The Witch Hunt
There is a continuous stream of invective from the current occupant of The White House and his cohorts asserting that the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election is nothing more than a witch hunt. But the President’s recent actions make me wonder if there is a witch in the White House, casting a spell over the President and his foreign policy.
Now some may claim that the word “witch” can only be used to describe the female gender, but Witchipedia, “the online encyclopedia of magick, folklore and the occult,” makes it clear that the term witch is gender neutral. Based on that authoritative source, I can now explicitly state that the current investigation headed by Robert Mueller has already found the equivalent of nineteen witches and three separate covens, or groups of witches that have been charged with crimes. Of the nineteen, five, including three of the President’s associates, have already pleaded guilty, and one has already gone to prison to serve his sentence.
So, it seems clear that this witch hunt has already been quite successful, and it’s not yet finished—there are more witches to catch.
The ZTE Spell
Now that we have dealt with what is not an alternative fact, let’s return to the White House to see if we can attribute the latest irrational behavior of its principal occupant to something other than a spell cast over this historic edifice.
The Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE, violated U.S. sanctions by selling to Iran and North Korea. After acknowledging its violation and lying about its agreement to resolve the issue, the Commerce Department banned ZTE from buying U.S. made components, effectively putting ZTE out of business. But then the “Trader in Chief” decided that saving jobs in China was more important, and ordered the Commerce Department to undo the ban, despite FBI warnings of a risk to national security.
The “good” news is that the national security warnings obviously made an impact, though the spell cast on The Trader in Chief may have confused him because he promptly enforced tariffs on steel and aluminum from U.S. allies, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Since steel and aluminum are vital materials for making tanks, airplanes and other instruments of war, he must have reasoned that as a matter of national security, the U.S must protect those domestic industries. Therefore, the U.S.’ closest allies are a security threat.
He was obviously unaware that this hostile action was an affront to the very countries which stand with us to confront our mutual adversaries, creating a conflict that is appreciated only by those same adversaries. Additionally, the retaliatory tariffs imposed by these countries will impact several U.S. agricultural and manufacturing companies and could very well negatively affect U.S. jobs—there are more workers employed in jobs that depend upon steel and aluminum than in companies that produce them. One thing is abundantly clear, though, consumers will be paying more for the affected products.
The Negotiator in Chief
Surely the Negotiator in Chief, with his extensive knowledge of international trade, could not be making such irresponsible decisions and taking such reckless actions on his own. Witchcraft is the kindest way to explain the decisions and actions that are inimical to the security and economic interests of the United States.
Which leads us to worry even more over the pending summit with Kim Jong Un, the authoritarian North Korean dictator. Will the Negotiator in Chief fall under the same deleterious spell as the Trader in Chief and enter into an agreement detrimental to the United States?
The Witch in the White House
On the other hand, maybe that witch in the White House has cast a spell on us. Perhaps all the decisions and actions that are presented as favorable for the country are only beneficial to the “chosen few.” After all, it seems it was profitable for the President, personally, to change policy regarding ZTE when the Chinese provided $500 million for construction of an Indonesian theme park that will include several Trump branded properties. And the Chinese have made it very advantageous for daughter Ivanka, approving and provisionally granting her brand some 31 trademarks.
So, we await the North Korean summit with great interest, and hope that the Negotiator in Chief and the Great Leader can come to an agreement that reduces the risk of nuclear war. Though I must confess to a certain degree of concern that the Pyongyang Trump Plaza Hotel will be opening next year, the same time Ivanka Trump is awarded several North Korean trademarks.