American views that paint the US as a victim of international institutions, such as NATO and the UN, free trade, and other features of the modern world order are perplexing to outside observers. While US President Donald Trump has come to champion the collective resentment of numerous American factions, particularly those on the Right, he is simply a personification of the frustrations many Americans have with the way the world works and their inability to shape their own futures. To outsiders, the liberal world order of the modern age is the American Dream. The US is the primary beneficiary of the International Community and global economy. As the focal point of its vast network of alliances, the United States has the power to essentially set the agenda of the International Community, shape the policies of all other nations, and suppress even the most critical interests of other nations. Free trade has likely been more been beneficial to the US than any other nation while world producers are driven by the demands of US consumers. Frankly, the modern world order was made by the America for America. The American world order has not, however, necessarily been as beneficial to average Americans.
On the verge of a full blown trade war sparked by the Trump Administration’s steel and aluminium tariffs, as well as the US President’s controversial style of diplomatic confrontation, the US and the EU have agreed to resolve their trade grieves, focus on the mutual treat that is China, and reform the World Trade Organization. Hyped and dramatized by Donald Trump’s impulsive need to lob insults and threats at anyone he hopes to pressure into some sort of a “deal” or relationship, the largely counter-productive and unnecessary tensions between the long-time allies appear to be abating. The real diplomacy can begin. It is shaping up to be a major win for the trans-international corporate beneficiaries of globalization and free trade that need access to more consumers with greater wealth and disposal income. Given the economic parities that exist between the US and many of the European economies, domestic workers may well also see meaningful benefits, but negotiators on both sides would be wise to reflect on the influence of the PIIGS economies.
The Russian election hacking investigation, also commonly known as the “Mueller probe,” has drawn the public eye to efforts by the Putin government to manipulate the elections and politics of other nations. Russian meddling is, of course, nothing new as Moscow has a long history of asserting undue influence over the governments of others nations. The fact that the US political system became a target of Russian political interference, at a time when tensions are high between the Cold War adversaries due to the Ukraine Crisis, has made the American People and Media pay attention to Moscow’s clandestine operations. Where European nations have been targets of Russian political manipulation for years, former-Soviet states like Ukraine have struggled to break free of the Kremlin’s grip. Russia is not, however, the only country or actor trying to assert undue influence over America’s political system while the US has certainly done its fair share of meddling.
Thanks to the release of the heavily redacted application to conduct surveillance on former Trump campaign official Carter Page, the American People have a rare look into the review process of FISC. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC, is the secret court that must approve any covert surveillance operations of US intelligence agencies that involve US citizens. FISC is supposed to operate in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, but there is little transparency and accountable for this secret court. While informing targets of the government’s intent to spy on them would defeat the purpose of any surveillance, FISA does not even provide targets with a FISC advocate, who could object to questionable arguments asserted by the government. Efforts like the 2014 USA Freedom Act have attempted to address national security overreach, yet such reforms have done little to prevent the issuance of questionable warrants nor ease concerns that FISC is little more than a rubber stamp.
Business and political leaders establish their authority over their employees and subordinates through their attitudes, daily interactions, and reactions to various situations. Business leader and political leader Donald Trump has established a reputation as someone willing to confront issues, seize control of situations, and tell people what to do, but he has also established a reputation as a disloyal, disrespectful, and unprofessional boss who undermines his employees and subordinates by publicly degrading and humiliating them through his interactions with social media, the general public, and other authority figures. Although President Donald Trump has done plenty during his tenure in the White House to degrade, alienate, and demoralize government employees, he has managed to publicly undermine professionals within America’s national security industry and the Federal Reserve while traveling abroad, thereby degrading his subordinates to the outside world.
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