The desire shared by many on the right to defeat Donald Trump in 2016 does not exist today. After his nomination and (especially) his election over Hillary Clinton, the most strident NeverTrump (NT) people on the right went full Democrat while the Democrat Party itself and their supporters in the media went completely off the rails. Many on the right who did not vote or wrote in a candidate in 2016 now appreciate certain of Trump’s accomplishments in office. Though they may still find him distasteful as a person, at least a large subset of these will likely cast their votes for the incumbent in November.
The hard-core NeverTrump former ‘conservatives’ created a pro-leftist movement which tried with all its might to curry favor with the original leftists, who used (and still use) the former ‘conservatives’ kowtowing hat-in-hand appeals to leftists as some sort of ‘proof’ that their own Trump Derangement Syndrome is justified and reasonable. Meanwhile, democrats in government and the media openly and viciously scorned (and still scorn) formerly NT conservatives who did not vote for Clinton in 2016.
While Justin Amash is toying with the idea of declaring his candidacy as this election's ‘principled’ option, his reach will not extend past his own circle, which appears to have shrunk considerably since he abandoned the Republican Party. Also notable is that both the Democrats and NT former Republicans expressed dismay at Amash's announcement. Democrats fear a Libertarian candidate will steal votes from Biden, and NT has already firmly severed its connection to any conservative values. They all want to defeat Trump with a Democrat. That would only leave the Trump-skeptical Rs who haven't swung left (as the NT movement did) who might vote for Amash. One problem Amash faces is that no one wants to get burned and embarrassed again. 2016 was the year that third party voters would rather forget. This road was traveled with Evan McMullin, who turned on any conservative values to become fodder for left-wing politics. Republicans aren't interested in protest votes that churn out inevitable opponents to Republican values. Another issue for Amash is that third-party voting Rs may be resistant to helping Ds after witnessing the scorn with which all Republicans were treated after the election. Republicans are less likely to aid Ds in the current climate than 2016, not more.
Even the Rs with the most distaste for Trump's character would concede the benefits of his presidency, including court appointments and pro-life policy, as well as a booming economy (until the Chinese pandemic struck).
The pandemic recovery will be the issue of the election. Amash has no part in this fight. The issues of character which dogged Trump and swung some voters to McMullin or another third party candidate are no longer front and center, most of them having been nullified by Trump's opponents who have proven themselves to have similar if not worse character flaws. Lack of faith in media reporting has hardened and even increased, and the right is not in Amash territory. Republicans crossing over to the Ds is even less likely. The Democrats have had three years to pull themselves together, form a reasonable, responsible party, and present a realistic candidate. They did not do that. This will be purely D candidate vs R candidate - who can rebuild the country? The gloves will be off. And this time, the Rs will be OK with that.
It’s weird for me to advocate the position I’m going to express about China in this piece. As a young and idealistic teenage conservative, I believed what a lot of people in authority said about trade with China democratizing that country: Trading with the Chinese government would make them a partner in world affairs and might even make them a friend. I swallowed that thinking completely.
A lot of politicians, foreign-policy experts, and I were as wrong as wrong could be. Since the United States and China normalized trade relations in 1998, democratic ideals and yearnings haven’t blossomed in Beijing. The Chinese Communist Party’s grip on authority is tighter than ever.
What has it brought America? Lots of job loss because of manufacturing heading to China. Lots of intellectual property stolen, either through outright theft, the requirement that American companies investing in China must allow Chinese nationals part ownership, or Chinese students taking advantage of the college system in the USA to take ideas back to their native lands. Gigantic profits for big tech companies and sports leagues that are prepared to be chief bootlickers for the Chinese Communist Party in exchange for access to the Chinese market.
China is now an economic superpower and they’ve not been shy about using international systems to their advantage. Despite their membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Chinese regularly flout the rules. China is engaged in currency manipulation, it has used tariffs to protect its own companies, imposed rules on foreign companies that are anti-competitive, and engaged in dumping steel to hurt other countries’ steel industries.
