The temptation to compare President Trump with President Obama is rampant, especially in the press. However, President Obama was widely liked outside the United States because he followed an ideology which was markedly different from what the US had followed since the end of the Second World War, and his calculation that a kinder, gentler apologetic United States would create an atmosphere of peace and goodwill throughout the world instead created chaos and war, aggression by the world’s worst regimes, and mass migration and refugees fleeing the results of his utter failure to act. He completely eschewed the power of the United States in favor of weakness, totally miscalculating the extent to which the strength of the U.S. in fact is the peace.
Yes, the world believed Obama was “such a nice guy” (so much in fact he won a Nobel Prize even before he earned it). But in truth, that is not the role of the United States for the last 70 years, and far from ushering in an era of peace, Obama fomented divisions that will take decades to heal. So, while so many people are apt to say that Donald Trump is isolating the United States, he is doing that which Obama should have done, asserting the positions of the U.S. with determination and backing it up with action. Despite his having fallen into the old North Korea-Communist China chess game, President Trump has ruffled feathers because he has not followed Obama’s Oppeasement policy. It is not his role to be well-liked, only well-understood. Whether or not he can do that remains to be seen.
Irrespective of the arguments for and against the science of climate, the “Paris Climate Accord” was Obama’s gift to China and India, and to Europe, and over a hundred countries, giving away billions to those who should have taken the responsibility for their own climate policies, such as China, which keeps passing itself off as a developing nation despite it having the second largest economy in the world, and too much economic blackmail power as a result. As I mentioned before in prior posts, China in fact under the accord will actually keep increasing its emissions until 2030, and the U.S. is supposed to pay billions for it having gained that competitive advantage while the U.S. reduces its footprint by impossible degrees. I believe when negotiating the Paris Accord, President Obama through Kerry must have said “Wait, let me bend over for you first…”
Obama’s negotiating policy of “take me, take all of me” was naive and stupid (and Iran is another example of his asinine approach, as well as almost the entire Middle east). President Trump is not the brightest bulb in the marquee of life, but he is hopefully better at negotiating than Obama was. Of course, so far, President Trump’s tangles with Xi have not been stellar, as he appears to have been led down the garden path by Xi on North Korea, once again (as has every other president since Clinton was first bamboozled 25 years ago).
The press is fond of painting the U.S. as becoming isolationist under Trump, but in fact, the President is merely reversing Obama’s Oppeasement foreign policy, which at its core, involved making every single other country happy at the expense of the U.S., as though that was what was needed, as opposed to a firm and steady hand.
Having rejected the notion that the U.S. has a role to play as the leader of the free world, Obama just went about smiling, shaking hands, singing songs, and being a gentler, kinder America. Let’s see how that worked out. Russia (whom President Obama laughed about during his first campaign) goes crazy around the world, takes Crimea, invades Ukraine, teams up working with Iran and supporting Assad in Syria, and Obama did what? Wagged his finger? China builds artificial military islands in the South China sea, props up North Korea while promising assistance stopping its nuclear program, cracks down on human rights, oppresses Taiwan at every opportunity, and Obama did what? Wagged his finger (maybe he wagged it, but I am doubtful, since the alleged pivot was in fact a pirouette). Kerry goes on a hate fest directed at the greatest ally of the U.S. in the Middle East, Obama pushes Israel on every front and gives Abbas a free pass on every front, and this benefited the world how?
The US is not the timid mouse of the free world. When the U.S. is timid, bad people rape and pillage. When the U.S. is a tough son of a bitch, the bad people run and hide, as well they should. This has been the only policy in the last 70 years that has kept the world spinning, liberal ideology of peace and happiness notwithstanding. In fact, liberal ideology of peace and happiness does not exist without a strong United States. Peace and happiness is the end goal, but is not achievable against evil by the U.S. sitting on its hands singing Kumbaya (keep in mind that under the rules of engagement established by President Obama, the U.S. was in fact sitting on its hands time and again (even on the battlefield), creating the notion that in the pinch, the U.S. would not act, red lines notwithstanding). I can’t believe I am writing this again….”All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Doing nothing should not be an option.
Taiwan is free now because the US has not sat on its hands since the six assurances, though Obama did a pretty good job of doing just that. I don’t trust what President Trump will do, but I do trust the U.S. Congress which supports Taiwan against China nearly 100% (back in 2000, in the last year of Clinton’s administration, a bill to strengthen military ties with Taiwan passed by 370-60 – opposed by President Clinton and some of his Party, but not enough to kill the bill – Clinton and his supporters argued that “ambiguity” was useful, while the proponents of the bill argued they wanted no ambiguity about support for Taiwan by the United States). In December 2016, the defense budget, including references to enhancing military engagement with Taiwan (“Sense of the Congress on Military Exchanges between the United States and Taiwan), was passed 92-7 in the US Senate (only 6 senators and Bernie Sanders voting against it) and 375-34 in the House of Representatives). The Congress fully supports Taiwan. The President, constrained by diplomacy, often cannot be as direct as the Congress. But the will to protect Taiwan from Chinese aggression is quite clear.
I suspect the U.S. will continue to work towards cleaner energy, perhaps not with the complete abandon President Obama would have liked. But the Paris Accord was a hell of a haircut the U.S. took under Obama.