Bring Our Soldiers Home From Syria And Afghanistan

The withdrawal of troops by President Trump from the Near East has critics and supporters in an uproar. Yet there are overwhelming reasons to forego further US military adventures in Syria and Afghanistan and take our troops out of harm’s way.

The situation in Syria is a done deal. It’s occupied by Russia and Iran. The regime of Bashar al Assad will remain in power until the occupiers say otherwise. The Syrian interlopers have dedicated serious manpower and weapons to help Assad fight against a fledgling resistance. Moreover Syrian Kurds, who have fought mightily against the Syrian army, are under attack by Turkey.

It’s sad to say, but the damage in Syria is already done. Millions of citizens have lost their homes and Assad, the butcher, has summarily murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people. Occupation by 2,000 US soldiers brings nothing to the table other than greater potential for conflict with Russia and Iran.

It’s wise for the president to avoid problems with Russia. An escalation of hostilities could lead to a much more explosive situation in the region. As for Iran the US should deal with it by doubling down on sanctions, and military action if the ayatollahs begin to produce nuclear weapons.

There are other factors at work. Brave soldiers from our all-voluntary military continue to be in peril. What can they do to improve the hopes of Syrians? What is the end game for the country? What is the American mission? Why are our generals so intent on occupying places where locals hate Americans and everything we stand for? And finally, when will we bring our soldiers back home? The families of these brave men and women want to know.

The ubiquitous rationale for keeping our soldiers in Syria (and Afghanistan and Iraq) is that radical groups will flourish in any vacuum created by an American retreat. This perspective doesn’t hold water. The proliferation of ISIS, Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are not going to be hampered by a few thousand troops in Syria and a few thousand more in Afghanistan.

Only serious occupation with many thousands of troops will enable the US to have any impact on the savages that pillage these countries. It’s highly unlikely that Congress or the American people have the stomach for yet another major military incursion.

Afghanistan occupation poses a different set of problems. The Taliban is highly organized and famous for fighting off foreign intervention. They successfully repelled Russian and have done the same thing with the US (the US first invaded Afghanistan in 2001).

There is no positive outcome in the future for Afghanistan regardless of continued US occupation. The government is corrupt and influenced by radical elements in Pakistan.

It’s true that the planning and delivery of the troop withdrawal announcements for both Syria and Afghanistan were amateurish and not endorsed by Congress or the military brass. Even the Trump administration was surprised by the announcement by the president. Naturally critics of the administration focused on the plan’s lack of coordination more than the wisdom of the withdrawal.

As far as our allies are concerned, their inability to read Trump is their own shortfall. Any proposal to Trump, military or economic, that doesn’t take into consideration America’s interests will be dismissed.

For years our allies accepted assistance from the US beginning with two World Wars, a Cold War and now in response to terrorism. The US must make decisions that are beneficial for our country even if they are not what our allies want.

What Are The Odds That Trump Is Impeached?

Every day there’s more discussion about the impeachment and subsequent conviction of Donald Trump. The process of reversing an election of a president would be a monumental endeavor because the Constitution is vague and provides little guidance in this regard.

No president in history has ever been removed from office. Two presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were impeached. The House of Representatives brought charges against both men with a simple majority, but the Senate could not muster a 2/3 majority to convict,

Impeachment offenses are “treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The House is the only body that can impeach the president. It’s an extraordinarily difficult process that requires the accusers to bring charges that fit the constitutional definition of impeachable offenses. Those who drafted the Constitution left the definition of these offenses vague.

What constitutes an impeachable offense? Some say it is whatever a majority of the House considers it to be at a given moment in history. Most scholars reject this interpretation because it would seem like the president serves at the pleasure of Congress.

Nevertheless the Democrats will have the ability to create a list of offenses and impeach the president in 2019 with a simple majority. The charges may not fit the “high crimes” standard in the eyes of many members, especially Republicans.

A second standard for impeachment could be proof of indictable crimes. The House would need to document exactly what these crimes are and that an average American would also be prosecuted for them.

