Tag Archives: globalism

Nationalists outpointing Globalists in Trump World

Rex Tillerson’s departure as secretary of state fills me with terribly mixed feelings.

On one level, he wasn’t by any stretch my favored pick to lead the nation’s diplomatic effort. He came from big business; he had no real international political experience; he was unable to fill key posts within the State Department.

However, he is a grownup. He clashed with Donald John Trump. He sought to talk the president out of backing away from the Iran nuclear deal; he opposed Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris global warming accord.

Tillerson realizes a fundamental truth about the world and the United States’ role in it, which is that “globalism” is the more realistic approach to cultivating our nation’s alliances. Trump ran for president as a “nationalist.” He wants to “put America first,” but is putting our nation’s world standing in jeopardy.

Trump has nominated CIA Director Mike Pompeo to succeed Tillerson. Pompeo is from the same nationalist mold as Trump, as he demonstrated while he served in the U.S. House of Representatives before making the move to the CIA.

The nationalist wing of the Trump administration is winning the argument within the White House’s walls so far.

Trump keeps harping about America’s interests, which in its way is the height of irony, given his reluctance to condemn the Russians for attacking our nation’s electoral process in 2016.

He has cut loose someone, Tillerson, who believes that the world’s inexorable shrinkage forces this country to think more globally. We cannot escape the influences of other nations and we must be mindful of their concerns.

Should we place other nations’ interests on the same level as our own? No. Neither should we snub them, as Donald Trump seems so terribly inclined to do.

I also must concede that the comment attributed to Tillerson — which he hasn’t denied making — that Trump is a “moron” seems more truthful than ever.

Bannon shown the White House door

I am being tangled up by competing impulses with the news that Stephen K. Bannon has been kicked out of the White House.

The senior political strategist for Donald John Trump is out. They’re calling it a “mutual agreement” between Bannon and White House chief of staff John Kelly. That’s clearly code for Kelly kicking Bannon squarely in the a**.

Bannon, the former editor of Breitbart News and a far-right provocateur, had no business serving among the president’s closest circle of advisers. He’s a scary dude. He detests what he calls “globalism.” Breitbart has become infamous for publishing commentary that is decidedly racist and anti-Semitic. For a time, Bannon had a seat at the National Security Council table.

To that end, the president did himself no favors — except with his hard-core base of supporters — by having Bannon sitting nearby and offering advice.

Accordingly, I’m glad he’s gone.

Bye, bye Steve.

I’m not proud of the other impulse, which is a desire to continue to watch the president continue to struggle. The new chief of staff has made a tangible impact on the White House operation. I once stated my desire to see Trump “succeed” because abject failure as president doesn’t bode well for a nation that needs stability within the White House machinery.

Trump’s definition of “success,” though, doesn’t comport with what I would like to see for the nation. I oppose the president’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, his rolling back of U.S. environmental regulations and the decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; those issues have Bannon’s fingerprints on them.

Where this all goes is now anyone’s guess.

Bannon is now free to speak his mind. Inquiring minds are going to press the former chief strategist to reveal what he knows about what’s really going on inside the West Wing.

The drama continues. So does the chaos.

Greece: the downside of globalism

Economists have hailed the era of globalism, the interconnectedness of nations.

One nation’s failures and foibles affect others, just as their triumphs do.

Greece is in trouble — again! And the world is holding its breath.

Man, it pains me to watch what’s happening to the country of my ancestors. I’ve visited the place three times: 2000, 2001 and 2003. I’ve seen the good side of the country. My wife and I have experienced its charm, swallowed up its physical magnificence, gotten a taste of its cuisine and seen first hand the antiquities left over from when it was the “cradle of western civilization.”

Now this.


Greece owes billions of dollars to creditors. It must pay them back or else default. It joined the European Union, converted its currency, the drachma, to the euro, but the EU might kick Greece out. Germany, which has played a huge role in bailing the Greeks out, already is making plans for Greece’s default on the loans it has taken.

International financial markets are on edge. They’re teetering, putting retirement funds — such as mine and my wife’s — at risk.

Why is this all happening? Globalism.

Look, left to its own devices, Greece’s influence on the world shouldn’t be that impactful. It’s a small country. It’s a modern country. Its people are sophisticated and well-educated. But it comprises about 10.5 million citizens, contributing to a gross domestic product of $284 billion annually, which is chicken feed compared to, say, nearby Italy, with its $1.9 trillion GDP.

Still, the countries are linked by common currency, common trade practices and common pressures that ripple their way across Europe — and around the world.

Greece has made a mess of itself and the world might be forced to clean it up.

The push to join nations together in international trade arrangements and alliances by itself isn’t a bad thing. I remain all for it.

These alliances, though, depend on everyone doing what they must to ensure they hold together. Greece hasn’t done it. It continues to resist the austerity measures that others have imposed on it. Its left-wing government also is on the brink of collapse.

Doomsday hasn’t arrived in Athens. It’s getting dangerously close.