Mazzuca: A conservative perspective on the current state of our government (column)
It’s a reality that nations across the globe act in what they believe to be their own national interests in matters of trade, immigration defense, foreign relations, etc. And this modus operandi will remain until Earth’s inhabitants reject tribalism as the planet’s dominant culture. It’s also one of the reasons I endorse President Donald Trump’s policy of America first.
As a people and as a nation, we have our faults and we’ve made our share of mistakes during our 242-year history. No one denies we are an imperfect nation and an imperfect people. In fact, that concept is embodied in the very first sentence of the Preamble to the Constitution — “In order to form a more perfect union …”
However, more than any other nation on Earth, we address our infirmities and correct our mistakes; and by almost every quantifiable measure, America remains the single greatest force for human freedom and progress in the history of the world.
The president’s critics point out, “America was already great” — of course it was, duh. MAGA is just a slogan, for Pete’s sake, but unlike the previous administration’s campaign slogan of “Hope & Change” (which was very effective, by the way), “Make America Great Again” actually underpins a philosophy of governance.
I certainly don’t agree with the president’s every action, and like many others, I frequently find his style undignified and unbecoming a president. However, I’m smart enough not to confuse style with substance.
For a moment, let’s travel back in time to immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union when the United States dominated the world stage. Technologically speaking, we were unchallenged, we had no legitimate military competitors and our economy was envied throughout the world.
Since that time, however, establishment politicians of both parties, i.e., Bush, Obama, Clinton, Kerry, Pelosi, Boehner, Ryan, Schumer, etc., have watched as …
• A feckless foreign policy allowed 500,000 Syrians to die while creating 6 million refugees.
• North Korea successfully developed a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver them.
• Libya transitioned from the Arab Spring into a failed terrorist state.
• Four Americans were allowed to die in Benghazi, even though we had the means to rescue them; and then our government had the gall to tell us it was caused by a video.
• ISIS routinely raped, tortured and crucified Yazidi Christians, along with many others, with impunity.
• Sequestration left our military in a horrible state of disrepair vis-a-vis the Russians and Chinese.
• Many individual NATO members did not live up to their defense spending commitments.
• China replaced the United States as the leading exporter of high-tech equipment.
• Real median household income stagnated through two administrations.
• A civilian labor force participation rate fell from 67 percent in 2000 to 63 percent.
• The federal debt doubled as a share of GDP since the year 2000. (The Bush administration increased the federal debt by $5 trillion; Obama’s by $9 trillion.)
• Illegal immigration spun completely out of control.
Those are serious matters and, when taken collectively, clearly illustrate why the 2016 presidential election was a referendum on the establishment — Americans wanted these issues redressed.
The rejection of the establishment wasn’t just a shock; it was an outright embarrassment to an elite who still cannot wrap their collective arms around the fact that their candidate lost to a brash New Yorker with no political experience. Perhaps that’s why the vitriol directed toward this president has been vile, perfidious and scattered to the point of absurdity.
If Trump is guilty of a crime, he should be charged and face the consequences, but until then, he deserves the opportunity to fulfill the promises he made to the American people without being gratuitously and continuously obstructed.
Quote of the day: “When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?” — John Maynard Keynes
Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes biweekly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.