A third standard could be related to the president’s official duties, but a crime must have been committed. In this regard Congress might pass a law that defined a specific action by the president that is impeachable and use it retroactively. Many scholars think this would be tantamount to Congress unilaterally amending the Constitution.

The fourth standard is the language used in the Constitution. The president’s offenses must be treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors. The debate about whether certain actions of the president rise to this level would be epic.

What are the odds that articles of impeachment could be passed by the House, and the Senate could convict the president?

There is a high probability that Democrats will attempt to impeach Trump with their majority in the House. This will depend upon the strength of the specific charges and whether representatives are prepared to participate in a constitutional crisis of great proportions while so much else is happening domestically and throughout the world.

The easiest route would be if Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s witch-hunt discovers crimes by Trump that rise to an impeachment standard. The average American and even our lawmakers have no idea what Mueller is about to disclose. One would think that if Mueller could indict the president in some sort of conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 election, we would already have heard about it.

It’s more likely that Democrats will make a list of Trump actions and decisions and claim that it, in the aggregate, is an impeachable offense.

The list could include any actions by the president that illegally disregard current law. This might involve immigration, treaties and administration turnover, lying to the public or any behavior deemed un-presidential by Trump’s opponents. And there is the possibility the Mueller investigation could substantiate serious obstruction of justice charges against the president. Once again these seem far-fetched.

It’s worth considering whether Trump might resign for personal or political reasons. If Trump acted like most normal people and was not so unpredictable or spiteful, it would be entirely plausible that he resign now as the opposition takes control of the House. He’s going to be dogged by investigations of his time as president and his years past.

If fellow Republicans are no longer are willing to ignore Trump’s dangerous and erratic behavior, they may demand his resignation. Without support from his party, Trump would be unable to govern the country.

All this impeachment talk is probably not going to evolve into anything substantive. The politicians in Washington know that a constitutional crisis would be disastrous for our economy and our reputation globally. Nevertheless the most aggressive members of the Democratic Party are willing to do anything to denigrate the president to increase their chances in the 2020 presidential election.

The more likely scenario is one in which Trump gives up and returns to his ivy tower in New York City.

Mattis Publicly Denigrates Trump

The Truman Doctrine was issued by President Harry Truman in 1947. In it the president indicated that the US should be prepared to fight and prevent the spread of communism. Over the years the doctrine was expanded to include other types of conflicts where “free people are subjugated by conquest.”

This longstanding policy of the US may be in jeopardy as President Trump decreases the presence of US forces in certain hotspots around the world. In recent days he said he would immediately bring back 2,000 troops from Syria and soon will decrease the US presence in Afghanistan by 50 percent.

The proposed actions, along with several other offending comments by the president, caused a great divide between Trump and the Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis. The latter indicated he would resign in February to give the president time to name a replacement. After a careful reading of Mattis’ resignation letter, the president dismissed Mattis immediately. This is the second time a president has dismissed Mattis. Obama fired him after he refused to comply with his Iran policies.

Many have lauded the general for having the courage to stand up to his commander-in-chief. Yet I ‘m disturbed by Mattis’ overly political manifesto that has gone viral. By suggesting Trump is not concerned with ignoble intentions of Russia and China and the importance of our close allies, he disparaged his commander in a manner that weakens the reputation of our country even further.

The general certainly should be guided by his conscience and experience and resign if he disagrees with the president’s strategy in Syria or any other issue. But to criticize the president as he’s walking out the door was not an act of heroism, humility or class in my opinion. Rather he should have exited quietly, with dignity and respect, like so many great generals have done throughout history, think back to General Collin Powell retirement, regardless of his personal feelings towards Trump.

The liberal press, Democratic opponents and even some Republicans were overjoyed to see the president taken down a few notches. This dissatisfaction with Trump is totally understandable, but exposing our dirty laundry to the rest of the world will make it more difficult for the president to address pressing issues beyond the minutia investigated by Robert Mueller. Keep in mind Trump is going to be in the White House for two more years unless he resigns under pressure or is impeached as recommended yesterday by Tom Friedman, a NY Times columnist.

