Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Great Pretender

In his recent trip to Cambria County in western Pennsylvania to talk to people who had voted for Donald Trump, Michael Kruse found several individuals who claimed that the President was true to his word. He writes

“He’s kind of the last best hope, in my opinion,” said Bala, 65, a retired high school Spanish and reading teacher. “I haven’t run into anybody who’s said they’d never vote for him again.”

Next to Bala was a gray-haired man who told me he voted for Trump and was happy so far because “he’s kept his promises.”

Kruse challenged the gray-haired man on the wall to increase border security, the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), and defunding Planned Parenthood.

"Not his fault," the gray-haired man responded, refusing to give Kruse his name because "I don't trust you."

It's ironic, of course, that it's a reporter the gray-haired man wouldn't trust. Evidently not a young man, he has seen numerous politicians make promises, get elected, then break promises. Still- or, oddly, maybe because- he decided to believe a real-estate mogul who had sought their votes because he would abolish "crime and violence," bomb ISIL and take their oil, and get a poor country to pay a rich company to put up a wall the poor country desperately fears.

The con man also had

knocked trade deals with China as unfair to the American worker so frequently as to make his percussive pronunciation of China a hallmark of impersonators.

Mr. Trump appeared in his speech to pre-empt criticism from economists and business groups that have argued his policy proposals would lead to a damaging trade war with China and perhaps other countries.

“We already have a trade war,” Mr. Trump told the crowd, departing from his prepared remarks. “And we’re losing, badly.”

Its leaders were "using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China" and, famously, perpetrating the hoax of climate change. We "cannot continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're doing" he bellowed.

Perhaps most telling, though, was when the con man claimed "We don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to devaluations and all of these countries all over the world, especially China. They’re the best, the best ever at it. What they’re doing to us is a very, very sad thing."

What they're doing to us. That must have been a long, long time ago now that

I do not blame China or any other country, of which there are many, for taking advantage of the United States on trade. If their representatives are able to get away with it, they are just doing their jobs. I wish previous administrations in my country saw what was happening and did something about it. They did not, but I will.

The leader of the Blame America First crowd, who when campaigning blamed mainland China for "what they're doing to us," now does not "blame China or any other country" but American administrations. When convenient, Donald Trump is quite the xenophobe; but on trade policy, it's Americans, not a foreign country, who are responsible.

Given his earlier remarks, the cave-in to Beijing on Thursday, and Donald Trump's past, one of us should have asked the candidate back in May of 2016: "is it really bad that China is raping us?"

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