September 26, 2018

Trump’s UN Speech

President Trump “used his annual address to the United Nations to attack Iran’s ‘corrupt dictatorship,’ praise last year’s bogeyman North Korea and lay down a defiant message that he will reject globalism and protect American interests." Reuters

See past issues

From the Left

The left is largely critical of the President’s address, arguing that working with other countries is in our long-term interest.

“By way of introduction, Trump asserted that ‘in less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.’ The audience responded with snorts of laughter... The awkward opening was a revealing moment. Trump had been trying to set a tone of American strength — and was met with skepticism."


“America’s voluble president may own the podium at the General Assembly, but quietly, in the windowless committee rooms of the U.N., Chinese diplomats are busy reshaping the ground rules of international cooperation to Beijing’s liking."


“U.S. allies, once willing to follow America’s lead, are increasingly forging their own paths, building new partnerships independent of Washington... [For example] on trade, Canada, the European Union and Japan have all stepped up their cooperation... experts say a stealthy realignment is slowly taking place."

Washington Post

“Trump pledged that the U.S. would favor ‘independence and cooperation’ and would never tell any country how to live or worship — asking only that U.S. sovereignty be respected in return. Later in the same speech, he threatened countries with cuts in foreign aid if they didn’t comply with U.S. wishes(much as U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley has recently threatened other U.N. members over their votes) which seems inconsistent, to put it mildly.”

New York Magazine

Regarding Iran, “the Trump policy appears to resemble the one Obama used to induce Iran into negotiations over its nuclear program — minus the participation of other world powers... or any actual incentives for Iran to re-engage in talks... Whether the goal is regime change or a change in the regime’s behavior, the Trump administration has failed to provide a case for how it would achieve either."

Washington Post

Minority opinion:The UN itself has allowed its worst members to corrupt it... Trump is half right: The U.S. would be foolish to allow a UN court to sit in judgment of its soldiers. U.S. military action should not be subject to a veto from China, France, Russia or the United Kingdom. But the UN’s structural flaw is not just the threat it poses to the sovereignty of its members. It’s the deference it pays to the sovereignty of rogues."


“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right is supportive of the President’s focus on American sovereignty.

From the Right

The right is supportive of the President’s focus on American sovereignty.

“Trump had a lot to say but it wouldn’t be oversimplifying at all to summarize his entire speech in two words: America first... It is a welcome relief to see a president give the diplomatic middle finger to the most corrupt body of international legislators known to mankind."


“What progressives have dismissed as nationalism and populism... is actually a return to the sovereignty of the democratic nation state. As with other nations, we will decide our laws. We will decide whom to allow to immigrate. We will decide what culture we want. And we will decide our destiny."

Fox News

This assertion of sovereignty does not entail isolationism. It will frequently require that America engage in robust cooperation with other nations where there are mutual interests... [but] the nations of the world can neither call on the U.S. to solve every problem, hence Trump's insistence upon NATO nations beefing up their military spending and avoiding dependency on Russia, and nor can they use unaccountable bureaucracy by needling us with spurious prosecutions in the International Criminal Court."

Washington Examiner

Regarding Iran, Trump “noted the corrupt nature of Iran’s leaders, speaking to the Iranian people themselves, detailing how their leaders have pilfered the nation’s vast wealth, many times for their own purposes and to destabilize the Middle East. Trump made it clear in his remarks that if Tehran wants [to] act like a rogue nation... he will press forward with sanctions that aim to cripple their economy."

The Hill

“This foreign policy resists the encroachment of multilateral institutions and global governance on American sovereignty. Accordingly, Trump continues the great undoing of Obama’s foreign policy... They can laugh all they want. As far as I am concerned, these are the good old days."

Power Line Blog

Minority opinion: “The president talked a lot about the importance of sovereignty, and then called on the rest of the world to gang up on Iran to infringe on their sovereignty... [he] had the gall to praise the Saudis and Emiratis for their humanitarian assistance to Yemen when it is their U.S.-backed bombing campaign and blockade that created the catastrophe that threatens to claim millions of lives."

The American Conservative

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

New Scrabble dictionary contains 300 new words.


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