We Cannot Measure Trump’s Policies As Good Or Bad. We Have To Ask: Are They Treasonous?

Donald Trump

Trump’s policies have hurt the U.S. in return for no benefit. It is beyond bad. It is treasonous. 

Media outlets have been calling out the Trump administration for its regressive and damaging policies since day one. However, a couple of recent articles caught our attention.

The first article was published by CNN last week and was aimed at Trump policy adviser “Stephen Miller’s detestable assault on citizenship.”

White House adviser Stephen Miller strikes again, this time at legal immigrants. On Tuesday, CNN reported that the Trump administration is reviewing a proposal that could penalize immigrants who receive public benefits. Miller is pushing the White House to expedite a policy that would make the path to a green card or citizenship harder for immigrants if they — or their family members — have used certain government assistance programs. Immigration advocates and public health researchers told NBC News that this proposal represents the biggest change to legal immigration in decades, and that it could affect more than 20 million immigrants.

Continuing, CNN reported that:

Miller’s plan is as dangerous as it is insidious. It lays bare the xenophobia of the Trump White House (again). It is a power grab by the executive branch that would serve no legitimate policy goal. It is all about mean-spirited, fear-mongering politics. [emphasis added]

That last sentence is important as it could be demonstratively shown to apply to most – if not all –  policies coming from the Trump White House.

Take, for instance, an article by former Canadian diplomat, Scott Gilmore. Gilmore has written extensively for McLean’s Magazine about the Trump regime, proposing a variety of suggestions for pushing back against his lawless administration. And it’s not like he doesn’t have experience – having served as a political officer for Global Affairs Canada, for the United Nations’ Office of the National Security Advisor, and as the Deputy Director for Asia for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Gilmore wrote of Trump’s “diplomatic treason” in a stunning article for Maclean’s published in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to violate the Iran nuclear deal.

The article began with a bold subtitle that mirrors CNN’s observation that there appears to be no legitimate policy goal – no expected benefit resulting from the administration’s actions.

“From Russia to the TPP and now Iran, Trump’s foreign policy moves have hurt U.S. influence in return for no benefit. It is beyond bad,” Gilmore began.

Continuing, Gilmore wrote that:

Trump’s foreign policy has included so many self-inflicted wounds, it transcends the descriptions we would normally use. Words like “clumsy” or “ineffective” simply won’t do. Those are terms you could have used for previous presidents, like Bush or Obama. But Trump’s choices on Russia, Paris, TPP and now Iran, are so damaging to traditional American interests they must be measured by a new scale: are his actions treasonous or not?

I concede, that sounds hyperbolic—partisan hyperventilating. But, humour me as we consider the facts. Let’s begin with the Paris Treaty. The president has called climate change a Chinese hoax, and during his election campaign he was quick to mock the idea that humans are heating the planet. His base enthusiastically agrees, and so the political math made his decision to pull out of the treaty inevitable.

Like CNN, Gilmore went on to make the case that Trump’s foreign policy serves no legitimate goal.

Choosing to ignore the findings of the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, and every other government agency that has identified climate change as a critical threat can be seen as simple malpractice. But choosing to leave the Paris Treaty actively harmed American interests. There was literally no benefit to Washington—the treaty was not even binding. Making the U.S. the only country in the world outside of the agreement simply eliminated Washington’s voice from all discussions regarding how the planet will grapple with the issue. As a result of Trump’s decision, America’s influence, on an issue that every other major power considers to be paramount, dropped almost to zero.

Reducing American influence, in return for no objective benefit, is a common theme in Trump’s foreign policy. When the president chose to walk away from the Trans Pacific Partnership, the rest of the member countries simply carried on without him. The result was reduced tariffs and improved investment conditions for all the major Pacific Rim economies, except the United States.

Trump could have chosen to stay in the TPP and renegotiate the terms, thus keeping a seat at what is now one of the most important trade tables in the world, but instead he simply gave Beijing and Tokyo more influence at the expense of Washington.

Then there is Russia. Trump’s attitude towards Moscow cannot be explained by geo-politics… It is not an exaggeration to state almost all of Trump’s foreign policy decisions have been to Moscow’s benefit and Washington’s expense.

Which brings us to… Iran. Like the Paris Treaty, it was not a surprise that the president decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. But that does not make it any less of a self-inflicted wound. Killing the deal only unshackles Tehran to relaunch its nuclear weapons program. His decision not only provides no benefits to the United States, it creates new threats that did not exist yesterday. [emphasis added]

Concluding his article, Gilmore was willing to step out further than CNN, questioning whether Trump’s policy decisions amount to treason:

These foreign policy decisions (and many others) have several things in common. They defied the advice of his own government officials, and most of America’s foreign policy establishment. They have objectively reduced America’s stature and influence in the world. And, in many cases, they have directly increased the power of its rivals in Beijing or Moscow.

In the legal world, one of the factors that is considered when determining the guilt of an accused is cui bono: who benefits. When this question is asked of Trump’s many inexplicable foreign policy decisions, the answer is rarely America. If Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping could have dictated Trump’s actions over the last 18 months, would they have chosen anything different? It is unlikely. And that brings me back to the assertion that we cannot measure his foreign policy against a scale of good or bad, effective or not. We have to ask: is it actually treasonous? [emphasis added]

Samuel Warde
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