Since he has taken office, President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE not only has metaphorically translated Fischer’s insightful, creative boldness into his foreign policy, he has done so in cascading tiles of fresh, previously unimaginable moves.
For the eight years prior to President Trump taking office, we had an American apologist in the White House. Prior to that, we had eight years of a president who was part international appeaser and part obsessed with a desert wasteland called Iraq. Neither of them were ambitious, concerned or courageous enough to address glaring problems in the world order that were eroding America’s prominence and strength.
And now here comes the America-First Donald J. Trump, taking on every single issue and adversary left alone by his predecessors to fester and strengthen.
The president has opened up multiple advances on multiple diplomatic and military fronts. So radical are the moves that it is hard to grasp that he has been in office only slightly more than 500 days.
Regarding China, since the “Nixon opening” in 1972, administration after administration has been obsessed with expanding our trading relationship with that sleeping giant of which Napoleon warned “let her sleep. For when she wakes she will move the world.” Decades later, non-communist but highly fascist, China has weaponized its economy to take advantage of Western avarice for cheaply made products. Today it owns nearly $2 trillion of U.S. debt, while our trade deficit with it was approximately $367 billion in 2017.
President Trump has had the courage to stand athwart free-trade fanatics (an aside: we never have had free trade with China) and those obsessed with appeasing the Chinese so as to not risk conflict. His initial moves on both tariffs and tone seem to have gotten their attention. With China wide awake and not going back to sleep, President Trump is asserting American power to make sure China stops moving our world.
With the recently concluded G-7 Summit, the president again took decisive action when, at the end of the event, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a shot at the president and his trade policies after he left. By rescinding America’s concurrence in the summit’s joint communique, Trump showed that under his watch the United States is much like John Wayne’s character J.B. Books in “The Shootist”: It won’t be wronged, it won’t be insulted and it won’t be laid a hand on. Even by its allies.
The president also floated the idea that Russia be allowed back into the G-7. This has met with predictable hysteria from allies and the press. Since everyone agrees Vladimir Putin is not the guy you would name as your daughter’s godfather, they conclude he can’t be part of any alliances. But Putin is not the worst Russian leader with whom the U.S. ever contemplated a relationship: Josef Stalin made Putin a Nobel Peace Prize winner by comparison; we fought alongside Stalin to defeat a more menacing threat in Hitler. Today, the combination of Islamic terror and Chinese muscle-flexing seem to make an alliance with Russia a bold, game-changing idea.
Then there is the summit with Kim. The president’s mastery in bringing Kim to the table, while right out of “The Art of the Deal,” is potentially a move toward what every beauty pageant contestant wants — world peace. The moves he has made in this effort impact China, Iran and every other nation on the globe. We will see where it goes but whatever comes of this meeting, the president is always playing a long game. That long game is restoring America’s position as the global leader.
America’s “best and brightest” are not the people who inhabit elected political office long-term. America’s best are the men and women of enterprise. They are those in the private sector who innovate, take calculated risks, build things, grow things, produce wealth; they make decisions based upon opportunity for growth and return. Typical politicians make decisions designed to insulate themselves from risk and to enhance their power, privilege and prestige.
Donald Trump stepped straight into the Oval office as a titan of industry. He is now operating U.S. foreign policy as he would his business enterprise. He is maximizing the value of the U.S. brand. He is boldly stepping into new markets. He is looking at lost markets and deciding how to regain them. He is figuring out which are his non-productive divisions and jettisoning them.
This is the new America, Inc. — a mature nation that, because of bad management and poor decisions, lost its place in the market. Now, under new management, it is bringing back the lines that made it great and is adding new ones to secure its future place at the top of the nation-state category.
The parallels with Fischer end here. It is not very likely that Trump will ever be willing, or needing, to sacrifice America’s queen.