A story is supposed to have two sides, but there is only one when it comes to President Trump’s foreign policy. Most American media treat his every effort as a savage assault on a harmonious world order.
Whether it’s the trade dispute with China, his pushing North Korea to scuttle its nukes or his demand that NATO members spend more on defense, the headlines sound the same shrieking note: “Trump inflames . . . Trump escalates . . . Trump doubles down . . . Trump risks . . .”
The parade of horribles continues to this day, but it will be hard to out-fear-monger a Time magazine headline from May: “By Violating Iran Deal, Trump Jeopardizes National Security.”
But since the world hasn’t ended and since we’re not dead yet, I humbly suggest it’s time to take a deep breath and consider the other side of the story.
We don’t have to look far. Numerous signs are popping up that the impact of Trump’s policies is far from the disastrous scenario the media predict. By wielding America’s power instead of apologizing for it, and by keeping his focus on jobs and national security, Trump is making progress in fixing the ruinous status quo he inherited.
America First, it turns out, is more than a slogan. It is a road map to reshaping America’s relationship with friend and foe alike.
Take China. Despite press accusations that Trump risks a global recession with tariffs on Chinese imports, recent reports from China say there is growing criticism there over how President Xi Jinping is handling Trump. One brave professor published an essay citing “rising anxiety” and “a degree of panic” about Xi’s combativeness on the issue and his autocratic ways.
Others told The New York Times and CNBC that China’s leaders should be flexible toward Trump’s push for a more equal trading system. They said boasts and threats from Chinese officials and retaliatory tariffs on American soybeans and other products are raising fears that Xi is courting chaos by overestimating China’s international clout.
“China should adopt a lower profile,” one foreign-policy expert there told the Times. “Don’t create this atmosphere that we’re about to supplant the American model.”
Turkey is testing Trump by seizing an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, and refusing to release him. Instead of paying a ransom or making concessions, Trump’s team levied sanctions on two Turkish cabinet members and doubled tariffs on steel and aluminum, which sent panic through currency markets. The Turkish lira lost 13 percent of its value against the dollar in one day and inflation stands at an estimated 85 percent.