Reflections On Bush – From A Perot Youth

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It’s a cosmic injustice when a man is a victim of his own success.  I think that pretty well describes George H.W. Bush in the photo above from 1992, as Bush debated Perot and Clinton in his failed attempt at re-election.

I was about 10-11 years old at the time, and had just developed my love for politics and debate.  I knew then what I know now – Bush was a good man, but he represented America’s past.  Perot was the future.  (Maybe not Perot himself, but the ideas he ran on.)

Bush always had a modesty about him, and that’s part of the reason he was underappreciated at the time.  But he was actually a very significant one-term President.  I recently heard his dear friend, and wise former Sec. of State James Baker say that Bush was the most substantial one-term President in our history.  (More than John Adams?!)  Well, I would maybe give him most significant one-term President of the 20th Century.

Bush represented the end of an era.  It was the bipolarity of the Cold War.  Bush saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, the soaring economy from the second half of the Reagan era, prudently worked with Congress to manage the soaring debt from the Reagan era, and then led the charge to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.  I know plenty of good, peace loving people who have labelled Bush a “warmonger” for Operation Desert Storm.  This is misguided.  A war monger looks for reasons to go to war.  A cautious realist goes to war when necessary.  When a dangerous dictator that controls some of the Arab oil supply, conquers a neighbor to control more of the Arab oil supply, war is necessary.  I think Bush used as much force as was necessary, and no more.  Truly, this is the kind of leadership you can expect from a humble man with the kind of character judgement to chose someone like James Baker to be his Sec. of State.

The problem for Mr. Bush was that by the end of his first term, he had finished solving all of yesterday’s problems.  America’s hard hats, and my 10-year old self, were all like “yes yes yes, thanks for winning the Cold War, and winning Operation Desert Storm and all, but now what?  What about our jobs?”

Ross Perot is a true patriot.  I noticed on stage that Perot seemed to have a certain respect for Mr. Bush.  That didn’t stop him from fiercely debating him on his naive trade philosophies.  Bush may have been prudent when it came to foreign policy, but he was idealistic and horribly misguided on trade.

The above photo says it all.  Bush was dignified, but passing.  Perot passionately argued for our country’s future.  But to the right, smugly, stands Bill Clinton.  Opportunistically he positioned himself to take the White House by taking cheap shots against Bush for having compromised on taxes.  Opportunistically did he position himself as a moderate on trade, only to sell out America’s working class at the first opportunity.  Perot’s ideas may be America’s future, but Bill Clinton was America’s present at the time.  It was a present where the greatness built by people like George H. W. Bush would be squandered by political opportunists playing “moderate” like Bill Clinton, and fiercely partisan demagogues like Newt Gingrich.*

Some said McCain’s death represented the end of an era?  No.  McCain was just another “moderate”.  Less sleazy than Clinton? Sure, but that’s a low bar!  Bush’s death does represent the end of an era.  An era where political leaders really were public servants who were self sacrificing, and would lose an election for the good of the country.

RIP Mr. Bush.  You lived a long, amazing life!

 

Note(s):

*Gingrich has his good points, but I meant what I said.  For the record, I actually don’t think “demagogues” are all that bad, but they do rouse passion and impede critical thinking, though they usually represent legitimate grievances.

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Sorry Democrats, You Can’t Have It Both Ways

LiberalsInJuneAndNow

“Liberals” in June:  OMG!  Trump’s starting a trade war!  He’s going to cause a recession!

“Liberals” now:  Well, the economy is thriving because…Obama

 

Sorry “liberals”, you can’t have it both ways.  Now I recognize that Obama left Trump a pretty healthy economy.  But if you’re going to claim that Trump is about to crash the economy, and then the economy thrives even more; then if you’re intellectually honest, at least some of that credit goes to Trump.

Like it or not, Democrats aren’t getting the recession of their dreams.  Those pesky jobs reports just keep showing job growth, and higher median outcome.  And furthermore, those “marginalized groups” that Dems feign such compassion for, they are benefiting!  The median income for Hispanic households grew 3.7% in Trump’s first year (and that’s adjusted for inflation)!  Yeah, sorry about Trump’s nasty comments about “rapists” and “drug dealers”, but the “good people” Trump also mentioned who come here legally seem to be doing well under this administration.