I think the specific decision by Trump to exit Syria is appropriate and reasonable. The blowback from hawkish politicians has been resounding. They say US aversion towards conflict where people are being repressed is bad policy. The naysayers believe that a strong response and continued support in regional conflicts like Syria are critical to American leadership.

But is it really? Trump sees no upside in subjecting our troops to unnecessary peril in Syria. The country is occupied by Russian and Iranian troops. A fledgling resistance supported by Syrian Kurds has fought courageously against the Syrian army led by the tyrant Bashar al Assad. But it’s a hopeless cause.

Assad mercilessly attacks the resistance and innocent bystanders with the assistance of his allies. This assault has resulted in thousands of deaths and millions of refugees. Certainly the quest for freedom by the Syrian people meets the qualifications laid out in the Truman Doctrine. But the US must know when it is wiser to walk away.

Until now the US has kept the remote possibility of ousting Assad alive. But it is a fruitless endeavor unless the US goes all in. That would mean more US troops will be deployed, and direct confrontation with Russia and Iran will be inevitable.

What would the end game be for continued American involvement in Syria? Ideally it would be the downfall of the Assad regime. Even if the Russians and Iranians allowed this to happen, what group would assume control? It could possibly result in even more violence.

Trump has made the right move in Syria. Middle East countries and their citizens eschew American occupation, even while our soldiers risk their lives to protect the people. There is no upside for American diplomacy in this conflict.

Trump may, in fact, be a threat to the Truman Doctrine as he considers American alternatives overseas. But he should not be judged harshly for walking away from Syria. If Iran uses Syria as a platform to spread violence, the US can always reconsider aggressive military action.


Trump Will Not Run For A Second Term

IWe all agree that Donald Trump is a different kind of guy. He’s driven by adulation, ego and the urge to win. The president continuously boasts about his accomplishments using “est” words. “The Trump administration is the greatest in history.” “The tax cut was the biggest ever.” “The wall will make the US the safest country in the world.”

Since his inauguration the president has been talking to himself. Only the most naïve and least informed Americans think the man is the best in any regard.

Another dominant character trait so many Americans find disturbing is that every controversial situation is a fight to the death. There are never problems that he and others can agree upon without resulting in bad feelings.

Even more disconcerting, Trump is a very bad winner. When he gets things done he gloats and celebrates victory by denigrating those who opposed him. Smart politicians mend fences after a tough fight, to position themselves for the next confrontation.

Trump is not a statesman, even though he should appreciate that America wants this quality in its leaders. Every time he goes on a crusade, he begins by threatening his counterpart.

Sometimes Trump uses a strategy that is so obvious that other leaders snicker behind his back. Putin, Xi, Macon, May and others start out being the president’s bffs, and when they push back, they become enemies of America. This radical, inconsistent behavior befuddles other leaders. They can’t trust Trump when he commits to something in negotiations. And Trump’s perspectives about what took place in private talks are always exaggerated.

The president is definitely a phenom. He was a successful businessperson, disliked by most, who managed to become president. He did so by relentlessly attacking the status quo and convincing many voters that politicians were all crooked, lying and incompetent swamp creatures. This ploy worked swimmingly through the election. However, Trump never pivoted and tried to patch up old wounds.

No president can be successful without support of Congress. If the opposition controls the legislature, the president must find common ground, or he won’t be able to accomplish anything.

Obama is a perfect example of this. He alienated congressional Republicans and was stymied for the balance of his tenure. Trump is facing the same dilemma in the wake of Democrats gaining control of the House in 2018. If Trump had built bridges with Democrats, our government would be able to operate in spite of philosophical differences. Trump’s next two years are going to be a living hell for him and all Americans.

This brings me to the point of this essay. If you live by the sword, you’ll die by the sword. Republicans are embarrassed that such a brute is the leader of the party.

His behavior and quirky decisions make Republicans cringe every day. They pretend to support the president, but they don’t. Like many average Americans, Republicans thought Trump would change his spots once he moved into the White House. He didn’t, and now Republican leadership is in jeopardy.

