Nobody Trusts a Country that Leads from Behind
Voters face a choice in November between two American futures. Bernie Sanders has made it clear that Joe Biden is merely a means for Democrats first to regain power and then to radically shift the United States left toward a socialist vision that would have been unthinkable in America just a short time ago. Americans seem to understand that this election is unlike anything we’ve seen because Donald Trump’s America and Joe Biden’s America are so diametrically opposed.
What is not discussed enough is what hangs in the balance for the rest of the world. The first-term foreign policy successes of President Trump have been entirely ignored by the press, but the geopolitical order is starkly different from when he first took office.
Nobody trusts a country that leads from behind. President Trump is restructuring the world. It is deliberate. It is far-reaching. It is plain for anyone to see. And the commentariat is missing it completely.
(1) The normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is one data point in a larger transformation of Middle East alliances shifting in favor of the United States and Israel. Playing on the folly of the Obama administration’s efforts to find friendship with Iran’s terrorist regime by giving it both the wealth and political legitimacy to become a nuclear state with proxy armies from Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea and from Southeast Asia to South America, the Trump administration has turned Obama’s Neville Chamberlainian submission to Iran into a strategic tool by advancing peaceful relations between Israel and most of her Arab and Gulf adversaries, who are more concerned about Iran’s military aggressions and imperial ambitions than Israel’s world class bio-medical engineering and water desalination and reclamation industries improving life beyond her borders.
The Trump administration has refashioned the Domino Theory, used to explain and combat the spread of Soviet communism during the Cold War, into a mechanism for spreading greater peace, and the United Arab Emirates domino will continue its efforts, furthering market interactions (and stability) between Israel and her neighbors (and America and the broader region).
(2) Secretary Pompeo’s recent announcement that American troops would be re-stationed from Germany to Poland is part of a broader strategy to move the front lines of any conflict between the United States and Russia away from a German state that seeks to dominate Europe to those countries that strongly back national self-determination and Western civilization’s traditional embrace of personal liberties and free markets.
Since WWII, Berlin has been the epicenter of the conflict between Soviet communism and Western freedom. The Trump administration recognizes that the next century will be a contest among European socialism, Chinese communism, and American freedom and is taking steps to strengthen our bonds with those nations in Europe that share our common understanding that only free peoples and free nations can counteract the inevitable abuses of power that international institutions and governments create.
Germany and most of Europe have benefited for seventy-five years by living under the blanket of the United States’ military might while building vast welfare states unencumbered by the normal financial costs of defending national security. They have flooded their nations with immigrant populations that do not share their culture yet have taken the stability of their nation-states for granted. They have expanded a trans-national government run by unelected bureaucrats unresponsive to the wills of the various peoples they govern and built a corrosive form of European socialism that has consistently abandoned the continent’s own Enlightenment understanding of liberty in favor of Marxist supremacy of the State.
In Central Europe, however, nations denied their freedom during the peace talks of WWII and left to survive Soviet domination behind the Iron Curtain for another fifty years have a clear understanding of the international battle between freedom and socialism at hand. For the first time since the First World War, it is the success of Central Europe that will decide the success of the continent, and President Trump is choosing sides. These pro-Atlantic alliances among freedom-minded peoples in America and countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia will be indispensable with an uncertain European Union, a future Russia without Putin, and expanding Chinese influence in the region leaving the continent up for grabs.
(3) Finally, after three decades of appeasement by the United States, the Trump administration has taken China head-on. Washington, D.C., out of greed or misplaced faith that opening up China to international markets would ultimately water down Chinese communism and militarism into something less “zero sum game” and more peaceful, has instead created a dangerous superpower bent on world domination.
In the 1930s, the new national socialists taking power in Germany spoke explicitly in terms of racial superiority, the importance of the State over individual rights, and the need for a future one-world government with Germans at the helm. They built concentration camps and conquered neighboring territories to further their goals. A hundred years later, China is repeating the words and deeds of a Germany that dragged the world into war, but global alarm bells are silent.
President Trump has been anything but silent. He ran for office by denouncing trade deals with China that had sold out America’s workforce for China’s and Wall Street’s enrichment. Once in office, he has played nice with the Middle Kingdom while strengthening our economic and military ties with India, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Australia, as well as forging stronger alliances with Brazil and Panama to help freeze China’s advances in South and Central America in its tracks. He has taken on Huawei; TikTok; and China’s planned 5G telecommunication networks in the U.K., India, and elsewhere before they could be used as backdoors for international surveillance. He has allied himself with the freedom-fighters of Hong Kong and the independence movement in Taiwan, while placing aircraft carriers and reconnaissance aircraft within a hundred miles of China’s coast. The president is speaking softly, sharpening his stick, and preparing the United States for war before it’s too late.
Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden not only do not see the dangers of war on the horizon, but have explicitly promised that they will return America to a policy of appeasement toward Chinese territorial expansion, military aggression, and global government ambition. The Democrats, through a mixture of common socialist philosophy and ignorance, seem content to allow the Chinese communists to run the world, so long as they are left to rule in the United States. The Trump administration is broadcasting to the world before it is too late that if China’s power continues to rise, there will eventually be no United States.
There are two overarching principles governing everything the president has done. First, he refuses to respect international institutions out of some “cult of internationalism.” Institutions that no longer serve their purpose should be abandoned, and whether it is the World Health Organization or the United Nations Human Rights Council, President Trump has walked away from international governing bodies that do not further American interests. Second, President Trump sees the world as divided between free peoples and controlled peoples and believes that advancing individual freedom and free nations throughout the world strengthens America at the expense of the Chinese communism and international socialism meant to contain her.
The seeds of a new American foreign policy are planted and taking hold, and if Biden’s Iran and China sympathizers are prevented from plowing over the field, the Trump Doctrine will produce a harvest during his second term that will change the international order for decades to come. This November, two Americas are on the ballot. Two visions for the world are on the ballot, as well.
Hat tip to Ruth King.