Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trump Ends Globalism at the State Department

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

Outgoing Rex Tillerson is, by all accounts, a very likeable fellow, and no one wants to kick someone when he is down.  But President Trump wisely fired him as secretary of state for having an outlook different from Trump’s, and from the agenda Trump was elected on.

We have “different mindsets,” Trump said about Tillerson, as a polite understatement.  “We got along, actually, quite well, but we disagree on a lot of things.”

Indeed. Tillerson was the CEO of ExxonMobil, one of the largest multinational corporations in the world.  No one could hold that position without being a globalist and he did not convert quickly enough to make America great again.

Tillerson was never on the same page as President Trump in standing up against, not with, the many parts of the world that are hostile to our sovereign interests.  A supporter of phony free trade, Tillerson seemed more like the appeasement-type of secretary of state that we would expect if Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election.

It is not merely that Tillerson thought Obama’s sweetheart deal with Iran was “okay,” as Trump complained in announcing his termination of Tillerson.  It was also that Tillerson would say and do things out-of-sync with what the America-First stance needs to be.

Tillerson was mistakenly trying to use diplomacy with the North Korean communist dictator Kim Jong-un while Trump was pursuing tougher measures.  When Trump finally got Tillerson to stop groveling, the situation improved.

Even the media concedes that Tillerson’s departure will not hinder Trump’s highly effective handling of North Korea, which is all-Trump and contrary to Tillerson’s approach.  If anything, a successful outcome of the North Korean crisis is more likely with Tillerson gone.

Given how often Tillerson disagreed during his confirmation hearing with Trump’s positions, it is surprising that Tillerson lasted as long as he did.  In merely one day of testimony Tillerson disagreed with Trump about the harmful Trans-Pacific Partnership, Russian policies toward the Ukraine, so-called climate change, and the need for Japan and South Korea to develop nuclear weapons.

President Trump indicated that the upcoming renegotiation of trade deals was a reason for his timing in letting Tillerson go now.  Trump recently stood up against China by blocking the foreign takeover of Qualcomm, thereby signaling that American technology secrets are not for sale to foreign countries hostile to us.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has long been a much stronger Trump supporter than Tillerson ever was, will step in without the baggage of a globalist mindset.  Pompeo brings a welcomed enthusiasm and focus that Tillerson unfortunately lacked.

“Tremendous energy, tremendous intellect, we’re always on the same wavelength,” Trump said about Pompeo after picking him.  “The relationship has been very good, and that’s what I need as secretary of state.”

In addition to his stellar record of being first in his class in West Point and then serving in the Army, Pompeo has a strongly conservative track record as a congressman from Kansas.  His positions include being outspokenly pro-life and taking many stances that fit hand-in-glove with those of Trump and the conservative movement.

Phyllis Schlafly praised the freshman congressman Pompeo in early 2011, for sponsoring a budget amendment that would have cut $8.5 million from the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Registry.  She applauded how Pompeo observed that the registry would be “the very foundation of the EPA’s effort to pursue its radical anti-jobs agenda.”

Unlike Tillerson, Pompeo has been a leader in cracking down on terrorists from Muslim countries.  When confronted with an alleged hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp for terrorists, Pompeo took it upon himself to personally visit the camp and quipped afterwards that it looked to him “like a lot of them have put on weight.”

For months it has been perceived that Tillerson, who is younger than Trump but appears older, has been unhappy in his position.  He failed to fill key vacancies in his department despite being on the job for more than a year, and at key moments seemed to be in his home state of Texas rather than in D.C.

Trump was perceptive in his post-firing comments: “I think Rex will be much happier now, but I really appreciate his service.”  With Mike Pompeo in charge at the State Department, Americans can be more confident that the interests of the United States will be foremost in any foreign policy decision-making.

It took a year, but we have finally arrived to the point of “let Trump be Trump,” reminiscent of the moment in 1984 when “let Reagan be Reagan” started to carry the day.  President Trump is acting boldly on his instincts rather than being blocked and dissuaded by naysayers around him, and there is no limit to what he can achieve with this approach.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Russians did not subvert democracy

The NY Times reports:
Trouble has now arrived. Unfortunately for Mr. Thiel, the storm is centered on Facebook, whose board he has been a member of practically since its founding. The social network, which billed itself as bringing democracy and enlightenment to the world, was used by the Russians to subvert democracy and sow confusion in the United States.

Even people paid to see the future didn’t see that one coming.
And only extreme Trump-haters see it that way today.

Hillary Clinton spent about a billion dollars in her campaign for President. In addition, nearly all of the mainstream news media were supporting her in editorials and in biased news stories.

According to the NY Times, some Russians spent a couple of thousand dollars on a Facebook ad saying that Hillary was Satan, and showing a picture of Satan arm-wrestling Jesus. And that subverted democracy?!!
Last summer, there was a flap when a memo by a fellow board member, Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, appeared in The New York Times. In the memo, Mr. Hastings wrote to Mr. Thiel that he displayed “catastrophically bad judgment” in supporting Mr. Trump.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, did not ask him to step down from the board, and reports that he wants to leave the board are incorrect, Mr. Thiel said, noting that among other things that he brings “ideological diversity.”
So Facebook is willing, just barely, to tolerate 1 out of its 10 board members being a Trump supporter. The other 9 are leftist Democrats. And the big issue in Silicon Valley is whether to kick the one Republican out of town!

