RUSH: Here is Nathan, Lynchburg, Virginia. Great to have you, sir, on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, how’s it going?
RUSH: Very well, sir. Thank you. I’m glad you took time to call.
CALLER: Yeah. Always a pleasure to listen to your show. Big fan. Hey, Rush, I wanted to ask you about China and the alliance of Russia, Iran, and how these tariffs are gonna take effect tonight, I suppose, how they’re going to affect our foreign policy in the future going forward when we used to have a foreign policy of going along to get along.
Now we’re actually taking stands and equalizing the playing field I think with China. They’ve been stealing all of our stuff for so long and then selling it back to us much cheaper than we can make it. I’m glad for Trump. But it does cause me concern and does cause me worry when very powerful nations in another continent are united because the United States has them on a certain list.
RUSH: You are speaking about who particularly? Powerful nations in another continent on whose list we are. What’s the danger? Are you talking about Russia and —
CALLER: In the Asian continent. You’ve got Russia, China, North Korea. And on their West Coast, Iran, that’s pretty much amped up against the United States. It’s almost as if they have the — like if you see the economy of the world, America and all the allies of America are on one piece of that pie, and all of them are on the other piece. And economically, do you think it’s the wisest decision for Trump to further unite the Asian storm that’s out there?
RUSH: Uhhhh. Well, I don’t know that Trump is uniting them. I think if you talk about Russia and Iran — and let’s throw Syria in there and much of the Middle East — they’ve always been aligned. The Russians and Iran were aligned, and guess what? We used to be aligned with Iran, too, during the Obama administration. We were giving them material for nuclear weapons, nuclear power. I think if you… Yeah, the Russian bear and Iran, they’re dangerous because they’ve got nukes, but they don’t have an economy that can compete with ours. The ChiComs don’t, either.
Nobody does. You know, to answer your question, I should reset the table with the explanation I gave yesterday after Trump’s press conference about why he’s doing what he’s doing. I don’t want to go into a dollars-and-cents and percentages explanation of the tariffs. I think the proper thing to do would be to try to explain why Trump is doing this and why are we faced with these alliances that oppose us, and why do you think we were safer before Trump, when I think it’s the exact opposite. So I will try…
I know you’re not being critical of Trump. But you think Trump doing these tariff wars and getting these people’s backs up, provoking them, is putting us at greater danger. That happens to be the exact reason we became a bunch of lapdogs prior to Trump. (sobbing) “Oh God! We don’t want the Russians to nuke us. We better not make ’em mad. Oh, my God! We don’t want North Korea to nuke us. We gotta give ’em nuclear weapons. Oh, my God! We don’t want the ChiComs mad. Oh, my God!
“We’d better be nice to the ChiComs or they’ll nuke us. Oh, my God! We don’t want the Iranians to put a nuke bomb in a subway in. Oh, my God! We’d better be nice to the Iranians.” That’s why we’re in this situation. We became apologetic for our superpower status. We began to assure everybody, “Don’t worry! We’re not bad people. We’re not gonna nuke you. We’re not gonna destroy you. We’re not gonna steal what you’ve got. In fact, here! You want a $500 billion trade imbalance with us? Fine and dandy. We’ll be glad to bite the bullet.
“NATO, you want us to defend you against the Russians? We’ll be glad to do that. You can go ahead and do whatever you want with your social welfare system because you don’t have to pay any defense. We’ll do it.” We were trying to buy loyalty, trying to buy friendship. This was the way the United States order, the world order post-World War II was put together. It was almost like we had to make an excuse for being the world’s lone superpower.
It’s why no American will ever be the general secretary of United Nations. Why? It’d make more sense than anything in the world. But no, we’re gonna appoint somebody from some little Podunk country that nobody has ever heard of, simply to be “fair.” If we let our back pockets get picked by United Nations, if we’re the only ones that show up in world disaster relief, if we’re gonna run a $500 billion trade deficit with the ChiComs, we’ll do that to show the world we don’t mean them any harm. We’ll do that, because we feel guilty of being a superpower.
We’ll do that, so they don’t nuke us — and Trump’s right. After years and years and years of this, it’s human nature. They lose respect, they start laughing at us, and that’s why they end up loving doing deals with blowhards like John Kerry and Barack Obama. Can you believe if you’re the mullahs in Iran and we’ve got this president who is eager to let you nuke up? My goodness, what a godsend! I would believe in Allah, too, if I’m in Iran and the president United States of America is helping me acquire nuclear technology.
I’d be on that prayer rug 15 times a day.
