Favorite

China in charge 

Let's turn to foreign affairs to see how we might calm the flood of anxieties over the coming Donald Trump presidency.

It is a harder climb than for domestic policy. Last week, we urged sympathy for Trump's original passions for universal health insurance, women's reproductive rights and national policies to halt catastrophic climate change. That and some vague post-election reassurances are more calming than simply relying on election promises to his party to end health protection for 22 million people and to the carbon industries that he will scrap rules that rein in air and water poisons from burning fossil fuels and to open public lands and fragile waters to drilling and mining. Still more encouraging, last week he stood by his demand that the Republican Congress give him spending authority for a bigger infrastructure stimulus than even the ones it refused Barack Obama before the country attained full employment.

Mexicans, Muslims, African Americans, women — you still have the power of prayer.

While we're at it, everyone should give up the fantasy that conscience-ridden Trump electors will vote for Hillary Clinton or someone else on Dec. 19 because she will wind up with a popular-vote victory of some 2 million votes—nearly 2 percent—over Trump. Her popular votes will be the third most in history, behind only Obama in 2008 and 2012. Presidential selection doesn't anticipate faithless electors, and shouldn't, although Trump was right that the electoral-college system designed by our slaveholder-protecting founders should give way to popular votes.

Calming the great foreboding over more war, a nuclear holocaust and a revolutionary shifting of alliances is a harder task now that the president-elect has announced his chief adviser and national security team, which brought a cheering and sieg-heiling crowd to Washington on Saturday for a conference near the White House to celebrate a president they view finally as a kindred white nationalist.

To recapitulate, the president's chief adviser will be Steve Bannon, who headed the alt-right fake-news blog Breitbart; his national security adviser will be retired Gen. Michael Flynn, an admirer and paid advocate of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and an old officer whom former Secretary of State Colin Powell called "right-wing nutty," among other aspersions; the head of the Central Intelligence Agency will be Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo, an advocate of torture and secret detention who causes George Washington to turn over in his grave every time he speaks.

Before publication, we may know if his secretary of state will hew to more Republican orthodoxy on foreign affairs than those characters.

It is clear that national tranquility now will require all of us to frame a new picture of the world from the one we have known since Hitler's demise or longer — that the chief threat to American and global security is a nationalist and expansionist Russia. We must get used to the idea of Russia, not the European democracies, as our best friend. Won't it be great, Trump asked us repeatedly, if America and Russia are allies? For our collective composure, we will have to do more than get used to it.

The love affair between Trump and Putin, which both trumpeted all year, is real, as they made clear in their post-election phone confab. Trump during the campaign suggested that Putin might be the secret to his Middle East policies and to his vow to conquer ISIS. Putin has been bombing U.S.-backed rebels in Syria and also, from time to time, the jihadists. Putin counts on Trump to lift Obama's global sanctions against Russia, which sank the country into recession, and to help him in other ways.

Minutes after his warm talk with Trump, Putin unleashed land and amphibious bombing and missile attacks on Aleppo, the bloodied center of resistance to the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is about Russia's only ally in the world except North Korea and the unreliable Chinese. Trump had listed Assad, along with Putin and the dead dictators Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, as leaders he admired for their ability to control their countries and crush dissent.

The happiest man abroad the day after the election may have been Assad, whose future as the head of his flattened country now seems more assured than anytime since the U.S.-backed insurgency began in 2011. U.S. support for the Syrian revolt is certain to end, unless shocked congressional Republicans and maybe an orthodox secretary of state can turn the president around.

Behind Putin and Assad, the next happiest may be China's premier. He knows that Trump won't dare start the trade war that he hints at, and now is assured that the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Obama engineered and which would have isolated China throughout the Pacific Rim, is dead. He called over the weekend for the nations to unite in a Pacific free-trade zone controlled, of course, by China instead of America.

We can get used to a world where we, not Russia and China, are isolated and reviled. We will be great again in our own minds, and that could be all that counts.

Favorite

Speaking of Donald Trump

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Ernest Dumas

  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • A little hope

    It may not be nearly as bad as you expect.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Religion as excuse upends Constitution

    Tirades over religious liberty since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide have awakened the ghost of James Madison, the author of the constitutional doctrine on the matter, and it isn't happy that his effort to protect religious inquiry in America is being corrupted.
    • Jul 9, 2015
  • Guns, God and gays

    Many more mass shootings like the one last week in Roseburg, Ore., will stain the future and no law will pass that might reduce the carnage. That is not a prediction but a fact of life that is immune even to Hillary Clinton.
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • AEC dumps ALEC

    No matter which side of the battle over global warming you're on, that was blockbuster news last week. No, not the signing of the climate-change treaty that commits all of Earth's 195 nations to lowering their greenhouse-gas emissions and slowing the heating of the planet, but American Electric Power's announcement that it would no longer underwrite efforts to block renewable energy or federal smokestack controls in the United States.
    • Dec 17, 2015

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Latest in Ernest Dumas

  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • A little hope

    It may not be nearly as bad as you expect.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Stay the course

    I am frustrated and angry with those who claim the only chance of future success is for the Democratic Party, especially in the South and Midwest, to abandon speaking directly to women and people of color and the LGBT community and instead focus on the economy and other "more comfortable" topics in order to win back some of the center.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Arkansas Democrats' rocky road forward

    • As we saw with the raise in the minimum wage and medical marijuana, there are…

    • on December 8, 2016
  • Re: Arkansas Democrats' rocky road forward

    • Ozark,

      What are the Arkansans marching and rallying about? Is this an anti-Trump rally?

    • on December 8, 2016
  • Re: Reality TV prez

    • He won't clean up his act. He won't even try. He's clueless that his style…

    • on December 8, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation