January 2017 Editorial Winner

Rural America trumps the new world order
Paul Laubach, The Hennessey Clipper

When George H.W. Bush addressed a Joint Session of Congress for his State of The Union address in 1991 he declared “A New World Order” should evolve following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
And in many aspects a New World Order of globalization, technological advancement, and political alliances did evolve.
The European Union became a reality, NATO expanded to include more countries, large global trade deals were struck, and the rise of China accelerated as the world became more and more interdependent economically.
Some prospered as global international companies grew larger than some of the countries they did business in. Economies grew rapidly in developing areas and real GDP rose globally across the board.
The status of becoming a millionaire lost its luster as billionaire’s sprung up across the globe. In advanced developed countries social spending to help the poor also grew exponentially.
Of course, not everyone prospered. Working class folks were still working as always but they weren’t feeling the prosperity, especially in rural America.
In November, those folks cried out in protest. They voted big for Donald J. Trump. The more rural the area the greater the support for Trump. According to USDA data from the 2016 presidential election support for Trump grew considerably the smaller the demographic area. In rural areas with less than 2,500 people Trump won over 70% of the vote.
In 20,000 plus areas he carried just below 60% of the vote in contrast to urban centers of one million or more where he only won 40% of the vote.
All the talk of rapidly changing demographic trends favoring democrats got turned upside down by the old ancient political saying of “it is one thing if someone doesn’t support you it’s a whole different problem if someone is against you.”
Rural America just wasn’t for Donald J. Trump they were big time against Hillary Clinton, but they also liked what Trump had to say! Last week Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States.
The “New World Order” may have just changed at the same time. Trump in his campaign railed against international trade deals like NAFTA. He criticized NATO’s expansion and even its need of existence.
Trump voters may not have necessarily liked the brash personal statements and tweets from now President Trump, but they really liked what he had to say about policy ideas even without the detail. Just maybe the political elites, academia, and international business should take notes and listen to the silent rural majority.
Does NATO really serve the interest of the United States? Can we really afford to provide protection to Bulgaria? Are we really going to go to war with Russia over Latvia? Did we stop Russia in Syria?
Maybe an alliance with Russia to fight ISIS would be better than a constant adversarial role against them in the name of protecting so called allies that contribute very little to our actual defense. Isolationism? Not hardly! Practical would be more like it.
America’s elites of both liberals and neoconservatives of international and foreign policy have chased a fool’s errand of pursuing American exceptionalism and imperial goals for too long.
Don’t think so?
Where is the Babylonian Empire? Persian Empire? Alexander’s Greek/Macedonian Empire?
Roman Empire? Where is Khan’s Golden Horde now? The Soviet Union?
On domestic and trade issues who is going to argue with keeping American jobs here in the U.S.? Reducing tariffs on goods and increasing trade among nations is a good endeavor but it has to be Fair Trade not just Free Trade.
What good does it do to increase economic activity and increase GDP if your unemployment rate increases with it?
That leads to social instability. We have seen plenty of that in real time in our nation lately.
Will President Trump change that? Time will tell but it does look like one thing is certain: Rural America just trumped the New World Order. At least temporarily.

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