RUSH: Now, folks, the tariff situation with China and what this all adds up to, let me share with you some Trump tweets today. “We have lost $500 billion a year for many years on trade with China.” What he means by lost $500 billion a year, that’s the trade imbalance, the trade deficit. And what it means is that we are spending $500 billion more buying Chinese goods than they are importing our goods. And it’s true, and it’s been for many years, $500 billion a year for a lot of years.
So Trump is putting tariffs on the import — there are three different classifications. On the first classification, which is agriculture, the tariff is 10%, raising it today to 25%. Second classification is — I forget what it is. It’s not tech yet. There are no tariffs on tech, like no tariffs yet on the importation of phones made in China like Apple and others. But Trump is threatening that. He’s just raising the tariffs on agricultural and one other classification up to 25%.
He said: Talks with China continue in a very congenial manner. There’s absolutely no need to hurry. Tariffs are now being paid to the United States by China, 25% on every $250 billion worth of goods and products. These massive payments from the ChiComs go directly to our Treasury. Tariffs will bring far more wealth to our country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also much easier and quicker to do.
Our farmers will do better, faster, and starving nations can now be helped. Waivers on some products will be granted or go to a new source. Agriculture products from our great farmers in larger amounts than China ever did and ship it to poor and starving countries in the form of humanitarian assistance. In the meantime, we will continue to negotiate with the ChiComs in the hopes that they do not try to redo the deal. The ChiComs have pulled out today. Well, didn’t pull out. The talks have ended for the day. The ChiComs brought them to a screeching halt claiming no progress.
Trump tweeted that “tariffs will make our country much stronger, not weaker. Just sit back and watch. In the meantime, China should not renegotiate deals with the U.S. at the last minute. This is not the Obama Administration, or the Administration of Sleepy Joe, who let China get away with ‘murder!'”
Okay. Aside from the dollars and cents and the percentage, what does all of this mean? I went through some of this yesterday. And I really beg your indulgence here as I go through some of it again, because I think it is very important for as many people to understand this if they are going to fully understand and appreciate the Trump presidency.
For example, Donald Trump has been talking about how China has been ripping us off since the mid-nineties. Whenever he would go on TV, it has been a major bugaboo of his about the stupidity of trade policy that we’ve had, specifically with the ChiComs. So it’s nothing new. It’s simply Trump following through on something that he has stated for the for the last 25 years.
Now he’s president and he has the ability to do something about it. It’s not just the trade deals with the ChiComs. It’s with everybody else. He’s sick and tired of the United States basically allowing its pocket to be picked. You have to look at Donald Trump as a disrupter. Trump is unafraid to use tariffs.
When you talk about conservatism, conservatives are almost required, if you’re going to be a card-carrying, good conservative, you have to oppose tariffs. Tariffs are taxes, and conservatives oppose taxes. Here comes Trump imposing taxes on the importation of Chinese goods.
And what Trump is doing here is forcing everybody in Washington out of the comfort zone they have been in since World War II. And I’m not exaggerating that. The postwar order that was established by the victors — that would be us and the Brits — the way the world was rearranged after World War II with the United States as the acknowledged, demonstrable, lone superpower in the world.
Over here was the Soviet Union, with whom we were allied in World War II, and then that all ended when Hitler went bye-bye and then Germany was defeated. Then they became our primary enemy. They never have been a superpower. They are a Third World power with a First World military, including nukes — and that was the danger they posed. But they’ve never been and never will be an economic competitor. Now, Putin’s trying to change all that in the energy field, primarily natural gas.
He’s making deals with NATO members to deliver natural gas to them, and people like Angela Merkel in Germany are making deals against the best interests of partner members in NATO. She made a deal; Trump called her out on it. All of Europe gets its natural gas from Russia, and Putin could turn it off any time he wants. They also are a pretty significant oil producer, but they can’t keep up with us in either field. But they do have closer proximity to Europe for the delivery of natural gas, and so they are competitors in that regard.
So Washington has had this structure that everybody that has been in the Washington establishment has acknowledged and sworn by and accepted ever since World War II ended. The basic structure here has had the United States as the world superpower occupying that position almost with an attitude of guilt at being the superpower. We have, as policy, allowed our pockets to be picked, and we have made it clear that we intend nobody any harm. We’re not gonna use our power militarily or economically.
Why has this all been allowed to happen? Contrary… The president says our leaders have been dumb and stupid. They have not been dumb and stupid, and I’m talking about every Republican president, every Democrat. Party doesn’t matter here. They’ve all been compliant. They have been in agreement. All of Washington has been operating under an agreement that no one says. It’s intrinsically understood. George Kennan put this together. He’s one of the architects of this: The idea that as a superpower, we already have an unfair advantage over everybody else in the world.
