“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” Harvey Dent, district attorney of Gotham City, said in “The Dark Knight.” Introducing a fatalistic idea that being a hero comes with a certain responsibility and is sometimes dangerous. For outsiders, former U.S. President Donald Trump falls into both categories: a hero to his followers and a villain to everyone else. For the latter, even his impressive list of accomplishments while in office seems irrelevant.
By Arthur Blok
Donald Trump is the most controversial American president in modern times. Some have seen him as the salvation of a faltering democracy, others as an existential threat to that same democracy.
It will be long before historians arrive at any consensus concerning the significance of the Trump presidency. If they ever reach that. However, some consequences of his tenure are already apparent. One of those is his impact on the nation’s defense position. Trump has done more in four years to shift the path of U.S. military preparations than most presidents accomplished in eight.
Trump's military record stands apart from other modern American presidents. Supporters praise him for being the first president since Ronald Reagan "not to start a new war."
Is this true? In a way, it is.
Formal declarations of war are rare in American history and can be counted on one hand; the most recent formal declaration of war is the Second World War. Most conflicts fall under the pretext of "authorizations of military force" approved by Congress. The latter gave President George W. Bush permission in 2001 to start the “War on Terror” in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and for his father, George H.W. Bush, in 1991 to start the Gulf War.
Republican president Ronald Reagan - in the White House between 1981 to 1989 - got approval in 1983 to send forces to Lebanon to reduce the threat of civil war. While other presidents have been called to be involved in foreign conflicts. Barack Obama brought the U.S. into the Libyan Civil War in 2011. Before him, Democratic president Bill Clinton got authorization from the United Nations and funding from Congress to bring 20,000 American troops into the Bosnian War in 1995.
Trump did, in fact, the opposite. He withdrew thousands of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, fulfilling one of his campaign elections pledges to stop America's “endless wars."
In addition, in August 2020, the Abraham Accords were signed. A joint statement between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States marked the first public normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
Soon after, Bahrein followed suit; in the same period, Sudan and Morocco established diplomatic ties with the Israelis. Saudi Arabia and Oman would have probably done the same if it had been for a second Trump term.
Historic diplomatic accomplishments are worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.
By all means.
Former president Barack Obama received the Prize after a simple speech, full of flaws, at the Cairo-based conservative Al-Azhar University. An address, ironically, full of big words and good intentions, but in practice, it was empty. It meant absolutely nothing on the ground.
This pointless exercise was rewarded with the ultimate Peace Award.
While in office, Trump not only secured diplomatic breakthroughs in the Middle East. He also put a lot of effort into easing tensions in Asia and having a first-of-its-kind top conference with his North Korean counterparts. A conference including an unprecedented meeting with Kim Jong-un. Unfortunately, I can't help.
You cannot blame the excellent man for at least trying to talk some sense into ‘Little Rocket Man. Not the easiest material to work with. That is evident by now.
For the record, it will be hard to find an economist who would deny that the U.S. was experiencing an unprecedented economic boom before the China virus pandemic put an abrupt end to that.
A surplus in job opportunities for Americans (of all backgrounds), tax relief for the middle class, job creation and investments in Opportunity Zones, deregulation, and trade policies and deals. The nation saw the lowest unemployment rates since the sixties, a booming housing market, and the list of inconvenient economic accomplishments goes on and on.
Another pillar of Trump’s era is the over 450 miles of a new border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Other highlights are “imposed restrictions on certain Chinese officials, internal security units, and companies” for their complicity in persecuting members of religious groups in China. Not to forget the blocklisting of various Lebanese and Syrian corrupt politicians. And the list goes on.
Shadow Campaign against Trump
However, there is one factor that should be taken into consideration: the Trump factor. As much as Obama’s style was loved, Trump’s style was despised. Initially praised for his fresh wave of anti-establishmentism, but now merely remembered as an unpleasant narcissistic style of leadership.
It is overshadowing all his accomplishments.
The hatred towards his personality went as far as a group of Democratic opponents started a ‘shadow campaign’ to rig the 2020 election. All set out in detail by Time magazine last week in a shameless article: “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election".
A myriad of pre- and post-election actions was taken by a careless coalition of Democratic operatives, grassroots activists, mainstream media, tech companies, and corporate CEOs before and after the 2020 presidential election.
According to the article, the effort consisted of “a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.”
Of course, not with the intention of subverting the election, but rather as part of a heroic grassroots movement intent on salvaging American democracy and preserving the integrity of this and future elections.
Right. It is all a matter of perspective.
As if the roughly 75 million Trump voters do not exist and are irrelevant to the said noble cause. Credible doubts from Republicans about matters such as mail-in voting, voter fraud, concerns about delayed voting results, and other similar issues were framed as “Trump’s lies,” “conspiracy theories,” or “Bad actors spreading false information.”
The list of admitted scandals in the Time article is impressive. Please take the time to read it carefully and draw your conclusions.
A sad climax in the anti-Trump campaign - all with the best intentions, of course - was the general social media ban leading up to the Democratic-enforced unconstitutional impeachment procedure that kicked off this week.
A ludicrous waste of time.
Anyone literate in English understands that the concept of impeaching a former president is entirely absent from the U.S. Constitution. They are removing someone from the office who is no longer in office.
A show trial is deriving from a Democratic complex by a bunch of frustrated individuals who unsuccessfully tried to impeach Trump in the past four years due to a lack of credibility and evidence.
A group of professional Democratic politicians refuses to admit the inconvenient truth about a former US president’s accomplishments. They backed up in the Senate by a handful of lost Republicans.
All are still very angry that Trump largely ruined their image by unmasking them as phonies.
God Save the USA.