RNS-Ministerial-Wrap1-072718

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers closing remarks with Ambassador Brownback at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom on July 26, 2018 at the U.S. Department of State, in Washington. Photo by State Department/Public Domain

Even before the head-spinning ultra-foolishness of the Mike Pompeo-led State Department confirming that the Taliban were "secretly" invited to Camp David, then uninvited because there's a war (duh) going on, there was much to dislike about President Donald Trump's policies in 2019. The betrayal of millions who voted for him because of his pledges to not foment world hostilities in pursuit of forcing sovereign nations intro regime change is one. The power-hungry Pompeo and his foaming sidekick, John Bolton, had executed a reckless U-turn from the benign and productive guidance of Rex Tillerson. Trump fault-finding can be reality-based in many ways. A minority of Democratic presidential hopefuls occasionally do so.

Our Views: America’s economic future at risk from instability

But not so with recent letter writer Michael Bushnell. His going on a petty rant about Trump being petty is not the way to unseat this president — especially when he was more misinformed than his target about the history of Hurricane Dorian forecast cones. When they do this often errant petty stuff, Trump haters often wind up being more scary than the present occupant of the White House. Kind of hard to do, but they manage it, increasing his chances for reelection.

Political (and cognitive) Halloween must have come early, though. On the same page as the fact- and relevance-deprived letter was an editorial that followed suit. Its bold headline declared the country's "economic future at risk." Page A8's business charts showed the Dow up 15% this year. The editorialist must have known this because in paragraphs four and five, the piece retracts its "sky is falling" or self-styled "canary in the coal mine" warning so boldly declared in the caption and first two paragraphs.

So who wants to vote for that type of thinking as an alternative to Trump? The perceptive reader is then further set adrift with this: "Tariffs are a tax on imports leading to higher prices for consumers." Oops! The Chinese yuan has been devalued, thus offsetting the tariffs and not causing higher consumer prices. Already on the ropes, our perceptive reader might be KO'd with the proposition that where "the administration went wrong" was that it "spurned" the Trans Pacific Partnership. Here the editorialist hopes for minimal memory retention of the fact that Hillary Clinton shot a big torpedo into her own campaign by terming as a "gold standard" that back-door effort to curb China. The TPP was pointed out then by some respected economists and today by perceptive Democratic hopefuls as excluding China at the expense of excluding from our shores the more meaningful remnants of our manufacturing base. It also would have given away existing American sovereignty in trade matters to an (unelected) panel representative of international corporations. Scary! So is quixotic jousting with a president's weather charts or crying alarm over a canary in a coal mine that, upon reflection, probably is not there.

Doug Roome

retired social worker

Metairie