by Thomas J. Walsh
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
About a month ago, a family member, who is respected in the Republican Party and in international finance, posted on Facebook that our allies do not trust us and other countries do not respect us and some even despise us and, he insisted, it was because of campaign rhetoric. Whose campaign rhetoric? Well, he did link to an anti-Trump New York Times piece.
Now I claim no great expertise in international finance, but after a dozen years in various colleges, universities, and graduate programs I can do simple math which makes me question his premise. Mr. Trump declared for the presidency in mid-June and we’re supposed to believe that by mid-July the reputation of the United States tanked? Either the premise is erroneous or Donald Trump is the most powerful human being in history. Maybe we should look back in recent history to see if there might not be other reasons.
For four years, beginning in 2009, Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. She spent that time doing a non-stop intercontinental pub crawl and, if we are to believe certain allegations, trying to shake down every government and foreign business for her “foundation”. To her credit she was not selling the United States at flea market prices. The numbers cited indicate that is was the Rodeo Drive retail of country selling.
What about trust from our allies? Other countries knew that she had her own, unsecured, e-mail server. The British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, had his private secretary e-mail Huma Abadin, Hillary’s assistant, on a secure State Department e-mail account rather than send secret intelligence directly to Hillary on her own e-mail server. Could this have contributed to our poor reputation in the world?
Our foreign relations track record for nearly seven years has been less than stellar. It started with the Russian “Reset” button fiasco, moved on to Libya, the Arab Spring, the cancellation of our intended anti-missile defense in Poland, Benghazi, Yemen, ISIS, Ukraine, Russian adventurism, South Sudan, the Chinese navy in the South China Sea and off the coast of Alaska, delivery of useless helicopters to Egypt, Japanese radicals blowing up a US supply depot, and our capitulation to Iran on nuclear weapons. Most recently we canceled joint military exercises with South Korea because North Korea objected.
Our borders are meaningless; police are being attacked in the streets; and we have ceded American culture to all others in the name of multiculturalism. What is there to respect? What is there to fear? Yet we’re supposed to believe Donald Trump’s comments, over a five week period, are the reason for America’s declining reputation in the world.
Maybe the basic question here is that of respect. Why do we want other countries to respect us? Historically, respect is not what makes countries and empires flourish. Fear is what does it at the national level. Respect is an individual human thing. It’s earned over time and we all want our family, friends, and professional colleagues to respect us. For nations it’s different.
The very idea of respect for a nation is what I refer to as “Star Trek politics.” It’s fiction. It’s the nonsensical idea that wars can be ended with all parties sitting down together with a wise ambassador or starship captain. Sorry, but waving your hand and imperiously stating “make it so” is not how anything gets done in the real world. For those of us who think the current bloated Federal government is a detriment to American prosperity and individual freedom, any “Federation” must be the ultimate abomination.
There are those who strive for a world government such as the “Party of Davos”, that annual gathering of all the would-be global elites, but they do so for their own egos or personal wealth.
Though it ignores economics and other essential issues, even Star Trek cannot stray too far from reality. If they were supposed to be “Kumbaya” with other planetary cultures, why do starships have phasers and photon torpedoes?