Trump cannot employ experts to help him develop new policies good for the country. Backstabbing, leaks among the members of the administration and Trump’s style of management are making it impossible to govern effectively. As soon as a new person assumes an important position, he or she is planning to leave. It must be very difficult to work with such a mercurial person.

And finally, the Democrats. With control of the House they will waste time and money denigrating, investigating and antagonizing the president. The House majority will make it impossible to develop and pass new legislation. It makes no difference if initiatives are good for America. Obstruction, the Democrats believe, is the path to a Democratic presidency.

Most importantly the opposition will continue to dig into every misstep by Trump and his sycophants. They will look into his business dealings and reopen scabs of the president’s sordid past. It will be very ugly and unproductive.

So why, one would ask, would a self-proclaimed billionaire put up with all this sh–? I believe, even Trump won’t be able to deal with such treatment for the next two years. I predict he will abandon efforts to run for a second term.


Obamacare Is Back In The News

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m exhausted trying to keep up with the machinations of both political parties. The latest issue is the revival of our old nemesis- Obamacare. The question is: should it be restructured or flushed down the toilet?

A conservative judge kicked off the latest brouhaha by ruling that Obamacare was unconstitutional because a new law passed by Congress eliminated the “mandate”. The mandate relates to the requirement that every American must have health care insurance or pay a fine.

These fines were supposed to encourage healthier Americans to buy Obamacare health insurance, which would offset the costs of paying for the unhealthiest Americans among us. To say it another way, healthy people would be taxed for the benefit of unhealthy individuals.

The judge indicated that the mandate was necessary to make Obamacare work, so the mandate’s demise made the whole Obamacare law unconstitutional.

There are two benefits that everyone, including both political parties, wants to retain from Obamacare, the right to be able to buy insurance even if you have a preexisting condition, and expanded Medicaid assistance for the most needy Americans. Because of universal agreement on these issues, they would be logical starting point for a new political effort to clean up health care. It’s not likely that this will work currently because Congress and the president are in a dysfunctional mode.

The major obstacle for a new law is the insistence of many liberals that health care be a one-payer system (that being the federal government). This would be an enormous undertaking and certainly the most expensive route to take.

Allowing the federal government to control such a gigantic part of our economy is a recipe for disaster. The feds have not been successful operating businesses for the benefit of their constituencies in recent history. The probability of abuses, higher taxpayer costs and inefficiencies is high. Notwithstanding this, most of the two or three-dozen Democratic candidates for president are adamantly for a one-payer system.

Republicans would rather have a private health care system that would be competitive and strive to bring down health costs for the federal government and all Americans. Today’s version of Obamacare is fraught with fewer choices, high premiums, greater deductibles, bloated and unnecessary coverage and inefficiencies. In fact most Americans need to retain advisors to help choose the right plan.

Fewer and fewer plans are available as insurance companies are walking away from this unpredictable business. The current Obamacare system is about to implode, even after trillions of dollars have been wasted trying to make it work.

In the meantime both political parties are politicizing the Obamacare conundrum. It’s too bad the namesake of the disastrous program is now in retirement and not bearing any responsibility for the terrible law he jammed down our throats.

Democrats believe they can make political points by repeating over and over that the opponents of Obamacare are going to eliminate the precondition guarantee and the Medicaid assistance for the needy. This ploy will not succeed.

The fact is that health care is a monstrous issue that threatens the financial viability of the country. The government should oversee the system, but not operate it. All those who abuse the system including pharmacy companies, cheating doctors and patients who file false claims should be prosecuted. A private system that closely monitors health care is the best path to follow. Socialized medicine will never be successful in this country.


China Is Not Yet Overtaking The US Economically

A short time ago I suggested on this blog that the US had a distinct advantage in the escalating trade war with China. This was based upon the extreme imbalance of trade that I believed favored America.

For the past several years it seemed like everyone was convinced that China was on the verge of overtaking the US economically. I don’t believe this is necessarily true.

Xi Jinping celebrated all this by making himself the leader of the country for the rest of his life. Maybe his elation has been a bit premature.

