The United States is typically a very self-absorbed nation. As the largest economy in the world, and separated by two oceans, US based news and the opinions it shapes have always been centered on domestic concerns projected out into the world. This has only been exacerbated by the a pathologically self-absorbed president.
Because of this problem, the simple fact that the world is fleeing away has escaped many Americans. What has been a growing practical reality as the US share of the world economy slips is becoming a necessity thanks to severe foreign policy mistakes, all of which cater to a domestic audience. “All politics is local” remains true, even though it clearly should not be.
The two biggest foreign policy areas, a trade war with China and sanctions against Iran, appear to be two different situations with the US at the center of both. They are not, and increasingly will become less and less about the US. This simple fact is going right past us, too – making our policies even more ridiculous and harmful to our own interests.
The United States has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal. It is probably the stupidest possible thing to do at this time. Why? Here are eight reasons, most of which are fairly conservative in nature.
Every day a new video circulates of bad behavior by police. Someone is harassed, beaten, or even killed in what appears to be an absolutely senseless fashion. Far too often, the victims are black – but not always. It can, and does, happen to nearly anyone.
Earlier this week, another video came in from Toronto. Constable Ken Lam was seen facing down the suspect in a mass killing with determination and grace. He never flinched, and eventually made a peaceful arrest. It was law enforcement at its very best.
What is different? There are many things that made this different, including the race of the suspect, to be sure. But as an example of the kind of cool professionalism we all hope to see in our police there is one important difference in Toronto – their law enforcement officers are paid much, much better than the average US cop.
North Korea has agreed to de-nuclearize! Trump’s foreign policy is a success!
Headlines something like this have been circulating for a few weeks, but they contain more errors than words. North Korea hasn’t agreed to remove nuclear weapons at all, but appears ready to try to negotiate for some reason. Any concessions on their part almost certainly have little to do with the US and a lot more to do with their only benefactor, China.
And the world is a much more dangerous place to the extent that anyone believes that North Korea is somehow becoming more peaceful, especially when it comes to believing this is a result of anything to do with the US.
On a Friday the 13th when the sky hangs grey over what should be Spring, the world appears on the edge of catastrophe. The Trump debacle descends into the kind of madness that Shakespeare made a living out of, careening into the end of the second act when the stage goes dark.
Hollywood, for its part, depicted days like this as slasher movies, their idea of scary. There was never a cop to be found as people traipsed through a hellscape, dark and throbbing in surround sound. There was no order, only survival – for a few.
Yet here we are, waiting for something. And into it comes James Comey’s book, “A Higher Loyalty.” The former top cop appears to doing what we have so far been unable to do ourselves, coming in to rescue us all. But it’s still scary, and more in the Shakespearean way, because there is something bigger than the players on the scene strutting and fretting. There is, there has to be, some kind of morality made real.
There has to be law – either the law of humankind of morality.
Like all mariner tales, the story slips in like a schooner on a foggy, becalmed day. Rats, the story goes, might leap off the lines that held a boat fast to the dock if they knew the next voyage was doomed. And rats, as creatures of the bilge, always knew. When you see them on the lines do not sign on to that ship for she is bound for Davy Jones’ locker.
People today are rarely as superstitious as ancient sailors. But when you have far too many hours adrift at sea with no winds, like this Congress, the mind does wander. A change of leadership isn’t always up to the voters, as it were, but up to the crew and their desire to not miss the message of the rats.
It’s still unraveling, but the story of facebook and data sharing has captured the attention of its users and Wall Street alike. It seems that personal data was shared in many ways which violated facebook’s own policies and privacy laws in some states and nations.
Step back for a minute, however, and we can all see how much worse the problem is. From the Clinton hacked email scandal through this to even more revelations to come, it is very clear that every single thing online has to be treated as if it is public knowledge. There is no privacy.