Happy Friday, TPP loyalists! Normally I’d offer up a well- (or hastily-)crafted essay for your enjoyment, but it’s been an unusually busy week here, so I thought I’d do something a bit different and offer some brief reflections on the week. It’s been a late night a-rockin’, and I’ve got classroom walls to paint in the morning.
I was planning on writing a bit about socialist babe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but I’ll have to hold off on that until next week (the gist of my analysis: she’s a hot Millennial Latina in a congressional district with the demographics of downtown San Salvador; her primary victory isn’t that shocking in context).
A typical post takes about an hour to churn out, although it can be quicker. Finding links to cite my sources typically takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on the complexity of the topic or what I need to cite (since, let’s be honest, a lot of this information is coming from years of reading and teaching history, and I have to fact-check myself or try to hunt down obscure snippets of old National Review articles I read eight years ago).
So, here are some of my quick takes on the news of the week, mostly on international events. Just a warning—these are going to be delivered in a quick, jocular, talk-radio style.
I know folks on the Left and Right are going to argue that President Trump’s remarks to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s toady at that breakfast earlier this week were overly hostile, but, c’mon, the president is right—the United States has been shouldering Europe’s security for almost seventy years. The least Germany can do is meet its 2% defense spending obligation.
European nations seem to be taking the not-so-subtle hint and doing just that. I would argue we should probably stay with NATO, but Trump brought up a good point when he was still a candidate—what purpose does the alliance serve now? Yes, it’s a bulwark against Vladimir Putin’s plodding expansionism, and it represents the ideal of multilateral, collective security, but it’s also a relic of the Cold War. I’m not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but the baby needs to grow up, get a job, and move out of Dad’s basement. Europe has been suckling at our nuclear-armed teat (talk about mixing metaphors) for decades, and needs to take national defense seriously.
A proud moment, though: one of my former students, who has now become an elite Washington insider (one of the good swamp creatures), has a much more thoughtful analysis of the NATO summit; read it: https://americasfuture.org/what-to-watch-for-at-the-2018-nato-summit/
Speaking of NATO, why is Turkey still in NATO? It definitely should not enter the European Union, for it’s own sake, but for the EU’s as well. It’s a nation that has slipped back into an aggressive form of Islamism under President Erdogan, and it mainly seems to be holding the European Union hostage over the migrant crisis issue. Let ’em fight their shadow religious war with Iran and be done with it.
What is Prime Minister Teresa May and the noodle-wristed PMs in the Conservative Party thinking? Brexit should have taken a week, tops, to work out—after the vote in 2016, the Brits could literally have just left the European Union. Oh, the EU still wants Brits to follow European Court rulings? Tough—we’re independent now. That should be the attitude and approach. Then Britain could work out trade deals and other details on its terms.
Of course, that’s what you get when a former Remainer—who badly bungled snap elections that cost her party seats—is in charge of overseeing an exit from a quasi-tyrannical supranational entity.
Boris Johnson was right to jump ship.
Trump in England
Meanwhile, Trump is meeting with the beleaguered Prime Minister this week. Some Lefties made a big baby balloon of the President, and a nation that regularly violates the free speech of its citizens is letting that fly in the name of—wait for it—free speech. Where’s the consistency?
First Lady Melania Trump is charming as ever, and looks like a Disney princess. I’ll be honest, one (small) reason I was hoping Trump would win in 2016 is because I loved the idea of having an Eastern European supermodel as our First Lady.
That’s all for this morning’s post, TPP fans. We’ll get back to our regularly-scheduled standards of excellence Monday. Enjoy a safe, fun weekend, and be careful on this Friday the 13th. Don’t squander your liberty—use it well!