Jack Straw

Since no one will read this, I might as well express myself plainly. Today’s Idlepost is about politics again — the international kind. I continue to be mildly curious about what is happening in our world, and amazed in my brief media perusals that no one is writing about it — with any sense of reality. Obsessed with small ideological points, like pebbles in the street, they do not notice what is falling on them. My comment applies to both Left and Right, for both have ideologues, but of course they are worse on the Left.

They want to take digs at Trump. I do, too, for I find him quite obnoxious sometimes, though not for the same reasons they do. For instance, I don’t mind his vulgarity so much, there are worse things in this world. Trump will be Trump, while he lives and breathes; get used to him. He is not conventional; his training was in the nasty trades of property and construction and hotel management. Say what you will about him, he is used to getting results from dark nefarious colleagues, by calling their bluffs. It turns out this has fitted him well for the job he has now, for Washington is a town that works on mafia-mob principles, and bluffing.

He just made an example of our Trudeau boy, for a purpose that ought to be obvious. It will be noted, I should think, on the other side of the world, where they don’t wear the “gliberal” blinkers. Kim Jong-un was meant to notice, along with the Chinese operators behind him. The Chinese, I should think, have been quickest off the mark, with the observation that “this guy means business.” And if you want to do some, you will have to be businesslike and stop mucking about.

Trump is such a mystery to the Jack Straws in the West (late mediaeval term for chests stuffed with hay), because he is so transparent. They’ve never dealt with a politician like that. From Canada’s CBC and other crap media up here it is evident that the Trudeau lad does not know what knocked his eyebrows off (see viral video). He was just doing a little tease for the cameras, and then this tweet-missile came down from Air Force One. The idea that, if he wanted to, Trump could destroy the Canadian economy, has not yet sunk in. With that, the curious idea that there could be consequences to seriously aggravating him. It isn’t something that occurred to them before, because they are used to mouthing off freely, against cowards too wussy to reply.

Natted States Merica is in a strong position on tariffs. They have a yuge domestic market, and while jobs would be lost in a trade war, jobs would also be created, and companies facing constriction would move to where their biggest market is. Angela Merkel, who is a reasonably adept politician, gets this well enough to mind what she is saying, and the Europeans generally are doing only token “retaliations” while their fairy dust clears. The little Trudeau fellow, threatening big retaliations that would play politics by explicitly targeting Red States, is not, shall we say, playing this wisely. (At the Quebec summit, he got played by both the Americans, and the Europeans: the latter set him up to be out-man on the limb.)

But none of his adversaries yet grasp the character of Trump himself. He is actually a capitalist: a “free-trader.” They have quietly built tariff dams against American exports, and Trump wants them busted. They think he just likes walls, but he doesn’t. He’ll use walls to defeat walls, but what he likes is highways and airports. It happens I don’t like such things, myself, but can at least see what he is doing: pushing actual free trade down foreign throats, and thus compelling them to replace big politics with big business. They worry they’ll get creamed by the American juggernaut, now fracking enough oil to fuel itself, and rightly so. But there’s a substantial price to dodge it, and none of them are willing to pay. Trump will make them. He probably can.

In the same way, Trump is willing to militarize the Korean peninsula, in order to demilitarize it; and surround Persia with enough reasons to actually take its nose out of its neighbours’ affairs. To caricature the man as a warmonger or protectionist is to get him backwards. He is pushing “America First” and trying to communicate that if we, for instance, want to put Canada First, he’ll deal. But he isn’t going to deal with what he might characterize as a bunch of wankers.


Sorry to hear that Charles Krauthammer is dying. I admired him as a political realist, which he has been to the best of his ability and knowledge. He was also (privately) a rather decent and kindly man. Hard-boiled (in public), but a genuine egg. There is a shortage of hack journalists like that, as I hinted above — those the hack politicos must read, in order to know what is going on; men who try to squint through their own illusions. I began to miss him from the moment he went silent, ten months ago.