On Friday, there were two major stories about President-elect Trump’s communications with Asian leaders. One of them doesn’t matter. One of them does.

The one that doesn’t matter is Trump’s surprise acknowledgment of Taiwan’s sovereignty, in the form of his taking a phone call from Taiwan’s president (and then tweeting about it). Yes, this goes against the utterly fraudulent “One China” policy that the U.S. once adopted as a means of countering the Soviet Union in the 1970s. But that policy is far more outdated than the Cuban embargo. Taiwan’s government, having been elected, has more legitimacy than mainland China’s. It’s about time a president said so — get over it.

The gaffe that does matter — if true — is the still-unconfirmed allegation that Trump actually told Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that he approves of the way Duterte is waging the war against drugs in his nation.

This doesn’t only matter from a human rights perspective — it also matters politically. Trump, who has been almost bulletproof against every political attack launched at him, could be hurt a lot if people figure out what it means and believe it.

Among the Trump supporters I met while covering the Indiana primary, one man — a musician who had traveled to South Bend, Ind. from upstate New York and who sang to his crowd outside the Century Center about the “Trump Train” — described how he’d lost his son to drug addiction. Based on the maps showing where the current opioid epidemic has struck, I suspect a lot of the white working-class Trump supporters know people whose lives have been touched by this.

That makes Trump’s alleged (and who knows, Duterte is a notorious liar) approval of Duterte’s drug war even more odious and even more politically perilous. This is something which, if true, should give pause to those many habitual Democratic voters in the Midwest who just made Trump president.

Duterte has encouraged vigilantes in his country to kill drug addicts. Not just dealers, which would be bad enough, but even the people they victimize. Just walk up on the street and shoot them, he has said, he won’t prosecute.

When it comes to Taiwan, coastal elites are gasping because someone dared question a silly fiction that no one believes, not even the tyrants in Beijing. That one doesn’t even make me blink.

But if true, Trump’s alleged comments on Duterte and his drug war border on the satanic. If Trump didn’t say that, he needs to make it clear at the earliest possible moment. And if he did say it, he needs to admit that he spoke from ignorance about what Duterte really stands for.

Tom Price's history of trying to ease regs endears him to doctors

Also from the Washington Examiner

Incoming HHS pick has consistently issued legislation aimed at easing regulatory burdens created by Obamacare.

12/03/16 2:06 AM

Liberals might stomach Obamacare repeal

Top Story

The Cassidy-Sessions plan would keep ACA’s marketplaces and tax credits.

12/02/16 9:55 PM

Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply