We aren’t anywhere near great again

Published 7:02 pm Wednesday, July 18, 2018

When Donald Trump ran for president, he used the slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

But after more than a year in office are we anywhere near being great again?

The answer, unfortunately, is no. In fact, I would say that in the eyes of our allies and our enemies, we are seen as a lesser power led by a man who is in over his head.

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In Chris Matthews’ book “Tip and the Gipper” about the relationship between Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neal and President Ronald Reagan, there is a passage where Reagan was talking about his time as governor of California.

“That was triple-A ball,” O’Neal told him, “This is the major leagues.”

For all his millions and success in the business world, President Trump was playing class A baseball; when he was elected, he was in no way shape or form ready to play in the big leagues. He has shown a lack of understanding of how a global economy works, as shown by his decision to raise tariffs on our neighbor to the north and our other allies that at some point will adversely affect business here.

Apparently, he has not gotten it into his mind that the people who will pay the tariffs are the consumers who buy the products both here and overseas, and if the price of American goods gets too high in Europe, the people there will stop buying American products and companies here will be affected and eventually their employees may be laid off.

That’s one reason Harley-Davidson is moving some of its European division overseas. The president can complain about and deride Harley-Davidson all he wants for planning the move, but the company made a necessary business decision. Soon, so will other U.S. companies that do business with the European Union. European companies doing business in the U.S. will also take steps to protect their bottom lines, possibly closing or cutting back production.

On the diplomatic front, Mr. Trump has managed to anger our allies, embarrass the nation and put doubt in the hearts and minds of the countries that should be our allies, while embarrassing our intelligence agency by agreeing with Vladimir Putin that Russia that it didn’t interfere with elections, then issue a half-hearted apology to correct the statements he made. One has to wonder why, when most of his advisors tell him to be cautious with the Russian president, Mr. Trump goes headlong into a meeting with the ex-KGB officer like an innocent child.

There are some who complain about a lack of respect for the president, but how can you respect someone who does not respect others and takes every chance to try and belittle them.

One would think people would have grown tired of his antics and consider working hard to fire him in 2020. And one has to wonder if his tenure will be seen as an American tragedy or the cruelest joke ever played on America.

John Surratt is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at john.surratt@vicksburgpost.com. Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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