An unfair advantage. So it’s okay if some nations take advantage of us, because who can blame them? You see this, by the way, acted out at our border. “Who are we to stop these poor, suffering people who simply want a better life?” It’s the same thinking, independent… Now, some of the thinking at the border today also includes a bunch of left-wing liberalism, which wants this country destroyed, and open borders is the mechanism for it.
But besides that, the humanitarian or compassion view of this, what’s happening at the border is a microcosm of the way we have operated against other nations in the world economically and militarily. We have not stopped them from taking advantage of us. We’ve let it happen. We’ve known it was happening! We pretty much orchestrated it to happen. This was how we assured ourselves that they would not drop their bombs on us. This is how we assured them that we didn’t intend them any harm.
The acknowledgment that we are the big kid on the block, the acknowledgment that we are the world’s superpower led to this. Because of political correctness and guilt and any number of other things that liberalism permeates, it led to the belief that, “Okay. We deserve to be paying more in NATO. It’s okay if we have a $500 billion trade deficit with the Chinese, because that’s what it a takes to have peace with the Chinese. That’s what it takes to show everybody we don’t mean any harm. That’s what it takes for us to show everybody that we realize we’re bigger than they are and we’re not gonna do anything to them.”
This is what it takes to keep bombs from being dropped on us. “We don’t want to make anybody mad at us,” is the fundamental building block of foreign policy that we’ve always had. “We don’t want to make anybody mad.” After 9/11, what’d the State Department do? The State Department convenes a symposium, “Why do they hate us? What did we do to make them kill 3,000 of us?” And the conclusion is, “Well, we’re a superpower. It’s only natural nations would be afraid of us. It’s only natural they would resent us.”
So we gotta demonstrate that they don’t have to resent us and they don’t have to be afraid of us. So we let them take advantage of us. We’ll take it on the chin in trade deals, and we’ll take it on the chin with NATO. This has been the operating philosophy. Look, I’m simplifying this, but this has been the operating philosophy of the postwar order with the United States at the top of the heap as a means of maintaining peace, as a way of forging good relationships with nations around the world. I don’t care, Republican or Democrat, that was the operating belief system that was created and maintained.
The State Department today is still structured this way. So Trump comes in. He doesn’t believe any of this. He doesn’t believe in being taken advantage of, and he certainly doesn’t believe we’re to blame for all that’s wrong in the world. He believes we’re the solution. He thinks it’s crazy for us to act ashamed that we are a superpower. It’s crazy and wrong-headed for us to be the policemen of the world, to pay for everybody else’s defense, to pay for everybody else’s disaster relief, to pay for everybody else’s energy.
It’s ridiculous — and get nothing for it, not even any gratitude! So he’s come in and he’s disrupting this. “This isn’t gonna happen. The United States is gonna be great again. We’re gonna be at the top of the heap, but we are benevolent. We don’t intend anybody any harm.” When the United States rebounds and does great, the rest of the world does because we’re the good guys and we foster goodness. Our economy rising lifts every other economy that is free market based. We don’t take anything that isn’t ours, but we’re gonna stop giving away things to people that aren’t theirs.
RUSH: So Trump is looking at all this, as he always has, and he says, “This makes no sense. Our trade policy, this world order with the United States not behaving as we have earned, makes no sense. It makes no economic sense. It makes no military sense. It is weakening us — and in some places, it makes us a laughingstock that we are so easily taken advantage of.” So he’s blowing it up. He’s disrupting it, rewriting trade deals, rewriting participatory deals such as NATO and so forth.
These career people in Washington to whom this has been a way of life and a belief system that is appreciated and to which they’re totally devoted, are disrupted. They’re out of their gourds over this. (sniveling) “This just isn’t the way we’ve always done it. This guy is dangerous! He’s gonna make the ChiComs mad. He’s gonna make the Iranians mad. He’s gonna make the Russians mad,” whatever. This has been the operating policy: “Don’t make anybody mad! We don’t want ’em to nuke us. Don’t make anybody mad! We don’t want ’em to harm us. Don’t make anybody mad! We can’t lord our power over anyone.”
Now, this is not to say that when our agents get together with agents of a foreign country, we don’t lord it over ’em. I’m talking about the perception of and the reality on the ground of American policy, particularly trade policy, economic policy. We have allowed ourselves to take it on the chin as a way of showing that we understand and want fairness and demonstrate we’re not trying to take advantage of anybody. And Trump simply can’t abide it. It doesn’t make any sense to him. It’s not American greatness, it’s not American exceptionalism, and it’s hurting us and others. It’s not helping anybody.
So that’s where we are.
That’s what’s actually happening.