Back to the keyboard.
I have been preoccupied with an onslaught of doctors, lawyers, accountants, brokers, realtors, and dogs, plus taking the Diplowife to the gun range several times as she has gotten the urge to re-learn how to shoot. On that last and most important topic, she's doing very well. I bought her a very nice eight-round S&W Model 63 revolver chambered in .22 LR, and she's been tearing up the target. Tomorrow we graduate to 9mm, and then the sky's the limit after that . . . . Dirty Harry, you're on notice! I also have lost 45 lbs which means I am now just a regular fat guy.
But, enough of that. I have been watching the toing-and-froing with China on "trade." I put those scare quotes around trade because the issue at stake is really much more than just trade. President Trump is attempting the first major challenge to what had seemed the inexorable and unresisted rise of the PRC. I have written before about China (here and here, for example) and have often expressed my concern over China's ambitions. We shall return to all that.
A major hallmark of American diplomacy since the founding of our Republic over 243 years ago has been the search for independence. Whether overtly stated or just understood, the USA has had as its primary goal maintaining its freedom of action and avoiding dependence on foreign powers. In the beginning, we had that goal but did not always have the capability to achieve it. The Monroe Doctrine, of course, an early and overt expression of our wish to be free of outside powers in "our" hemisphere, relied more on the isolating effect of two oceans, strife in Europe, and the fact that the British ruled the ocean waves and had no desire to allow Spain or France to move back into "our" hemisphere.
Our economic policies for most of our history involved high tariffs and nurturing our own industries--and it worked spectacularly. We were not big on "free" trade, although we did welcome foreign investment--e.g., British investing in our railroads and agriculture, German investing in our chemical industry. What has happened in the past few decades is a revolution in our traditional global stance. We became "free traders" in theory and patsies in practice. We allowed our industrial supply chain to become centered on Chinese factories. American CEOs worked out, in the name of free trade, comfortable and highly profitable arrangements with the Chinese which left our factories hollowed out, our technology getting stolen, our workers out of jobs, and our country dependent on China and the whims of that dictatorial regime. Just as we finally achieved the apparently impossible dream of re-establishing our energy independence, we became dependent on Chinese factories and Chinese willingness to buy our debt with the billions of dollars we send them for goods once made here. All this, of course, as China makes clear its long-standing ambition to replace the USA as the pre-eminent economic and military power in the world.
Trump has proven the only President willing to take on the Chinese and call into question the "comfortable" arrangement known as Chimerica. He, as you would expect, has been pilloried by left and right for his guts, his willingness to upset the apple cart. This Chimerica arrangement has made many people on both sides of the political divide quite wealthy, and done perhaps irreparable damage to our industrial base and national security. The opposition to Trump on this will be and is fierce. For the sake of America and the West, Trump must win.
Give me a little time and I will get around to some other unpleasant topics such as James Comey, Joe Biden and the current crop of Democratic candidates, and the continued hysteria over Brexit. Right now I need to tend to the dogs; they are barking up a storm.