© 2016 Jim Spence - Having written hundreds of columns over the years involves the occasional prediction gone awry. I want to plead guilty to the charge of underestimating Donald Trump for eighteen months (May 2015 – November 2016).
It’s a funny thing. Until Trump carried Ohio, Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, I really figured he was un-electable. What do I think now? We have a saying at the office. If you aren’t right, you are probably wrong. And if you aren’t wrong, you are probably right. I have made a pact with myself to stop underestimating Trump or trying to predict with certainty what he will do next. Still, certain patterns are emerging.
For a month now, I have been watching the guy I underestimated continue to do what he was doing before. Millions of people continue to underestimate him. Trump owns the stage in America. Trump toys with the news media like nobody I have ever seen. A wide range of people working in the news media (except Fox) revile Trump. Still, this same news media behaves like a clueless retriever puppy for Trump every day. An army of Trump-hating reporters can be counted on to furiously chase down, shake, and chew on any stuffed toy (tweet) that Trump tosses across the room for them to fetch. CNN in particular seems to have an inexhaustible supply of people who are committed to underestimating Trump while simultaneously taking the Trump bait every day.
Consider the conniption fits had by various reporters at ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, etc. when they learned of Trump’s taking of a congratulatory phone call from Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan. Reporters immediately went berserk about Trump’s affront to America’s “One China” policy. What would this do to the attitude of the totalitarian regime in Communist China? My God, Trump isn’t even president yet and is already provoking an international crisis!
Here’s a cold hard fact about the One China policy. While it is true that we have no diplomatic relations with Taiwan (at the insistence of the communists with one term president Jimmy Carter), we have continued to sell billions of dollars of arms to Taiwan ever since the day Carter decided to recognize the commies under their own duplicitous and symbolic terms.
It is the classic Democrat misnomer to use words that are meaningless because they grossly distort reality. America’s, "One China" policy is a ruse. America wouldn't sell billions of dollars worth of arms to Taiwan over the last thirty-seven years if we had a real One China policy.
What is the upshot of the Trump phone call with Tsai Ing-wen? A bunch of Trump-haters are wringing their hands, and whimpering about diplomatic protocols. They convince themselves they have the right to be outraged at Trump’s behavior, while Mr. Obama has been approving of the sale of billions of dollars worth of weapons to the Taiwan government. Yes, I said the "Taiwan government," the same government that somehow does not exist because we don't officially "recognize" it.
The irony is even deeper. Everyone knows that these American arms are used by Taiwanese to defend themselves against an attack by the mainland communists that we do officially "recognize."
This glaring contradiction is largely ignored by the media in concluding that it was totally "inappropriate" for Trump to take a call from one of Taiwan’s democratically elected leaders.
Call me crazy but it is my guess that if the communist dictatorship can get past the fact that billions of dollars in arms sales go to Taiwan via the U.S., they will be able to get over the absurd "controversial" congratulatory phone conversation too.