What the Left sees is an opportunity to monopolize the dissemination of political ideas. They can't control Rush Limbaugh and a few others, but they can control CNN, NY Times, Facebook, Google, etc. Now they hope to shut down free-lance Russians that they cannot control.

Saying that the Russians were subverting democracy with their silly Facebook ads is so crazy that it is hard to believe that anyone seriously believes it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

How Trump Wins on Trade 

by John and Andy Schlafly

When President Trump announced he would protect American jobs by imposing tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum, naysayers of both parties rushed to the nearest microphone or TV camera. Pundits and politicians alike pretended to be “shocked, shocked” that Trump meant what he said as a candidate, and that he actually means to deliver what he promised during the campaign.

The Swamp, in short, is not happy.  But cheers rose from the manufacturing belt that runs through the states that put Trump in the White House:  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

“This is a good thing for the steel industry and for our country,” said Tim Timken, the fifth-generation leader of TimkenSteel, which has 3,000 employees in Ohio.  “We’re standing up to our foreign competition and essentially saying enough is enough,” he added.

While foreign lobbyists warned of a new “trade war” in which other countries retaliate against the United States, U.S. Steel CEO David Burritt pointed out that “We are, and have been, in a trade war for decades.   Countries which have economically prospered by creating our current trade imbalance will face repercussions to their own economies if they choose the path of retaliation.”

Peter Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, debunked the notion that the United States could lose a trade war with Europe or Asia.  “We are the most lucrative and biggest market in the world. We have the lowest tariffs in the world, we have the lowest non-tariff barriers, we are the free-tradingest nation in the world."

“And what do we get for that?” Navarro asked.  “We get every year a half-trillion-dollar trade deficit that transfers our wealth to other countries and basically offshores our jobs and our factories. All we are asking for is fair and reciprocal trade.”

The rest of the world wants unlimited access to the American consumer without complying with American regulations and without paying American taxes.  “Under my administration,” Trump boasted in his speech to CPAC last month, “the era of economic surrender is over.” 

“We’re renegotiating trade deals that are so bad, whether it’s NAFTA, whether it’s the World Trade Organization, which created China.  China has been like a rocket ship ever since, and last year we had almost a $500 billion trade deficit with China” ― money that finances the growing Chinese military. 

Critics are exaggerating the cost to consumers by adding a tax to foreign-made steel and aluminum.  Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross ran the numbers and found that the aluminum tariff would add just six-tenths of a cent to the cost of a soup or beer can, while the steel tariff would add about $175 to the cost of a $35,000 car.

Tariffs are much like the out-of-state tuition that state colleges charge students whose families have not supported the college through taxes.  Most state colleges require out-of-state students to pay more, and most people fully support that sensible requirement.

Similarly, tariffs help level the playing field between offshore manufacturers that escape the extra burdens and costs of operating a business in America and providing jobs to Americans.  Requiring those foreign companies to pay more for the privilege of selling to American consumers is perfectly logical given how the foreigners have not been paying American taxes or complying with our regulations.

The resistance to tariffs comes from the same never-Trumpers who assured us that Trump could never be nominated or elected.  Peter Navarro noted that nearly all the other presidential candidates opposed Trump on trade, but “guess what?  He beat them.”

Thirty years ago, when Donald Trump was in his early 40s, his views on trade were much the same as they are now.  He told Larry King that he was “tired of watching other people ripping off the United States.”  He told Oprah, “I’d make our allies pay their fair share.”  

Trump told Letterman that nations such as Japan have “totally taken advantage of the country. I’m talking about the [trade] deficits. They talk about free trade [but] they dump the cars and everything else.”

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who supports the Trump tariffs, observed that “Free trade hasn’t worked well for West Virginia.” Maybe that explains why Trump carried West Virginia with 69 percent of the popular vote, a whopping 42-point margin over Hillary Clinton in that formerly Democratic state.

Just as entrenched politicians in D.C. have blocked Trump’s efforts to build a Wall, they also protest too much at his effort to impose a few tariffs.  Yet the approach of a tariff-less society has been a catastrophic failure for the American worker, so it is time to try the approach that originally made our country great.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The President is not a Monarch

Joseph Epstein writes a WSJ op-ed:
My son Mark, whose mind is more capacious, objective and generous than mine, nicely formulated the Donald Trump problem for thoughtful conservatives. “I approve of almost everything he has done,” my son remarked, “and I disapprove of almost everything he has said.” ...

I disapprove of the bragging tweets, the touchiness, the crude put-downs of anyone who disagrees with him ...

The presidency, like the monarchy in England, has a symbolic along with a practical aspect. ...

The obverse of Donald Trump’s presidency for me was that of Barack Obama. To flip my son’s formulation, I approved of almost everything Mr. Obama said, and I disapproved of almost everything he did. ...

I can easily imagine myself at lunch with Barack Obama, talking baseball, basketball, the University of Chicago, the intricacies of Chicago-style machine politics, whereas I cannot think of a single topic I might take up at a similar meal with Donald Trump.
No, the presidency is not like a monarchy.

If you agree with Epstein, then ask yourself: How would a President with Trump's policies ever get elected, without someone with a personality like Trump's?

Trump has had to tweet in order to get his message out, as the mainstream news media distorts everything about him.

Trump has had to abrasively challenge his enemies, as he would get destroyed otherwise.

Playing the role of a dopey nice guy worked well for Obama, but it would not have gotten us reversals of bad Democrat policies.