George W. Bush declared war on the Taliban in large part because he was determined to show that a certain part of his anatomy was larger than the same part of his father’s anatomy. Further, after having avoided real military service (and perhaps escaped even the alternative), the only way he could show he was a real Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) and wear a pilot’s bomber jacket was to have a war.
Can anyone who saw him being landed on an aircraft carrier, and standing below a banner reading “Mission Accomplished” forget the scene… and know that the declaration of “Mission Accomplished” was a lie that should have been apparent even then? (Does anyone other than me wonder if he pissed his pants upon landing?)
Trump seems to have taken this lesson to heart—the wrong way (of course). He’s apparently decided to be a real C-in-C. Rather than a backward country whose chief industry is producing drug precursors for the United States market, Trump has decided to pick on China.
Rather than drugs, he’s challenging China on trade. On the official Trump web site, we find his statement that “China is responsible for nearly half of our entire trade deficit.”
That, Mr. Trump, is a lie. Whether you lie from ignorance or malice or from some other reason, it is still a lie.
When a family, which has no other way to entertain themselves, drives to Wally-World on a Saturday, and buys cheap products, knock-offs, and junk that has been imported from China, no one has twisted their arms to do so. They are not forced to buy Chinese trash. They are doing so voluntarily. China isn’t responsible for the trade deficit; we the people—their customers—are.
When a developer, Trump in fact, decides to buy Chinese steel rather than American-made steel, he—not China—is contributing to the trade deficit. China is not responsible; Trump is.
Yet, Trump has seemingly declared war on China… a much more worthy adversary than Afghanistan, Pakistan, any country in the Middle East, for that matter.
One can speculate, and one would likely be correct.
First, Trump knows that most of the people who voted for him are not sufficiently interested in the truth to pursue it beyond what they hear and see on the (far) right-wing media. Not only does he have perceptual filters that prevent him from seeing the truth, he knows that his followers are similarly burdened.
Second, Trump knows that the memories of even the most perceptive of us are short; that our brains are so bombarded with new information that it is difficult to hold a thought long enough to challenge him.
Finally, Trump almost certainly believes, correctly, that he will be able to get away with anything, because the soi-disant mainstream press is already beginning to normalize him, because the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States are either cowed by him or are pursing their lips to suck up to him, and because he will likely turn the Supreme Court into a rubber stamp that even FDR would have envied.
Weep for your children.
“China is responsible for nearly half of our entire trade deficit.” https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/trade
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.