We can win this trade war, a trade war that China started, even with the corporate media trying to undermine it every step of the way.  We just gotta keep up the fight, and not let our poor, lost fellow Americans glued to CNN get to us with all the manufactured talking points from the corporate boardrooms of the MSM.  Remember, though, that these fellow Americans are lost.  They’re not our enemies.  Contrary to what HRC once expressed, no human being is irredeemable.  As they come at us with their talking points, we need to try to get through to them.  Pointing out my initial point here, is a good start.

Everlasting Be Your Memory – Ed Schultz

 

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I’ve just learned today that a man who has had a great impact on this country, and on me, has passed away.  I stumbled across this sad news that Ed Schultz has died while catching up on my Jimmy Dore‘s.  It’s so weird.  I admit I hadn’t thought about Ed in a while.  But seeing President Trump come through on his tariffs, I got to wondering – I wonder what Ed Schultz thinks of all this.  So I did some searching, found him on youtube, and – I knew it!  Ed Schultz still has a soul!  But now, he has left this life.

I first came across Ed Schultz on a progressive radio station in Jacksonville, FL in 2009.  In the depths of the Great Recession, as I was working odd jobs scrapping to not let my student loans go into default, here came a progressive I could relate to.

Schultz isn’t the stereotypical “pinhead” you hear Bill O’Reilly talking about.  Schultz is a working man’s progressive.  One thing he really drew (or rather reminded me of) my attention to is the need to bring back American jobs.  Schultz was passionate about ending the bad trade deals, restoring America’s manufacturing sector, building our infrastructure, taking care of our veterans, sensible national security and foreign policy, and single payer healthcare.  (I think my Trumpian friends can agree with at least the majority of that.)  But “BUY AMERICAN” is what always resonated.  Hardly an Ed Show went by without him talking about that!

In those days, Schultz was an Obama supporter, fiercely critical of the Republican Party establishment, a bit race-baitie, I admit, but that’s forgivable.  People like Ed Schultz are authentic.  Their wear their good qualities and bad on their sleeve.  You may not like everything you see, but what you see is what you get.

Once he had Pat Buchanan on his show.  When he announced it, I was expecting a fierce argument.  But it was nothing of the sort.  They were pals.  And why not?  Pat Buchanan is an old paleo-conservative who cares about American jobs.  Ed Schultz is an old school progressive who cares about American jobs.  They’re two sides of the same coin!

Things started changing in the late Obama era, and not the kind of “change” that Obama campaigned on.  No, it was the Democratic Party establishment.  It became less about working Americans, and more about political correctness, virtue signaling, “marginalized groups”, and consequently, globalization and corporatism.  Schultz could have gone either way on the PC stuff, though he was never a man to pussy-foot around.  But he was pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-racial integration.  But for Schultz, that all took a back seat to the heart and soul of the Democratic Party of the past – the working class.  When the working class started getting pushed to the back in favor of all the PC stuff, and then the corporatists starting driving the bus, and then insisted they’d only keep driving the bus if the working class weren’t on it, there was no place for a principled man like Ed Schultz anymore.

Consequently, he was kicked off MSNBC (now owned by Comcast) and took refuge with the RT network.  From there, he kept telling the truth, while the hacks at MSNBC kept telling us about Russia.  Schultz took Trump with a grain of salt.  Some accused Schultz of changing, but he never changed.  Schultz cared about American jobs just as much in 2009 as he did in 2016.  Schultz saw some of the things he cared about in Trump, other things, not so much.  But rather than being a partisan hack, and flipping his positions just so that he could opposite of the President with an “R” next to his name, he simply started evaluating Trump issue by issue.  When it came to steel tariffs, ending TPP, infrastructure, etc. Trump earned Schultz’s support.

Like our President, Schultz puts America first, not political party, not political correctness, and sure not the “global community”.

