Donald Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was largely a trivial decision when compared to all the other decisions the US President must make. Like all decisions, it came with benefits and cots. Due to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, it was a decision sure to please a small minority of Zionists while angering multitudes more across the globe. Although Zionists have wanted the world to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel for decades, it was not a top issue for anyone. Trump’s decision made it a critical issue. The world responded to the escalation of the issue with condemnation. In turn, Trump made the entire situation a high stakes game by threatening countries that voted to invalidate US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and cutting US funding to the UN.
Trump’s Jerusalem Embassy Move, Obama’s Project Cassandra Upset Shows Harm of Emotion-Driven US Foreign Policy
US foreign policy is a seemingly erratic and irrational subject. Its mastery requires a firm grasp of international issues, America’s ever shifting partisan politics, and human psychology. Although facts, logic, and circumstances should be the determining factors in US foreign policy, how the American People and their political leaders feel tends to matter more. Under the leadership of men like Donald Trump, it is how he, his leadership team, and his supporters feel that primarily determine the shape of US foreign policy. Even under the leadership of a highly cerebral President like Barack Obama, emotions also tend to trump intellect. Unfortunately, it is when the emotional and intellectual paths diverge that US foreign policy creates problems instead of solving them.
“Judge not, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” -Luke 6:37
“Slut-shaming” and “body-shaming” are two phrases that seem to have gained a great deal of popularity in 2017. These socially conscious expressions, and others forms of propaganda, are being deployed as part of a growing campaign to combat bullying on social media as well as the influence of high-profile individuals who freely use degrading and abusive language. The use of such idioms is a means of redirecting social pressure back onto those who use it to verbally, emotional, and psychologically hurt others. This anti-bullying campaign has embraced a non-judgemental message. It is a message that been preached for centuries. It is also one that can easily be misunderstood and, thus, undermined.
The United States should have its credit rating downgraded by Moody’s Investor Services, Finch’s Ratings, and Standard & Poor following the passage of a more than $1.5 trillion tax cut. If the metrics of these credit rating agencies are to have any real meaning, the US should not be rated as a sound investment. In the face of a potential $1 trillion 2018 Federal Deficit and Federal Debt well over $20 trillion, the US is on a path to fiscal disaster. Although S&P did downgrade the US credit rating in 2011 for the first time, Moody’s has said it will likely only downgrade the US credit rating if the US defaults by missing interest payments. The US government may not have defaulted on its debt obligations yet, but the politics and economics point to that very conclusion.
As Congressional Republicans moved forward with their massive tax overhaul, the government moved closer to another potential shutdown due to the continuing failure of Congress to pass a long-term budget resolution. Cutting taxes before figuring out how to fund government and/or reduce government services is akin to reducing one’s hours working in the face of unpaid bills. One particularly sensitive issue is the funding of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, commonly known as CHIP. Once an unshakable bipartisan cause, the State-run, Federally-funded program, which provides health insurance for the children of low income families, Republicans now insist the cost of the program must be covered by spending reductions elsewhere, even as they provide massive tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy without reducing spending or raising taxes elsewhere.
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