With Friends Like These

June 18, 2018


Friends are important. Most of us desire to have at least one or two, if not more. We were made by our Creator to need human interaction. At the same time, part of the definition of a friend is a person one can trust. At the global level, nations need friends – partners in trade and during war.
 
With that in mind, one of the criticisms of Barack H. Obama’s presidency was that he managed to insult our friends and reward our enemies. The American people want our friends to be respected.
 
On the other hand, we also want our friends to be respectable and to respect us. With that in mind, and in the context of President Donald Trump’s anger tweets against the Canadian prime minister, let us examine a few friends in the G7, recalling that some of these leaders eventually warmed up to Obama.
 
First is the drama teacher. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the Canadian version of Obama: unqualified and unprepared to lead poker night at the town bar, let alone an entire nation. This is a man-child who believes that young men become terrorists out of feelings of exclusion from their societies, and who once corrected a woman who used the word “mankind” to say “personkind.” Yeah, he’s that politically correct – and vacuous. Between his visit to India earlier this year, when he and his family dressed up like Bollywood characters and out India’d the Indians, to his portrayal of ISIS terrorists returning to Canada as equivalent to scorned immigrants from other times in history, he has proven again and again that he is out of his element.
 
Anything more intellectually challenging than Sesame Street puts Trudeau out of his league. Trudeau is, as Obama was, a boy among men.
 
French President Emmanuel Macron may be more mature than the sophomoric Trudeau, but he is an arrogant Euro-elitist bent on rule by 'Those Who Know Better.' Macron broke with the Socialist Party nearly a decade ago, but he felt inclined to give his independent movement the battle cry of communists from another era – and one used by Obama, as well: in English, it is “Forward!”
 
In just another oddity of our times, Macron wants to impress Germany to the point that he sounds as though he is the leader of the Vichy government. If only Germany sees a strong France then his country can play a bigger role in the EU. ‘Oh, Daddy. Please! Can we have a bigger allowance?’
 
With German Chancellor Angela Merkel enduring her political struggles at home, Macron has maneuvered like General Burgoyne, moving to be the hero by showing up General Howe. Like Burgoyne, Macron will allow zeal to overtake reason and his French DNA will pull him into the background, where the French have grown accustomed.
 
Those who love control usually fail because of their own hubris. Ask Burgoyne. Ask Al Gore. Burgoyne had his Saratoga and Gore had his Florida. Hubris hurts when it hits you in the face…and it’s your own hubris.
 
By the way, measured in terms of nominal GDP, France’s economy would have to grow eight-fold to surpass the US economy. California, by itself, has a larger economy than Monsieur Macron’s nation.
 
The Germans and French are in lock-step politically, which hasn’t happened to this degree since 1940, when Hitler’s Panzer divisions rolled into Paris. After the G7 Summit, the German Foreign Minister, Heinrich Somebody Irrelevant, complained about President Trump’s decisions to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord (back to Paris, again) and the Gift of Time to Build More Bombs “Iran Deal” (and don’t forget the billions of American dollars and hundreds of millions in European money). Herr Foreign Minister undoubtedly liked Obama, who went along with (led from behind, remember?) elitist rule.
 
No one knows how to run your life like an elitist – even a European elitist. If Germany combined with the UK, France, and Canada, and the collective doubled its economy thereafter, their economic output would only slightly surpass that of the US. Maybe listening to German Foreign Ministers ought to be low on the American list of things to do.
 
The Germans are led by a woman who once pulled a small German flag out of the hands of a fellow German official who dared to wave it as he stood among other Germans, welcoming the Muslim invaders who came to their country by the hundreds of thousands. Her scornful look communicated a clear message that the arriving invaders should not have to bear the indignity of seeing a flag of the land they were invading. Angela Merkel is a globalist who has yet to figure out that the German economy is a flea on the back of an elephant compared to the American economy.
 
Then there are domestic “friends” – none friendlier than John McCain himself. As with Nancy Pelosi, McCain will be well served if his family steps in and urges his immediate retirement from Congress. He embarrasses himself every time he tweets or steps in front of a camera, and he is tarnishing his legacy.
 
Sen. McCain tweeted in part that “Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.” Responding to a 270% Canadian tariff is not refusing to “stand” with friends, but it is also saying, “Hey man, I’ve had enough of that.” But who should stand with whom? America is the hyper-power, militarily and economically. It does seem logical that Europe and Canada have a bigger interest in remaining friends with the US rather than the other way around.
 
Instead, Frau Merkel has suggested that the Europeans should shun the US and start their own little New World Order without us, surely to be a socialistic Nirvana, where an unknown number of nations will band together, unable to pay for their own military defense because they are too busy paying for their free-loader populations, both native and immigrant. Their multicultural experiments and ventures into “free” everything can work now, to some degree, because the muscular American Eagle flies over their lands, providing protection.
 
This has led Europe to believe they can accept anyone and everyone who barges through their international doorway; or, as Merkel once said, “Islam belongs to Germany.” It’s not just Islam taking advantage of European weakness, but her blasé attitude is most notable here.
 
Friends are important, but sometimes friends need reality checks. They need to be awakened. They need to be reminded of why and how friendships began in the first place. We Americans are learning, maybe re-learning, who we can trust. Maybe those foreign relationships need some healthy reexamination.
 
And maybe we ought not judge a president by the way he gets along with foreign friends. It depends on who those friends – at least their leaders – are at the moment.
 
America could use some friends, but with friends like the drama teacher, the arrogant Europe-uniter, and the woman who has gone off the rails against what it is to be German, we will probably be better off to wait to see if those countries elect new friends sometime soon. We certainly do not need to impress these friends.

Copyright ©2018

Brian W. Peterson has been a columnist for a mid-size California newspaper, is a veteran of political campaigns, and was a member of the publicly elected Republican Central Committee of Los Angeles County. His psychological thriller Dead Dreams and sci-fi adventure Children of the Sun are currently available through Amazon.com. You can follow Brian on Twitter @cybrpete.