All bark, no bite

All bark, no bite

PE Bias Grade : C

By: Allen Nitschelm on April 8, 2019 | Article Review

This is a review of the following Boston Globe Article:
Article TitleTrump is often reluctant to follow through on threats
Date04/07/2019
Article Link Boston Globe ( Page A2 )
Syndicated FromNew York Times
JournalistLinda Qiu
Michael Tackett
Article Summary

Article details supposed threats Trump has made but not fulfilled.

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This article on the various “threats” President Trump has made over the years is quite curious. Is the Boston Globe and New York Times trolling President Trump, trying to get him to react (over-react?)

I don’t see a big deal about President Trump threatening to impose tariffs on our economic partners or adversaries if there is some important goal, and in the case of tariffs, I think he has explained it fairly well. We are stuck in a rut with unfavorable partnerships that no longer serve our interests. Countries that are doing well should be contributing more, and we should no longer be offering protective, favorable trading relationships with our geopolitical enemies or those who are taking advantage of us.

Of course, tariffs can also be used against us, but our bargaining position is strong since we are both the largest market and have perpetual trade deficits. And I think Trump has proven that tariffs can be a very effective negotiating tool.

Today’s article looks at some of Trump’s threats and portrays Trump as mercurial. Well, I guess that is often true. But changing one’s mind in these contexts is not necessarily a weakness.

For example, the writers state that Trump has threatened Mexico but even though the price of avocados went up, Mexico was “unmoved.” Yet Mexico has been taking a much tougher stance on Central American immigrants in the last few days, so it appears Trump’s threat achieved some purpose.

Trump has been threatening to make major changes to NATO if our partners didn’t meet their commitments. They haven’t, and Trump keeps talking about it. But there has been significant movement because of Trump’s speeches on this subject. Here, his threats have produced results.

Trump has threatened Chairman Kim and those threats helped result in talks. Whether those talks will bear fruit is unknown, but his rhetoric led to a better place than where we were before.

Trump has threatened to withdraw our troops from Syria, and that led to a lot of discussion and the result was that we will be keeping troops there a while longer. The threat produced a much-needed clarification of our mission and our goals, including protecting our allies, the Kurds.

Trump’s biggest threats (which he acted upon) was tariffs on China. We are now talking with them and our fingers are crossed that there will be good results. The threats were not bluffs and we are finally addressing the many inequities present in that relationship.

It seems that sometimes Trump speaks and then changes his mind, or he gets new information that changes his mind, or his advisers and allies change his mind. Isn’t that good news? It means he is open to new information and listens.

This particular article is just another partisan hit piece. President Trump has many successes over his first couple of years and many of his observations prove to be true, or have enough truth to spark needed debate. The article refers to Trump’s comments about the California wildfires and how environmentalists have blocked forest management practices that have made fires worse. The writers claim Trump is “misleading,” but like most criticisms of Trump, Trump is free to express his opinions as he sees them. “Misleading” is certainly in the eyes of the beholders.

 

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