On the dark domestic side, China was making a mockery of free trade by supporting its homegrown industries with oversized tariffs, and stealing trade secrets from any foreign company that did business on main land China.

Further, bank lending mandated by the government to bolster the domestic economy has now come home to roost. Banks are leveraged to the hilt and many financial experts are concerned about their solvency and the number of defaults popping up every day.

Yet Sinophiles still think China is going to overwhelm the US. Even thought the Chinese government falsifies its economic performance, it has become obvious that its economic growth is declining. The auto industry for example has reported that sales were down over 16% in 2018 after many years of positive results.

The Chinese government is sanctioning work leaves and sending millions of workers home without pay. This could have huge ramifications should it continue. Workers are complaining publicly that they are not able to work enough hours to support their families.

A few months ago nobody was reading the tealeaves in their haste to criticize Trump’s trade onslaught. In 2018, through October, China sold $447 billion of merchandise to the US, and the US sold $102 billion to China. This imbalance gives Trump the upper hand in an economic showdown.

If Trump continues to increase tariffs on Chinese goods, it will devastate the Chinese economy. In fact this is exactly what is happen to an extent, and the president has a lot more tariff opportunities if China refuse to negotiate in good faith.

The US is China’s largest trading partner. By decreasing orders because China’s products are noncompetitive with tariffs, Trump can effectively create unemployment in China, even if the latter calls it temporary work furloughs. How will the Chinese feel about their leader when the country has workers on unemployment lines? This could become an existential threat to the Xi regime.

It should be noted that the Chinese, who are always concerned about saving face, are suddenly becoming more amenable to negotiating a settlement with the US. In a nutshell Trump’s tough stance with China is beginning to bare fruit.

Economic strength is proving to the newest weapon of mass destruction being wielded by the US.

Will French Unrest Spread?

The riots in France are directed at the administration of President Emmanuel Macron. They are emanating from the political left, right and middle class.

The French people have lost confidence in Macron. Two thirds of them believe the government will not be able to unite France.

To date there have been four deaths and 4,000 arrests among the “yellow vest” demonstrators. The original riots were inspired by an increase in fuel taxes, which significantly impacted the middle class and poor of the country. Macron rescinded the tax hike after violence and protest broke out throughout the country.

The beleaguered president also agreed to cut taxes on pensions and promised to “increase wages” for struggling middle class and poor workers in an effort to end civil protest.

The actions of the government have not make a dent in the negative polling of Macron. Fifty seven percent of the people are “not wooed by the young leader.” Sixty percent said the president is not listening to the people. Seventy three percent back the yellow vest movement. Fifty four percent want protests to continue.

The French unrest is reminiscent of the Occupy Wall Street disorder a few years ago. The movement is leaderless and disorganized. It is destructive to property and commerce in the big cities, which is impacting many of the people that, ironically, are supporting the demonstrations.

The poor, the right and the middle class all have gripes with Macron, which account for his horrible polling numbers.

The poor reacted violently to the gas tax hike and have not backed off in spite of the Macron’s actions to rescind the tax and call for higher wages.

The right wing demonstrators are angry about Macron’s progressive perspective towards illegal aliens. This group is encouraging a more nationalistic approach by the government to protect jobs that are being taken by interlopers.

The middle class is in an uproar that the demonstrations have not been controlled. This is resulting in huge losses for merchants and the destruction of stores and vehicles during the holiday sales period.

How does all this violence impact other neighboring countries? In Europe dissatisfaction is growing every day. The poor are protesting difficult economic conditions, while right wing groups are resenting illegals more each day.

Nationalistic fervor will continue to spread to other places. Already we have seen the announced resignation of Angela Merkel in Germany, chaos in the Italian and Spanish governments and an unsuccessful but significant no-confidence vote in Britain. The later situation has all the same issues as France but is exacerbated by problems relating to Brexit.

Is Trump culpable for the growing unrest in countries around the world? The left in the US would say yes. I would disagree and suggest that what is happening was inevitable.

Trump’s nationalistic sentiments are far different than in other places. For one thing the American people are not losing jobs to illegals. Illegals are straining the resources of federal and local governments, but that is of little consequence to lower and middle class Americans.

