Conrad Black: How President Trump has changed the world

by WorldTribune Staff, January 14, 2019

While the Washington, D.C. establishment and corporate media are at war with him, President Donald Trump is leading an American resurgence that is reshaping the world, columnist Conrad Black wrote for Canada’s National Post.

Under Trump, the United States is no longer the “world’s premier chump,” Black wrote on Jan. 11.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping, along with members of their delegations, hold a dinner meeting at the end of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires on Dec. 1, 2018. / Saul Loeb / AFP

“However the domestic political tides of America may flow, North Korea is on its best behavior, the ayatollahs are quaking in their voluminous raiment, and all America’s trade partners, including Canada and China, are accepting what amounts to unilateral renegotiation by the U.S.,” Black wrote.

“No other country in the world has any appreciable influence at all more than a few hundred miles from its borders.”

Via samples of the media, Canadian and American, “one might think that the United States was so far along in its decline that the entire process of government and normal public discourse had broken down in that country, and that the much-discussed process of national decline was accelerating in a climate of virtual chaos,” Black wrote.

“In fact, the economy of the United States is astoundingly strong. … And it is a broad economic recovery, not based on service industries as in the United Kingdom (where London handles most of Europe’s financial industry, while most of British industry has fled), and not based largely on the fluctuating resources markets as has often been Canada’s experience. In the eight years of president Obama, the United States lost 219,000 manufacturing jobs; in the two years of Trump, the country has added 477,000 manufacturing jobs. This was not supposed to be possible, and this time, unlike in the great Reagan boom, it cannot be dismissed by the left (and it was false in the eighties) as a profusion of ‘hamburger flippers, dry cleaners and people delivering pizza,’ (all necessary occupations).”

On the world stage, Black wrote, “It is clear that China is feeling the heat of American tariffs. Their magnificent hypocrisy of gamboling in a $360-billion trade surplus with the United States while extorting technology from American companies and reducing American high-tech giants like Apple and Google to snivelling on China’s behalf when their sales in that country are reduced, and all the while leading G-77 in cupped-hands requests for relief from the economically most advanced countries for their pollution of the world environment (although China is the world’s greatest polluter), all of it is ending. The United States will not be the world’s premier chump anymore. The most enthusiastic support the United States is receiving in its trade stance with China is from China’s neighbors, from India to Japan. Of course China is the world’s second-greatest power and must be treated with respect, but that does not mean the shameless grovelling of Trump’s predecessors, paying court to Beijing like lackeys kowtowing to the emperors of the Middle Kingdom.”

Black continued: “Every U.S. president starting with Dwight Eisenhower has bewailed American dependence on foreign oil. Foreigners then supplied 10 percent of America’s oil, a figure that rose to 60 percent under President Obama, and no one has done anything about it, until the past two years, when oil production has been sharply increased and reliance on oil imports has been sharply cut, on its inexorable way to zero.”

China “has replaced the U.S.S.R. as principal rival to the U.S., but now has no ideological distinction, as well as, in replication of the Soviets, no institutions that function except the army,” Black wrote. “It is trying to beat the United States at its own game of capitalism, but the Chinese version is a hodge-podge of state capitalism and a command economy, and the recoil of the Chinese from the pressure that has been applied by this U.S. administration demonstrates more clearly what the real balance of power is between the two economies. China is the greatest economic development story in the history of the world, but as a challenge to the paramount status the United States has occupied for over a century among the world’s nations, it won’t fly.”

The there is “Mighty Germany.” Black noted that Germany’s “governing coalition almost worn threadbare by the imprudent admission of a million desperate Middle Eastern and African refugees, has delivered itself over to energy dependence on the feeble gangster-state of Russia while cutting its NATO contribution to half of what it had promised and complaining of American lack of enthusiasm to continue carrying Germany on its crowded and under-appreciated shoulders.”

Through it all, Black concluded “the United States, appearing to be disorderly, its establishment and media at war with the occupant of the White House, is demonstrating almost effortlessly how illusory is the idea that any other country or group of countries can challenge its pre-eminence among the world’s nations.”


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