He can be a tiresome and implausible public figure at times, and the reservations widely held about him, in the United States and elsewhere, are understandable and not unfounded. He is, however, the most effective U.S. president since Reagan. In the 20 pre-Trump years, over $5 trillion and scores of thousands of American casualties were squandered in Middle East wars (while most Iraqis were handed over to Iranian influence), an immense humanitarian refugee tragedy was provoked, along with the greatest world economic crisis since the 1930s, American GDP per capita growth and capital investment shrunk by 75 per cent, the work force lost over 15 million people, millions of unskilled, illegal migrants were admitted, and the national debt of 233 years of American independence more than doubled in the last seven years of Obama. Those 20 years were the only time of absolute decline in American history, as well as a period of prolonged economic stagnation. Americans, unlike the older great nations of Europe and the Far East, have never experienced such setbacks and stagnation, and don’t like or accept them. It was in these circumstances that this unusual president was elected.
It is distressing to read and listen to the nonsense in the Canadian media about Donald Trump
In many advanced democratic countries, the political systems have begun to fragment. The German Social Democrats have half-disintegrated, the British Labour Party has been taken over by outright Marxists, France has practically obliterated its traditional parties except for the residue of the Gaullists, and in elections where only 30 per cent of eligible voters voted, the French handed the legislature to a party that was only invented, out of whole cloth, 15 months ago. The Austrian and Czech electorates have divided their support among a variety of parties and elevated, as France has, men in their thirties, who could be young nephews of Justin Trudeau. It was in these circumstances that Hillary Clinton narrowly kept her Democratic Party out of the hands of Senator Bernie Sanders and his socialist option, and Donald Trump, as he smashed the Bush-McCain-Romney tweedle-dee near-Democrats, also defeated the Ted Cruz far-right Republicans.
The Canadian media has almost uniformly bought into the line of the Trump-hating national U.S. media, that he is already a failed and probably illegitimate president. I was on CTV with my friend Evan Solomon about 10 days ago, and the preceding commentators claimed that “the noose is tightening around (Trump’s) neck,” and another said that it all “reminded (him) of Nixon,” as if Trump were about be convicted of “high crimes and misdemeanours.” The stupidest of these inescapable divinations of impeachable skullduggery I have seen is Scott Gilmore’s Maclean’s piece of Nov. 11, titled “Donald Trump; Putin’s Manchurian Idiot,” though he in fact excuses Trump from the charge of being a Manchurian candidate. Gilmore baldly states that there was heavy collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, though Trump, in his simplicity may not have known of it. The only person in American history elected president who has made billions of dollars and had never sought or held a public office, elected or otherwise, or a high military position, is dismissed as an imbecile who has no concept of what forces, treasonous as they obviously were, propelled him to his great office.
Canadians should recognize that a tawdry political charade is going on in the United States
One of Canada’s most eminent emeritus journalistic personalities approvingly just sent me a really insane piece from the droolingly Americophobic (U.K.) Guardian, fortunately on the verge of bankruptcy and reduced to a pitiful variation of crowd-funding, which asserts that Putin has manipulated the entire American political system for many years. This astounding surge of Russia to the status of a bogeyman greater than it ever enjoyed in the febrile ravings of Joseph R. McCarthy is piquant. Russia is an economic basketcase with a GDP smaller than Canada’s though it has more than four times our population. It is a geographically important country and a distinguished culture but has no durable political institutions, has never had a day of good government by Western standards, and could be bankrupted and swept out of the seas and skies of the world by the United States in a couple of weeks. The only danger it presents to America is that, if the Americans rebuff Russia too robustly, it will drive them into the arms of the Iranians and Chinese in a way that would be counter-productive to the U.S. national interest.
Canadians of all people should recognize that what is really going on in the United States is the tawdriest political charade in the country’s history. The Clinton campaign commissioned, through intermediaries, a dossier of salacious gossip and outright fabrications about Trump, from unidentified, unverifiable Kremlin sources, desperately shopped it to the U.S. media (remember the “Golden Shower” of Trump-synchronized urinating prostitutes in a Moscow hotel?), and managed to hand off the dossier to the FBI, politicizing that organization. Trump fired the FBI director, James Comey, who, in revenge, removed a government document, a much contested memo to himself about a conversation with the president, to force the appointment of a special counsel, who turned out to be none other than Comey’s chum and mentor and preceding FBI director, Robert Mueller.
Mueller is reduced to the usual fascistic shakedown of American prosecutors
Mueller has thrashed around with the Trump-collusion nonsense, which Obama launched a year ago, and which has not produced a shred of probative evidence of collusion. Mueller is reduced to the usual fascistic shakedown of American prosecutors: a pre-dawn Gestapo-style raid on Trump’s former campaign manager’s home (Paul Manafort), with armed men in his bedroom with his wife in sleeping attire (not uncommon for people sleeping at night in their own bedrooms), and then threw all the spaghetti at the wall — “conspiracy against the United States,” but for alleged financial activities years before Manafort knew Trump. It has emerged that this false dossier commissioned by the Clinton campaign is the only evidence there is of Trump-Kremlin collusion, all that is supposed to be “tightening a noose around (Trump’s) neck.” It is a stupendous farce confected by Kremlin low-lives for $10 million dollars paid over by the Clinton campaign, a partisan smear job. But you would ransack the Canadian media in vain to find it exposed as such, because they have all drunk the hand-me-down Kool Aid of the Never Trumpers and the anti-Trump Resistance. Canada’s media have almost totally failed in its coverage of the biggest political news in the world in many years.
Note: Last week, after my my reflections on Wilfrid Laurier University, someone among the editors omitted my reference to the outrageous criticism of graduate student Lindsay Shepherd, for showing a seminar a podcast of a debate between Professor Jordan Peterson and Nicholas Matte, about whether Peterson could be compelled to address trans-gendered people and those of ambiguous sexuality in specific prescribed terms. I recommended Christie Blatchford’s column in the same edition of the National Post on that subject, and I still do. It is scandalous that our universities are being assaulted by, and are caving in to, these enemies of freedom of free rational expression. The taxpayers must not be required to continue to pay billions of dollars annually to transform our universities into centres of censorship and enforced bigotry and ignorance.
Conrad Black is the founder of the National Post. His columns regularly appear in the National Post on Saturdays. For more opinion from Conrad Black, tune into The Zoomer on VisionTV (a property of ZoomerMedia Ltd.), Visiontv.ca.