Trump and Peter Thiel, Negging America

Peter Thiel, the German-American Silicon Valley Billionaire who is supporting Trump morally and financially, says “What Trump Represents Isn’t Crazy And It’s Not Going Away”

Just as much as it’s about making America great, Trump’s agenda is about making America a normal country.

A normal country doesn’t have a half-trillion dollar trade deficit. A normal country doesn’t fight five simultaneous undeclared wars.

In a normal country the government actually does its job. And today it’s important to recognise that the government has a job to do.

Voters are tired of hearing conservative politicians say that government never works.

They know the government wasn’t always this broken.

The Manhattan Project, the interstate highway system, the Apollo program, whatever you think of these ventures you cannot doubt the competence of the government that got them done.

But we have fallen very far from that standard.

Thiel and Trump are wrong. Trump says we can become great again, but in fact, we’ve always been great. That’s why everyone else is catching up to us.

We were a screaming success during the ’50’s and ’60’s because all the ‘normal’ countries had destroyed (or were in the process of destroying) themselves with a combination of tribalism, idiotic ideology and authoritarian regimes.

After WWII and the horrors of Communism, America was pretty much the only country left standing. Abnormally, we didn’t use our advantage to crush our enemies. We didn’t use it to colonize them either.

There is no other country in the world that would have thought of the Marshall Plan, spending massive amounts of money and time to help former enemies. This was entirely unprecedented and abnormal.

We created NATO to protect our former enemies from Soviet imperialism. We took on responsibility for their defense, a responsibility that American taxpayers still continue to fund despite the fact that these countries have thriving economies. That, and the remnants of the Cold War, are why we have a half-trillion dollar trade deficit and are fighting five simultaneous undeclared wars. We are one of the few nations in the world with a military force that’s strong enough to defend our (and other) borders. But our willingness to adapt and change, looking forward instead of backwards, is likely to fix that problem.

During the early ’80’s, our foreign and trade policies were seen to be the cause of our apparent decline. 80’s kids were told that they would never be as wealthy as their parents, because the Germans and Japanese were going to crush us.

I know this because I was there. So was Thiel. I’m surprised he doesn’t remember.

According to this analysis in the Harvard Business Review, talking smack about Americans and our decline is nothing new. This is another abnormality. We’re are unusually and perpetually worried about downhill slide.

First, declinists compare U.S. economic performance with that of the nation’s chief rivals (usually Japan and Germany) and find it wanting. Second, they urge the United States to become more like its competitors—primarily by copying Japanese and European mechanisms for business-government collaboration.

For some typical examples of this kind of analysis, consider two recent reports coming out of the Washington public-policy community: Competing Economies: America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim, a report from the Office of Technology Assessment, and Building a Competitive America, the first annual report of the Competitiveness Policy Council.

The chief measure of competitiveness, OTA analysts argue, is a nation’s ability, under fair market conditions, to “produce goods and services that meet the test of international markets, while simultaneously maintaining or expanding the real income of its citizens.” According to Competing Economies, the United States fails on both counts. Its share of world manufacturing exports has declined in recent decades, while its share of imports has risen. It fails the living standards test because the real wages of manufacturing production workers have fallen since the late 1970s. And while Japanese trade barriers contribute to the U.S. trade deficit with that country, the report’s authors strongly argue that “unfair trade” cannot be blamed entirely for the trends they describe.

The OTA concedes that some decline in the U.S. share of international markets was inevitable, given that the United States began the post-World War II economic race as the world’s wealthiest nation. But it puts too little emphasis on this fundamental fact of history. Europe and Japan were bound to catch up, in the process undermining U.S. economic hegemony. Indeed, the United States spent much of the past 30 years making sure that exactly this process took place. U.S. policy objectives, plainly stated, were to fight communism by planting the seeds of capitalism’s success and to expand trade—goals that would presumably benefit the United States. Now that the policies have succeeded, declinists wish to use an entirely different measuring stick to declare them failures.

Like beta males in a bar, declinists like Trump and Thiel are negging America, trying to undermine our self-confidence so we’ll be more vulnerable to their advances – trying to make us believe that we need them.
 
We don’t.

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About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
This entry was posted in Politics/Foreign correspondents. Bookmark the permalink.

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