Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Under Trump, America May Be Its Strongest Since the End of World War II


(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

You won’t hear this from the media, but America under President Trump is doing well. Very well, in fact. A true read of the state of our union is simple: We’re strong and we’re getting stronger fast.

The labor participation rate is breaking records. Unemployment is at historic lows across all demographics. Wages are increasing, faster for those at the lower income levels than for those at the top. China has agreed to a historic trade deal. Congress (finally) passed the new US-Mexico-Canada trade deal which will create jobs across the continent. The stock market keeps breaking records despite impeachment. There’s almost too much good news to pack into one paragraph. It all points to growing American strength just a few years after President Barack Obama mused aloud about a “post-American world.”

At the end of the Second World War, the United States was by far the strongest nation on earth. In fact, it was the strongest nation ever. But the playing field was littered with craters.

Europe had been ravaged by war from one end of its continent to the other. Its major powers either lie in ruins (Germany, Italy, and France) or had expended vast sums to prosecute the war (Great Britain, the USSR) and lay in partial ruins. Cities in all of the major European countries were fractured and devastated, their manufacturing turned to wartime footing and then, if they were among the Axis Powers, crushed by allied might. In Asia, China and South Korea had yet to rise. Japan was as devastated as the major European powers.

The United States stood alone, relatively unscathed by the war, its manufacturing base which had been retooled for war now easily turned back to peacetime production. With millions of soldiers returning from overseas, its consumer economy could reach stride years before the rest of the world could get on its feet. It only made sense that as the world rebuilt - mostly with America footing the bill - the playing field would level out. We left military forces overseas after the war largely to keep nations with histories of fighting each other, from fighting each other yet again.

Fast forward through the Cold War and the United States became increasingly vulnerable as socialists made inroads and media and academia and as it became more dependent on foreign energy sources. The zenith of this vulnerability was the oil crisis of the early 1970s, when OPEC’s embargo led directly to shortages, rationing and severe recession in the US. That period also saw the United States lose the war in Vietnam and brush as close to socialism as it had during the Great Depression, when President Nixon imposed wage and price controls to attempt to stabilize the economy (it didn’t work, and contributed to the rise of “stagflation” under President Carter, who also had no solutions). Reagan undid much of the damage, only for Obama to hurt the economy later.

Fast forward again. The United States is now, for the first time in decades, energy independent. That doesn’t mean we buy no oil or gas from foreign sources. We still do. But we’ve diversified our foreign sources and we’re producing much more for ourselves. Where we once bought about 35% of our oil from the Middle East, we now buy less than 10%. Our foreign oil sources include Mexico, Africa and even Russia, but no single foreign source can strangle our economy or our military (Democrats imposing hard left anti-energy policies could). The US is now the world’s largest energy producer and a net exporter. Instead of depending on the unstable Middle East, we’re depending on North Dakota and Texas.

This changes everything.

Thursday, President Trump signed a $200 billion trade deal with China. This deal includes billions in energy exports from the US to China. China is our chief economic and military competitor. To the extent China depends on stable US energy is to the extent the probability of direct conflict with China decreases.

The US is now in a stronger position not just with regard to China, but also with the Middle East, with Russia and with Europe. Europe doesn’t even develop its own energy sources anymore, it is so in the grip of leftwing hysteria against fracking and fossil fuels. Russia lacks the technology to keep up with the United States. That’s why they fear American fracking and are very likely funding leftwing groups that attack fracking - as British billionaire Sir Christopher Hohn funds Extinction Rebellion. Americans are now inking deals to export natural gas with Eastern Europe and Saudi Arabia. Venezuela still has the largest proven oil reserves, but socialism is killing that country and keeping most of its oil off the market. Texas alone produces nearly five times Venezuela’s daily oil output now.

Not only are we stronger, our adversaries and competitors are mostly weaker. China is fractured and may crack permanently as Hong Kong and Taiwan reject its communist rule. Those two tiny offshoots are like water freezing in a crack in cement: The ice in the crack can break the block. Russia is increasingly unstable, and Putin’s move to solidify his grip on power may turn out to be the beginning of the slow-motion end for him. The killing of Iranian terrorist Gen. Qassam Suleimani did not trigger World War III despite the grave warnings from the foreign policy establishment and its press puppets. Japan is deploying forces to the Persian Gulf in a show of support for the US.

Handing the country to any of the Democrats running for president would be reckless. They would raise taxes to fund their socialist schemes and break our new energy dominance. That’s a recipe for economic disaster and weakens our national security. It’s what the Russians, among others, want. If you like the violent yellow vest riots in France, just let any of the Democrats take the White House.

Bryan Preston is the author of Hubble's Revelations: The Amazing Time Machine and Its Most Important Discoveries. He's a writer, producer, author, Texan, veteran, and conservative strategist.