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9 Dec. 2017


Dear Friends and Patriots,


            One thing you can say above all else about President Trump is he tries hard to keep his promises.  He promised to deal with DACA, and he is.  He promised to deal with regulatory overreach, and he and his cabinet is hard at work doing just that.  He promised to strengthen our military, and he’s taking steps to ensure Congress gives our forces the budgets they need.  He promised to “build a wall” and tackle immigration reform, and while he’s been largely stymied in those efforts, they’re moving along.  He promised to repeal Obamacare and Common Core, but those two items have proven to be harder nuts to crack than any of us thought and he’s still working on them.  He promised “better trade deals” and we have seen some.  He promised to stop US efforts on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and as soon as he could, he did.  He promised we’d disengage from the Paris Climate Accord, and we are in the process of doing so.  Get the picture?  Someone in Donald Trump’s camp has a master list of promises he’s made and they are keeping track as they work off one after another.  No other President in memory has ever done this.  You do realize that, don’t you?  Other Presidents have found all kinds of reasons to backtrack on promises made, and sometimes they even participated in subterfuges that allowed them to count promises as kept when they weren’t.  Most Presidents do their versions of ditching their “Read My Lips!” pledges, but, not President Trump.  And, it’s driving his adversaries absolutely crazy.

            One truth people don’t focus on enough is Trump’s history of statements on issues.  If you were to review his public statements over the past twenty or so years you’d find amazing consistency between many of them and the campaign promises made in 2015 and 2016.  It’s true there’s not much truly new.  Instead, there’s that odd consistency.  Maybe that’s due to him not being a “real” politician.  Whatever the reason, it’s a great change, and a welcome one.

            This past week President Trump kept a promise few thought he might.  He formally acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol city and announced the US embassy will be relocating there. While statements of acknowledgement of Jerusalem’s status as the Israeli capitol have been uttered by Presidents for over 20 years, all former Presidents recanted their positions.  It appears each became convinced by someone or some entity that the road to peace in the Middle East would be made impossibly rough if the US didn’t back off support of Israel that involved acknowledging her capitol.

            The key word in all this discussion is “acknowledge.”  Jerusalem has been Israel’s capitol city for many years now.  Israel’s legislature, the Knesset, is seated there.  The official residences of Israel’s Prime Minister and President are located in Jerusalem.  Most of the nation’s federal offices are headquartered there.  To believe Israel has any other capitol city other than Jerusalem is to ignore obvious truth.  President Trump understands a sham when he sees one, and decided not to play that game.

            It would appear the announcement of the US position on Jerusalem has set off a fire-storm of protests.  The reaction from the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are entirely expected.   The condemnation from the UN and many national governments are also expected.  Should President Trump care about all that?  Do you care about it?

            Today we hear many voices within our country that protest the President’s announcements.  Those voices decry the abandonment of principles of a peaceful solution to the problems of Israel and the Palestinians.  These protestations echo those made by the Palestinians themselves and the nations of many other governments.  Are those loud complaints justified?  Perhaps not.

            President Trump understands Einstein’s definition of insanity.  You all know it, so I won’t repeat it here.  He understands the political history of the Middle East. He knows the US has followed essentially the same path for decades; a path that has yet to yield actual peace. I’m certain his rationale for taking a different path has a lot to do with not continuing to repeat obviously failed policies of the past.  He may want to try something very different; to shake things up and see what happens.  I’m certain it’s very much like the reasoning he gave to inner city black voters in the last election when he appealed for their votes.  Remember?  He pointed out Democratic Party policies and asked, “So, what have they actually done for  you?”  It’s also a good parallel to the new policies the administration is pursuing with North Korea.  In the case of Israel, he sees continuing former US policies as accepting a status quo he promised to resolve.  Remember his campaign pledge to “fix the problems in the Middle East?”   This is part of that.

            For decades the US has attempted to be the voice of reason in a dispute where reason means little. We’ve cajoled the Palestinians and worked closely with Arab states to facilitate something mostly akin to a stalemate.  Our interventions have mostly been to demand restraint from the Israeli government.  While that may be good enough for some, it’s not a solution.  It’s a condition former administrations considered an acceptable non-solution.  President Trump doesn’t do non-solutions.  We’ve begun to understand that, and now more of the world is beginning to as well.

            It’s reasonable to ask what President Trump’s expectations are, now that he’s committed to a new path forward.  What does he think will happen in the Middle East as a result?  My own thought is he believes nothing much of significance will change.  We’ve already seen the Palestinians’ Three Days of Rage, but if they were truly serious about their anger, wouldn’t they do Four Days of Rage instead?  If they want to really get their way, wouldn’t they do a Month of Rage?  Don’t you find the three days to be curious?  I do.  I take it as a tacit acknowledgement the Palestinians are going to make a bit of noise, but understand nothing anyone in the Middle East says or does will change the President’s mind or position.  They understand they’re playing poker with someone who is certain he has the best hand in the game. Sooner or later the rest of the world will have to find their way to acceptance, too.  President Trump is redefining what “normal” means in the Middle East.  It’s an exciting thing to see.


In Liberty,