Beaton: Pick one: Do you want a good person or a good president? (Column)
The Aspen Beat
“Faith without deeds is dead” — James 2-26
Those words were spoken about 2,000 years ago by a Jew to other Jews in their ancestral home and capital, Jerusalem. Several millennia after the founding of ancient Israel and exactly 70 years after the founding of modern Israel, America finally moved its embassy there this month.
The move fulfills legislation passed by Congress in 1995. That legislation passed the Senate by a margin of 93-5 and the House by 374-37.
The move could have been made by half a dozen Republican or Democrat presidents. In fact, two Democrats (including President Barack Obama) and one Republican promised they would make the move.
But they never did.
It took President Donald Trump to do it. The liberal media incited and glorified a violent reaction by some, but Senate Democrat leader Charles Schumer said, “I applaud President Trump.”
That’s worth repeating: Senate Democrat leader Charles Schumer said, “I applaud President Trump.”
Go a third the way around the globe to North Korea. With his trademark bellicosity, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if they threatened America.
Trump’s outburst annoyed people who think the way to avoid conflict with tyrants is to appease them and to do so predictably. Rather than a carrot-and-stick approach, they just put away the stick and instead shower them with carrots. And chocolates, flowers and pallets of unmarked euros if necessary.
That approach has never worked, and certainly didn’t work for Trump’s predecessors who watched North Korea go from the stone age to a nuclear-armed world threat.
The carrots, chocolates, flowers and euros school of foreign policy warns that Trump’s big stick is dragging us into war. But war is exactly what Trump is on the verge of dragging us out of. The Korean War never officially ended, though hostilities mostly ended two generations ago. Finally, an end may be in sight.
Presidents have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for far less.
A permanent peace will require more than a single on-again-off-again meeting. But notice that the left seems to root against the meeting — and against peace — for fear that Trump might get some credit.
Back to the Middle East. Trump ended the non-treaty with Iran, which was never submitted to or ratified by the Senate, as treaties must be. That non-treaty explicitly allowed Iran to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in the future. In the meantime, Iran was supposedly prohibited from doing so but the verification process was extremely poor.
A trove of documents spirited out of Iran by the Israeli Defense Forces last month showed that Iran lied blatantly and comprehensively to get that non-treaty in place. And now Trump’s critics would have us believe without verification that Iran is not lying blatantly and comprehensively about following it.
Because it was a non-treaty, Trump could end it as easily as his predecessor started it — with the stroke of a pen. He did.
The usual prognostications of impending apocalypse ensued from the usual apoplectic apocalypse prognosticators, unaccompanied by any actual apocalypse, as usual.
In other words, they said again that the world would end again but, to their disappointment, it didn’t, again.
In fact, back home the economy is soaring. Did you notice that the unemployment rate is at 3.9 percent, and that the black unemployment rate is at a record low? Blacks did. They’ve doubled their approval rating of Trump in the past few months. A popular black musician says he “loves” Trump and sports a MAGA hat.
He said this without getting permission from the Dems who still think, as they did in 1860, that they own the blacks. For daring to step off the Dem plantation, the Dems have called this black musician names that are too vile to print.
Perhaps related to the historically low black unemployment rate is the fact that illegal immigration is at a 17-year low. That means fewer workers here illegally competing with Americans for jobs.
Americans are having a healthy debate about what to do with people already here illegally. But few Americans would contend that we need more (but, yes, a few would indeed contend that).
Let me be clear. Although I’ve never been a “Never Trump” guy, I don’t like the man personally. That doesn’t mean I judge him a bad person; judging the worth of a person is way beyond my pay grade.
Judging the worth of a president, however, is another matter. Americans have a responsibility to judge the worth of a president at least every four years.
In making that judgment, Americans sense that Trump talks bad but does good. His approval rating according to pollsters is about the same as Obama’s at this stage of his presidency, or maybe a tad higher. That’s even though — or perhaps partly because — the hysterical left demonizes the man.
I’m not one of his faithful, but I do like Trump’s deeds. It’s still early but he may prove a worthy president, even though — or, again, perhaps because — he’s an unconventional one. We live in interesting times.
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Reconstruction work that was initially slated for completion in 2018 should be done by October 2019