The US economy is cruising along seemingly immune to the issues in other parts of the world. Unemployment is low, inflation is virtually nonexistent and wages are increasing. Even fuel costs are temperate aided by a seemingly orderly oil market.

Americans have little to complain about. Yet many continue to be focused on income, gender and racial inequality.

The morale of this story is that the US is in relatively good shape, notwithstanding the absurd actions and commentary of our president. Average citizens and politicians disagree about immigration security, disparities among different groups and continued gains made by the affluent.

The US should continue to prosper in 2019, although political strife will not subside. But most importantly we probably won’t experience the kind of nationwide discontent that is overwhelming many other countries.

Can The World End Air Pollution?

The NY Times reported that a Trump plan to open nine million acres to drilling and mining threatened the sage grouse. Apparently the birds are nesting on “some of the richest deposits [of resources] in the American West.” Wikipedia says: the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is the largest grouse (a bird species) in North America. Its range is sagebrush country in the western United States and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. Its population is declining and in danger of extinction.

The world is at a crossroads. Are we going to wean ourselves away from fossil fuel, which is polluting our planet, or not? Using the sage grouse to combat environmental abuse is absurd.

If America needs more access to oil deposits to remain oil independent, a few rare birds should not deter it. If America is determined to contribute to the efforts to decrease the effects of fossil fuel, it must be brave and take unprecedented action.

The fact is that too many other developed(ing) nations are not able or willing to stay the course and decrease fossil fuel usage. Most are signatories to the Paris Climate Change Accords. The hypocrisy of these countries is staggering. They sign agreements, which call for prescribed reductions in pollution, and don’t enforce them.

President Trump rightly walked away from the sham Accords. He never said he would relax important and necessary standards. Rather he wanted to point out that few countries are doing their part in the process to clean the air.

China and India are experiencing their own industrial revolutions. Manufacturing facilities are popping up throughout these countries. Currently the most efficient fuel to operate these facilities is coal. The future impact will be significant. Will either of these countries forego economic progress for less pollution? It’s unlikely.

In some cases the issues are more systemic. In China millions of people use coal to heat their homes. Without it many would freeze in winter. This application of coal is highly toxic. There are no alternative sources of energy for a great number of people.

The real answer is technology. Unfortunately too many companies have too much invested in current energy sources that are responsible for pollution.

For years domestic car companies delayed the development of electric engines. Retooling to produce clean air electric vehicles and eschewing high profit, gas-guzzling autos would have depressed the earnings of these companies. Recently there has been some movement towards electric motors, but it has not been fast enough.

New and clean technologies have all sorts of issues. Nuclear is clean, but facilities are expensive, take a long time to erect and operating problems can be catastrophic, especially when citizens are threatened by radioactive leaks.

Solar and wind power have been fraught with many types of delays and mismanagement. They are, unfortunately, not large enough to make a dent in fossil fuel usage.

The real target should be the automobile. More gas users are overrunning the globe. In New York City and most other large cities, thousands of Uber, Lyft and Juno call cars have over populated our streets. How many of them run on electric energy? Local governments with foresight would have required these call car companies use electric cars.

The stakes are high. If the world is going to move at a snail’s pace regarding fossil fuel, then new sources of it will be needed to keep transportation moving. We should not allow the sage grouse to stymie efforts to find new energy sources in any case. Living without these birds will be easier than living with a shortage of fuel to operate our cars, like in the 1970s.



Must A President Be Likeable To Be Successful?

It was inevitable that the death of George H.W. Bush would lead to endearing comments by politicians and world leaders about his wonderful personality and statesmanlike demeanor. As expected, Bush’s passing has fueled comparisons of him to our current president.

The two men could not be any different. George Bush was the 41st president of the United States, Vice President to Ronald Reagan, Director of the CIA, Special Envoy to China, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, US Ambassador to the United Nations and a Member of the House of Representatives. He was also a decorated Navy pilot in World War II. No man or woman has ever been more prepared to assume the role of Commander-In-Chief than George Bush.

