Donald Trump has had more than his share of crises since becoming president. Terrorism, health care, Russia, Syria and North Korea are only part of the story. As important are the actions, or inaction, by Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
Let’s review Trump’s performance and status of the aforementioned challenges.
Terrorism. The threat of radical Islamic terror attacks is not abating. Although ISIS is being defeated in the Middle East, it has become a worldwide, decentralized terrorist organization. Young people are being recruited to conduct jihad against civilized and non-Sunni nations across the globe.
Related to this disturbing trend are the untiring efforts by Trump to prohibit most immigration to the U.S. from unstable countries in the Middle East in an effort to avert another terrorist attack. It appears that the Supreme Court will give the administration a green light to proceed with this sensible strategy.
Health care. The health of America is a huge responsibility. Most important are health care expenses, which are a large part of governmental and personal expenditures. Frankly Obamacare will likely create serious financial stress on our economy and the federal budget if the entitlement is not repealed and/or reformed in the near future.
Everybody agrees that Obamacare needs to be overhauled, at a minimum. Yet political bickering and treachery on both sides of the aisle are making progress nearly impossible.
Democrats want to obstruct every initiative by the Trump administration. Very few times in the history of our country has the opposition party taken such a stance against a sitting president. In the worst of times Congress has done its work and legislation beneficial to the country moved forward. Not for Schumer and Pelosi, They want to obstruct every proposal even before the details are available.
But more disconcerting is the position of ten or so Republicans in the Senate that has stymied Trump’s efforts to do anything about Obamacare. When has a majority in Congress fought among its own to waylay reform of a law as large as health care? As this column has suggested previously, the Republican outliers should lose their seats in the forthcoming elections for their disloyalty.
This is not to say that any of the proposed plans for replacing Obamacare have been perfect. But they are far better than the status quo. Republicans must unite to get health care fixed and leave the do-nothing Democratic Party in the cold.
Russia. Just because Russia always seems to be on the other side of every conflict opposing the U.S., it doesn’t mean that America should eschew all contact with Russia. Certainly Russian interference in our election is a monstrous slap in the face, and sanctions are in order. But Russia has a comparatively large number of nukes and a huge standing army. Russia is a force that we must engage with every time it crosses a line. Seeking peaceful resolution of our differences with diplomacy is critical.
Trump has attempted to walk a tightrope with Putin. It hasn’t been easy and the two leaders have found little agreement. America must be totally supportive of its president as he navigates through this treacherous diplomatic minefield.
Most important is that the nonsensical accusations of collusion between Trump and Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton must end. Clinton deserved to lose because she was a horrible candidate. There was no collaboration and most of the accusations about Trump are lies and exaggerations by Democrats.
The latest issue is a perfect example. Donald Trump Jr. spoke with a Russian attorney in mid 2016 that supposedly had incriminating evidence about Clinton. Let’s not be naïve, every political campaign seeks out dirty laundry about the opponent, so Trump Jr. took a meeting with this person. Trump Jr.’s desire to find a political advantage for his father from this source was clumsy and unwise. Incidentally the meeting Trump Jr. had with the Russian attorney did not provide any useful information. And Trump Sr. did not participate in any conversations, nor did he know his son met with this Russian until a short time ago.
Syria. Syria represents a real problem for the Trump administration. A megalomaniac and mass murderer leads the country. Yet he has actively fought against ISIS, which is everyone’s enemy throughout the world. The situation is complicated because the U.S. wants Bashar al Assad ousted, while Russia and Iran are supporting him. Trump has shown strength and courage by launching cruise missiles at Syria in response to bombing of innocents by Assad. This situation will become worse before it improves.
North Korea. Trump inherited this situation from several U.S. presidents that preceded him. Kim Jung-un’s grandfather initiated the problems when he allied with China after the Korean War. Since then China has used North Korea, and supported it, as a buffer. Unification of the Korean peninsula, which would likely be controlled by South Korea, would put a capitalistic, democratic and Western leaning country on China’s border. China is resisting this aggressively.
The strategic importance of this to China is understandable, but at what price? That price to this point has been the evolution of North Korea as a nuclear power governed by a series of crazy, unstable leaders. Somehow a dirt-poor country has managed to build missiles that may be able to transport nuclear bombs to South Korea, Japan, Alaska, Hawaii and the continental U.S.
Trump is seemingly becoming more aggressive towards North Korea and China. His discussions with Chinese leadership appeared to have been productive initially, but the Chinese have disappointed the Trump administration in recent days. The possibility of a military confrontation with North Korea is growing every day as the existential threat towards the U.S. increases. The ultimate outcome of this confrontation is up in the air. Things are very difficult now as North Korea continues to test and perfect its nuclear capabilities.
The world is becoming more dangerous every day. America must stand behind Trump. We must ignore his annoying and immature foibles and support his strategic initiatives relating to terror, health care, Russia, Syria and North Korea. Tying his hands will only enable our enemies to gain more strength.