Thoughts at the End of 2017 and the Beginning of 2018
The questions are: Who is behind globalization and why is America continuing to embrace it? Worse still, some people liken the current trend with the defunct policy of global Communism advanced in the past by the USSR. Hopefully, such people are wrong. The year 2018 should start to shed some light on the future direction of our nation and the world.
2017 brought a number of surprises and gave some of us new hopes and a feeling of anticipation. What happened and what is happening in America, Europe, and around the world?
In January, many Americans were enthusiastic about the election of a new president – Donald Trump. Like any new administration, the track record is mixed but in Trump’s case not for lack of trying to enact his ambitious agenda to “Make America Great Again.”
The American economy is robust. Government regulations have been slashed. The Dow Jones Industrial average has gained well over 30 percent, while the S&P 500 is up more than 20 percent. Economic growth is up and unemployment is markedly down.
While the Republican-controlled Congress failed to repeal Obamacare (socialized medicine), it appears poised to pass significant tax cuts for the middle class, the first since President Reagan’s 1986 tax cuts.
President Trump has filled the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of conservative jurist Antonin Scalia with the equally conservative Neil Gorsuch and appears likely to fill several others with like-minded appointments before the completion of his first four years in office.
The White House has had mixed results with border control, illegal immigration, and refugee resettlement. The European Union on the other hand has begun court actions against Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic over migrant quotas, which they reject.
Yet, the White House has experienced persistent opposition from the Establishment and resistance from elements of both political parties. The country is deeply divided; the Republicans and the Democrats talk over the peoples’ heads.
Politically, the presidency is embroiled in what can be described as “probe politics” suggesting a murky affair over its alleged deals with Moscow, when none are evident a year after taking office. At the same time, it has been brought to light that the previous administration was responsible for spying on the Trump campaign and for selling 20 percent of America’s valuable uranium supply to Moscow.
Internationally, the world is increasingly troubled.
North Korea, in league with Cuba and Iran, is headed by a rogue leader and an unpredictable regime threatening the world with nuclear weapons. China is reluctant to intervene, and Russia is most likely enjoying America’s predicament. Iran, on the other hand, remains a threat to peace in the Middle East and the world. There are problems everywhere. Over six hundred thousand Muslim refugees are in Bangladesh; half-a-million African refugees in Libya want to cross the sea into Europe; and hundreds of thousands of Arab refugees in Turkey also want to come to Western Europe. The Donbas conflict in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian partisans seek union with Russia is ongoing and remains unresolved since 2014. The Obama-Clinton failed ‘reset’ policy led directly to Russian expansion and the annexation of Crimea.
Can the world cope with such calamities?
Meanwhile, big American and international corporations seeking cheap labor continue to push for globalization’s open borders. Did they ever explain to the world what globalization’s consequences might be? What we observe so far are: polarization, inequity, godlessness, irrational behavior, extremism, and international terrorism. The ‘rational’ response of many citizens in the U.S. and in Europe is a growing anti-establishment attitude.
Something is wrong, and many people sense it, but they are not sure of what to do. However, change is coming. In the 2016 Brexit Referendum, Britons decided to seek a divorce from the European Union, and the decoupling process that is ongoing will continue through 2018 and beyond. France elected a young inexperienced president who promised to change the political system. Many Germans are questioning the chancellor’s open borders and immigration policy. In response, nationalism has made important inroads in several other European countries.
In a recent article published by The Washington Times, the American Middle East analyst Daniel Pipes examines the new wave of European nationalism and comes to some insightful conclusions and warnings.
Nationalist parties, he writes, “now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” In this regard, he adds, many Jews fear “a real threat from populist movements across Europe.” Pipes realizes, however, that the new trend in Europe is primarily caused by the recent uncontrolled immigration. Jews are fleeing Europe and Islamist France in ever increasing numbers. Yet, Europe is in a double bind: On the one hand, it needs immigrants to man its economy, and on the other, it is unwilling to address the real causes of its problems. The result is dissatisfaction with centralized EU official policies expressed more and more openly in Eastern Europe.
Ana Blandiana, a well-known Romanian social activist, stated recently that the EU is committing suicide. In her opinion, Europe has lost its traditional [Christian] faith and it does not believe in anything anymore. Further, she wrote, the current political correctness is placing the very liberty of expression under a big question mark. (Active News, 28 November 2017). No wonder Romanians are reasserting their own identity and nationalism is growing. A new study done by the Romanian Information Service warns that the birth of a nationalistic party is imminent. The situation is similar in most Eastern European countries that experienced Communism. Nationalism is taking a firm stand against a god-less European Union and against globalization.
The questions are: Who is behind globalization and why is America continuing to embrace it? Worse still, some people liken the current trend with the defunct policy of global Communism advanced in the past by the USSR. Hopefully, such people are wrong. The year 2018 should start to shed some light on the future direction of our nation and the world. (from SFPPR News & Analysis)
Nicholas Dima, Ph.D, is a former professor and author of numerous books and articles including the autobiographical memoir, Journey to Freedom, a description of the effects of communist dictatorship on a nation, a family and an individual. He currently lectures and is a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis of the online-conservative-journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research
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