Trump told voters that his detachment from Washington and lack of government experience were his greatest assets (really?). He has been a real estate maven for decades and purportedly earned billions of dollars in the process. His corporate experiences did not prepare him for what happened after his election, as we all know. The administration frequently has trouble coordinating efforts, and Trump’s advisors cannot control his emotional responses to everyday life in the White House.

From a personal perspective Bush was known as a kind man who bonded with all those around him, allies and opponents alike. He’s always been known as a good friend to many of the most respected people in Washington regardless of their political affiliations. Trump is a loner whose relationships with others are based upon whether they can be helpful to him.

George Bush was a winner and a loser politically, as he was denied a second term by Bill Clinton. After being defeated he left a note in White House to his adversary (that has gone viral) wishing him great success as the new president. Trump would never be so magnanimous.

The question Americans must ask themselves is whether a president’s likeability really matters. Can we ever be happy with a self-aggrandizing, narcissistic introvert as president if he or she can get the job done?

In spite of the bad feelings regarding Trump that cover a wide spectrum including misogyny, racism, xenophobia, elitism, ethnocentrism, nationalism and much more, he has been doing a good job in many regards. Making friends is not one of his strong points. He does not think it’s critical.

Despite all of his shortcomings the president is determined to keep the promises he made two years ago as a candidate. He is ruthless with anyone who makes attaining his goals difficult. And, arguably, Trump is the most transparent president in history. He has benefited by having Twitter at his disposal to express his opinions at any time of the day in the solace of the White House. Trump is a master of making the news cycle work for him regardless of what other issues are affecting the country and the world.

The president never gives up on any mission. He continues to press forward in the wake of vicious personal and disrespectable attacks by liberals and the press. The man’s determination is second to none. It will be interesting to see how history treats Trump especially if he continues to move America forward.

What does Trump really want to accomplish? For one thing he wants America to be the strongest and most formidable force in the world. How can anyone argue with this objective in the light of what’s happening in so many places? Hasn’t America learned that might makes right? Do dangerous regimes, dictators, terrorists and criminals respond to anything other than brutal force? All Americans understand this, so why aren’t Trump’s efforts to make us stronger every day and to build a fearsome military applauded.

Domestically you cannot find a greater cheerleader than Donald Trump. He calls out American companies who are sending jobs overseas. He pleads with corporate executives to spend and hire more workers. He made it more profitable for American businesses by lowering tax rates. He encouraged Americans to buy by lowering taxes on the middle class. And he aggressively attacks trade agreements that benefit other countries at the expense of America.

For years our leaders have ignored unfair trade arrangements. Why would our leaders agree to tariffs that are less than those imposed by America? It makes no sense. Why would our leaders allow technology to be stolen by Chinese manufacturers? How can there be free trade in the world when other countries protect their domestic companies while US allows subsidized products from abroad to enter the country with no tariffs? Trump has exposed the problems and is working to make US goods more competitive.

Trump is the greatest advocate of a strong border. Our country will not be secure without proper vetting of applications for visas and citizenship. This doesn’t mean America will no longer be a melting pot of diverse nationalities. What other country has been more generous to immigrants than the US?

The problem is that for several decades our leaders have turned a blind eye to immigrants illegally crossing our border. They have ignored the incredible burden that 20 million people have put on state and local governments as they take jobs and in effect overwhelm our troubled medical and educational systems. Notwithstanding all of this, most people, even conservatives, have agreed to allow those illegals already in the country to stay with just a few conditions.

One is that they must be law abiding and pay taxes. Another is that everyone should agree that not one more illegal alien can come into the country. If this means a wall, let’s get it done. All the talk about disbanding the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency needs to end immediately. And the sanctuary city and state efforts should be abandoned. They are insulting to all Americans.

Trump has forcefully dealt with aggressive leaders of other countries while trying to maintain good relationships, a monumental task. At times this strategy seems choppy, lauding a leader while imposing sanctions on his country. But it’s a complicated world.

Trump can be that president who forsakes comity and good relations for results, if Americans give him a chance. Yet it’s doubtful that history will ever reward this unique leadership style.