All of this has made them a handful to deal with internationally as well. China’s incredible growth allowed them to buy whole countries in Africa, assert influence over the administration of the Panama Canal, and build man-made islands in the South China Sea to increase its territorial claim there.
China has been a malefactor on the world stage for quite a while now. They’ve bullied and menaced their neighbors and enabled Kim Jong-Un’s behavior in North Korea. And with American business joined at the hip with China, the U.S. government has done very little to try to stop China’s bad acts internationally.
Now we have a worldwide pandemic that started in Wuhan, China. COVID19 is causing economic ruin and mayhem all over the world. Tens of millions of people are losing their jobs and no one has any idea how or when the world will recover.
Despite the protestations of certain media outlets, the incompetent World Health Organization and desperate Democratic politicians, this crisis is China’s fault.
We’ve heard a lot of variations of “send China the bill” from pundits and politicians on TV here. I’ve seen people like Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) talk about China writing off American debt. Others, including President Donald Trump, mused about China paying for the relief / stimulus packages that were passed into law.
As awful as this crisis is, it presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the United States and the industrialized world to strike back at China’s aggression and malfeasance. Their incompetence, whether intentional or not, has wrecked the international economy and will kill hundreds of thousands of people all over the world before it is done.
The United States, Europe, and the advanced economies in Asia, the Middle East, and South America need to come together to wage economic war on China. No more doing business with them. No more taking their investment money. No more letting Chinese companies buy businesses in their countries. No more outsourcing manufacturing to China. No more lobbying firms or media outlets taking Chinese money, either from official government entities or from businesses owned by Chinese nationals.
And Trump is the one American President with the cojones to convince the world of this strategy. Use every tariff, every sanction regime and, most importantly, secondary sanctions, to get the world to join in this economic war. It is time to put China back in its box. It’s time to reverse all of the gains the Chinese communists have made and end their dream of being the number one power in the world.
The only way China can avoid this massive and richly-deserved penalty is to agree to the following list of demands:
This is a long list of demands and yes it will represent a total surrender by China on the world stage. And every one of these demands must be met or the international community will wage full-scale economic war against China. That is what has to be done. It won’t be easy and there will be howling from all corners that are accustomed to enriching themselves from China.
A world run by China will be one of repression, less freedom, and even more economic stratification than now. This is the moment to stop it for good. This is the opportunity we must take.
Stay at home orders got you down? Ready to rise in rebellion and join the revolution? Wide-ranging reactions to the Coronapocalypse are COMPLETELY NORMAL. During the COVID-19 crisis one thing you don’t really have to worry about is the permanent loss of your sanity. At least this is the theory I’m going with. We are just coping here people!
Necessary disclaimer: However accurate and insightful, @foundersgirl is not a doctor of any kind, nor licensed in anything credible. She makes no validated behavioral recommendations and claims no responsibility for the actions of any readers who have voluntarily subjected themselves to the following musings and assertions.
How many stages of Corona Coping have you experienced, how many will you circle back through before the madness ends?
Stage 1: Global Pandemic Shock
There is a reportedly nasty virus that started in China. We don’t know a lot about it, but IT IS HERE.
Fight and flight?
Information please. If you went straight to the Google and / or various media sources looking for answers, you probably didn’t find a whole lot. At least not a lot that was accurate. If you’re a data junkie, you hated the early stages of the outbreak. None of the data aligned, rumors were rampant, and numbers changed daily. Actually wait; this is still ongoing.
If you weren’t consumed with the quest to gather information, maybe you ran right out to save everyone and everything in a panic-induced state of frenzied action. Did you thoroughly prep for months of self-quarantine? Call all of your loved ones to make sure they weren’t in China in the past 10 years? Buy ALL OF THE TOILET PAPER?
Don’t feel too bad about your initial reaction. You were in a state of shock. It was likely brought on by media sensationalism and the unknown. If you overbought certain supplies (read: toilet paper), go ahead and share with your neighbors who played it cool and under prepared. Forgiveness can be bought one roll at a time, guys.
Stage 2: Denial
What’s the big deal?
