go into the Situation Room, sir. The Democratic Republic of Noos has sent a disturbing cable.
Yes, absolutely! Cancel the rest of my day that I was going to spend fulfilling my campaign promises.
If ever there was a presidential candidate who seemed immune to the siren song of “foreign policy,” we thought it was Trump. We voted for a reality TV star. We didn’t want “gravitas.”
Instead, the smart set’s contempt for Trump seems to have sent him headlong into a fevered obsession with the goings-on in North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Guam, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Qatar, Niger, and little Burkina Faso.
No one cares enough to read past the headlines. There won’t be any snippy lower court judges issuing frame-worthy rebukes of Trump’s travel ban or thousands of women showing up on the National Mall in pussyhats.
So there’s peace.
But there will be no change. Not in the rest of the world and not in the country Trump promised to make great again.