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Any American who works for a living, building things, these are Ed’s people.  If you don’t built things yourself, but appreciate those who do, close enough.  Ed, after all, spent much of his life as a media personality doing just that.  But make no mistake.  He wasn’t some spoiled, lily white liberal admiring from afar people he wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.  He had no problem meeting with workers and helping them fight for better wages, better working conditions, and to protect American jobs from soulless multinational corporations.

I almost titled this “Rest in Peace”, but that’s not how Ed would want it.  He lived to fight the good fight.  So I went with the Orthodox “Everlasting be your memory!”  He won’t rest.  His spirit will live on!  It’ll live on in every Trumpian hard hat who used to vote Democrat, but voted Trump this time for American jobs.  It’ll live on in every solid progressive who won’t sell their souls to Comcast or the DNC.  It’ll live on in the Justice Democrats who fight to restore the soul to the Democratic Party.  And wherever there’s a Clinton or a Bush trying to sell out America to the “global community” – Ed Schultz will live on, ready to fight for us.

 

Another note:

Before this news, I was working on another article – How the left brought me to Trump – and Ed Schultz certainly makes up a chunk of that.  I’ll finish it pretty soon and post it here also.

For now, if you want to honor Ed Schultz, support Wounded Warriors, or buy something American made, or contact someone in Congress and tell them that no matter what they think of Trump, to stand by him as he fights for American jobs.

Ed Schultz also drew my attention to this site

www.madeinusaforever.com

I have an ongoing project, developing news links showing jobs being saved or added due to Trump’s trade policies.  Take a look, and share some links if you have them

https://politicallywag.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/trumps-tariffs-bring-jobs/

China Will Not Help US With N Korea

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Regardless of a trade war with China, they will not help us with N. Korea.  Indeed, China does have some sway over N. Korea.  Indeed, China has used that to play us many times over.  For most of Trump’s first year in office, he held off on his campaign promise to implement tariffs on China to reduce our astronomical trade deficit.  (China exports 4 times as much to US, as we export to China, year after year.)  This was because China was promising to convince N. Korea to agree to a nuclear deal.

However, China accomplished nothing during that time as Trump was holding off on the tariffs.  Yet, when Trump started making plans to follow through with his promise, suddenly N. Korea came to the negotiating table and a deal was made.

Despite this, Lyle J. Goldstein with the National Interest claims that Trump must now chose between a trade war with China, and the N. Korean deal.  Where exactly has Mr. Goldstein been this last year?  Trump already tried that!  It didn’t work!  So he went forward with the tariffs, and now we have a N. Korean deal.  It’s not complicated.

Despite this glaringly obvious reality, it’s likely that Mr. Goldstein is not the only one who will make this claim.  If this deal does fall apart, don’t be surprised when most of mainstream media ignores the facts presented above and blames Trump’s tariffs.

After all, this is the same mainstream media that ignored decades of terrible trade policies that have empowered China, only to blame Trump leaving TPP for the rise of China.

China is the greatest geopolitical threat to our superpower since the fall of the Soviet Union.  And what makes China a particularly unique threat is their remarkable ability to get many of our politicians and opinion leaders to shill for them.

What Trump has accomplished, however, is getting them to play their N. Korean card.  It was a big card, a scary card, but now it’s played, and China can’t take it back.  We now know that China has far too much to lose from a denuclearized N. Korea to ever let that happen, despite what they say.  But we also know now that there are no N. Korean consequences to standing up to China.

Trump can’t denuclearize N. Korea, and China wouldn’t even if they could.  If anything is going to get N. Korea to denuclearize, it will be S. Korea.  It’s a long shot, but maybe, just maybe, S. Korea can work out some kind of loose unification, and with that, just maybe, a loosely united Korean state could see the gradual extension of freedoms to N. Koreans and effectively pacify the threat.  N. Korea would still be a nuclear power, but they’d be no more a threat than S. Korea.  We can only hope.