Many will come in and out of this stage as we now live in constant disbelief over the current state of modern life. Something about the COVID-19 and the way it unfolded just doesn’t add up. You don’t have to put on a tinfoil hat to acknowledge that the reaction to the virus outpaced the spread. Disinformation and inaccurate information from around the world and throughout the media contribute to feelings of skepticism and disbelief.
Or maybe you just don’t really feel the impact. If you’re not in a risk group for contracting the ‘rona, are considered an essential employee, and have plenty of toilet paper, then maybe you can just ignore the insanity blasted on every news channel, social media network, and the less-crowded water cooler chit chat. But dude, ya still can’t go to the park or stop at the local pub. Can’t pretend this is normal forever.
Stage 3: Anger
What the hell are we doing?
Having experienced a lifetime of freedoms and all of its associated luxuries, at some point most of us are realizing that having it revoked to such a degree is hard to accept. In fact, it’s infuriating. Responsible, self-sufficient, independent adults HATE being told what and what not to do. This is compounded when mandates prevent one from running a business, earning an income, and supporting a family. You’re not really a mad(wo)man; you have reached the pinnacle of frustration and most would-be coping mechanisms have also been eliminated by the powers that be.
Frustration leads to irritability. Compounding the building ire is the fact that many of us are trapped with our loved ones. Yes we love our nearest and dearest, those we married and those we spawned. But do we like them? For an uninterrupted and unforeseeable amount of time in close quarters? Without external influence and relief? Grab your earbuds. Find your own space for a while, a closet or bathtub if you have to. Then get your rear back into the family room and play another board game. No one is going to forget about this time or how we spent it.
Stage 4: Bargaining
Enter the face masks.
Maybe if you follow all of the precautions for social distancing (I was never a hugger anyway), wash your hands religiously (like more than you already should), drain those excess bottles of hand sanitizer you purchased, stop touching every surface that you have not personally disinfected, and wear a mask that you made out of dirty socks (saw it on YouTube), then you can just go on about your business and get life back to normal. It’s a small price to pay right?
Except. When you find yourself at the grocery store with all of the other freaks in their hazmat suits and the overly observant Karens you will be hit with the realization that NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL. It doesn’t matter what you do or what you convince yourself of - the world is simply not on its usual axis. Minding the stickers on the floor is not going to make it all go away, you are not in control of the Coronapocalypse or any of the ramifications - at all.
Stage 5: Depression
This is awful.
So we aren’t in control. We can’t stop it. We can’t do what we want. This is it. We are going to die in our homes with a mountain of toilet paper and people who are tired of us. Honestly this section is all a little too depressing for me to personally address. I have been here. It’s dark. It’s hopeless and it hinges on the feeling that this is NEVER going to end and life will never return to anything resembling normal.
We know it won’t actually go on *forever,* but not having a timeline or a certain idea of what lies ahead is rough. Let’s not dwell here. Drag your mind on to the next stage, we need something else to think about.
Stage 6: Testing
Harnessing the inner rebel.
When you can’t wallow in frustration and despair anymore, you start thinking about what you can do. Good and fed up? Ready to buck authority? Start a revolution? ME TOO.
Let’s be realistic though, while I’m dabbling in therapeutic (for entertainment purposes only) endeavors. You can’t go to the public park. But you can hop the fence in your neighbor’s back yard and charge off into the great unkempt and unknown hills of your hometown. OK, that’s what I like to do. But, you start finding ways to make this work. You have to wear a face mask to work? Well that’s stupid and it sucks, but you still have a job - so make it a humorous one and put the damn thing on.
Lifehack loopholes, this is unknown territory - anything is worth a try. This is survival mode. Do what works. Maintain your sanity. Mind your safety. Enjoy cold pizza and vodka for breakfast if you feel like it, Karen’s attention is focused elsewhere right now.
All of that fluffy feel better crap being said, there is nothing wrong with plotting a rebellion in your mind. Just in case this absurd situation actually refuses to succumb to a natural end. We’ll be more than ready to overthrow the insanity and move on, if and when necessary.
Stage 7: Acceptance
Yeah. We’re not here yet.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.