Russia Episode 2: Soul-searching

So, Trump met with Putin, for reasons I still don’t understand. The Left is having their usual conniption about treason or how this is obviously a sign that Trump is pro Russia, but I’m not entirely sure that’s true.

Ben Shaprio, in his program today, observed rather rightly that Trump’s words and actions don’t always seem to be in line with each other. In the eyes of his opposition, Trump regularly vacillates from Russian puppet, to someone who will start World War 3 by bombing Syria, then he’s back to Russian puppet. And herein lies the problem. Think about what has been used as a watershed moment over the years to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Trump was red on the inside. Countless random documents that amounted to ultimately nothing, a comment from a rally with at best providential timing, but not much else, and about a year ago, the fact that he had starred in a Russian pop star’s video was seen as evidence of deeper collusion.

Also, recall if you will, Obama’s “apology tour” early his presidency. This was not good, as it damaged the image of the United States as a power. What Trump has done here is unmistakably similar. This time however, it is the left putting out the claims of Trump being treasonous. These are less likely to click than they did with Obama, but for more and different reasons. The first and most important is that the Left has been calling Trump a treasonous, tyrannical, authoritarian with Hitler-esque leanings from the very beginning. This is nothing new anymore, and if you’re not likely to listen to it then, you’re not likely to hear it now.

It is with this continued degradation of the American image as a global power, which has been in decline since at the very least late Bush 43, that we have to consider the fact that the American electorate has not, and given the current climate will not, put forward a Churchillian statesman or woman in 2020. This includes Trump and Clinton if she rises from the dead (returns). The American electorate has brought this mess upon themselves, and I do not know what the implications of such will be. That all being said, there is a part of me that appreciates this diminished role in the global structure as, simply put, I don’t believe we can, nor should be the world’s police anymore. Our cybersecurity defenses are weak, our own infrastructure has, as was discussed last week, a 836 billion dollar backlog, our education system is decrepit (and that’s before we get to so-called higher education), and our culture has pushed towards tweets, clickbait, and generally has developed an aversion to deep, well-thought out political thought. We don’t have a clue what we are doing, and are in no condition to do whatever the hell it is we think we should be doing.

This brings us to our own border. I’d like to pose this question to those who are basically in favor of loosely enforced, essentially open borders: What if a) they simply become the lowest rung of impoverished Americans, and thus this is a lateral move for them, and b) what of the impoverished in our own country? Economic reality does not permit us to handle both groups effectively at the same time. Especially since our government has made being a Good Samaritan to our own people borderline illegal. Who are you really saving if they move from being flat broke in Mexico or wherever they came from, to being flat broke in a country that cannot actually afford to support them?

I should point out, when I say the US is “declining” that does not mean ending. Whether I think the 50 states can survive as 50 complete states is another essay altogether (but the short answer is “no”. For example, California and Texas are incompatible) The US’ economic and military power remains truly incredible.

The United States is sick from top to bottom. Our infrastructure is failing, we are trying to walk a line between being and not being the world police (this includes paying for a great deal of the NATO defense budget), the new frontier of war is the internet anyway, and we’re not ready for that battle at all.

We finally fit that godforsaken Newsroom clip where America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. Oddly, his rant about where we stand in literacy is a product of public education system, and our 4th place in labor force and exports have solutions of their own. I remain unsure if the rising powers of Russia and China are getting stronger at the same rate we are getting weaker. That said, if the United States cleans up its own house, this decline will end very quickly. It doesn’t start with a better public education system, or better infrastructure or any of that.

All of that starts with an electorate willing to do deep, boring, not-remotely-sexy research into a topic, and consider the complexities of their chosen issue. And that is the greatest obstacle America faces. Consider the political climate of 2016, which exists today. Did the discussion over gun control change at all after Parkland? Not really, in-fact, more often than not, the states and even individual school districts took matters into their own hands while the Federal folk shot at each other from their entrenched immobile positions. The electorate generally, as evidenced by the success of side-streams as biased as the mainstream media, is still very much living in their respective red and blue echo chambers, with the occasional deviation into Joe Rogan, Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson.

To be clear, I don’t have much faith in the education of the American electorate happening overnight. I am convinced that the American public education system has created politically illiterate activists who think everything has a really easy solution that nobody in all of history has considered until they showed up. This is evidenced by the random discovery of the 25th Amendment and the Logan Act being used in 2018 as a desperate silver bullet, the outrage over the CIA when Comey was under fire that didn’t exist when it was discovered the NSA was engaging in mass surveillance, the prodigious use of the terms “Nazi”, “Tyrant”, authoritarian etc without any appreciation for what those words actually mean, and the near revelation many of the president’s opposition have stumbled upon that states that unethical behavior should be considered unethical across the board, and not just as matters of expediency.

The United States is declining, and it has its citizens more to blame for that than the politicians, who have not helped matters either. This does not change with the same electorate electing better politicians. That is not physically possible. The electorate itself must improve. People bust stop calling the other side the worst historical parallel or basic epithet you can think of, start treating those words with respect and read more than one book, from more than one side. It is not enough to say you read an Erick Erickson book cover to cover and rejected the whole thing. As any Christian knows, the road to New Atheism is littered with Bibles read cover to cover twice.

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