Further Reading:

From Fareed Zakaria of all people!  Trump is Right: China’s a trade cheat If you have access to Wapo.  If you are not subscribed to them, I recommend opening them in a browser you don’t normally use.  You get 2 free articles, but it won’t notice you’ve used your two if you open it in a different browser, like Internet Explorer if you normally use Chrome.

Trump’s Tariffs Bring Jobs

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This will be a chronicle of news stories of how tariffs are bringing back American jobs.  I will add any news story from a reputable source that shows how any tariff in America (particular from the Trump administration, but not limited to it) have brought back the jobs.  If you have any such stories, please share the link in the comment section, and as long as it is a reputable news source, I’ll add it to my chronicle (and happily share a link to your cite upon request).  The purpose here is to arm the people with information.  Stories like these will be reported in media, usually local, but then forgotten and ignored by national media, so I want to arm us with facts that we can use to persuade our misguided fellow Americans who are still drinking the free trade koolaid.

Toyota expanding in Indiana to build Highlander  I’m sure your sweatshop loving friends love to talk about how GM is downsizing.  Even though GM has been planning this for years, all of a sudden, it’s Trump’s fault and those darned tariffs!  Well, those steel tariffs aren’t phasing Toyota!

China is Paying for Most of Trump’s Trade War * from Bloomberg. This article cites a recent study showing that Trump is fighting it successfully, contrary to what Paul Krugman would have us believe.

US Steel to fire up another blast furnace in Illinois, hire 300 workers, according to marketwatch.com

Republic Steel Restarting Lorrain Factory, Adding 1000+ jobs following Trump’s Steel Tariffs, from WKYC (CBS) Channel 3 in Cleveland, OH

This Snopes article refutes the claim that Harley Davidson is closing a Wisconsin factory because of tariffs.  (Liberals like Snopes, so throw this at them if they blame Trump for Harley Davidson downsizing.)

Aluminum Worker Thanks Trump For Tariffs, From White House’s Youtube Page.  (I first saw this on DC Whispers)

US Jobless Claims Decline to Lowest Level Since Jan. 1973 , a Bloomberg article published March, 29, 2018; weeks after Trump implemented the steel and aluminum tariffs and announced plans to hit China with about $50 billion in tariffs.

Trump’s Tariffs Could Work“, from Thom Hartmann, a real progressive with integrity.  No wonder MSNBC doesn’t want him.

Why Trump’s China Tariffs Aren’t Crazy” In Yahoo Finance, by Rick Newman.  While this article criticizes the steel tariffs, it’s generally supportive of the more recent tariffs on China.

Sources on the harm of “free trade” are getting harder to find, as they get buried under a barrage of neoliberal propaganda and cherry-picked studies from well funded think tanks.

The High Cost Of The China-WTO Deal” by economist Robert E. Scott with the Economic Policy Institute.  This economist explains the harm that had already been caused by “free trade” up until 2000, and argues against the “free trade” being pushed by Clinton in 2000.

 

I’ll scour the internets for more.  Send me anything you have.  I do realize there’s a trade-off, that tariffs can also cause some retailers or dock workers to lose jobs, but I contend that it is a net gain when we have a massive trade deficit.  Mainstream media makes a fortune on retail advertising, and retail thrives on overseas sweatshops.  Inevitably, mainstream media will be very favorable to “free trade” and will try to frighten us with talk of “trade wars” and by only focusing on the jobs lost, not those gained by tariffs.

A little about me: this issue is very near and dear to me.  At 11 years of age, Ross Perot ran for President for the first time in 1992.  For the first time in my life, I got really excited about politics and a presidential candidate.  I walked the neighborhood talking to people and encouraging them to vote for Perot.  At the core of Perot’s message was to protect America’s manufacturing sector, so that we would maintain a strong tax base, and not bury ourselves in debt.  Had we listened to Perot, I don’t think we’d be over $20 trillion in debt now, and the Great Recession of 2009 would have just been another minor business cycle recession.

Note(s)

*I don’t care for the title, as it isn’t “Trump’s” trade war.  China’s been waging it for nearly two decades.  But the study is definitely worth citing.  Your “liberal” friends likely trust Bloomberg, so this’ll throw them off their game a little.