Insights, 7/4/19

In this edition of insights, we adventure into the topics of a liberal democracy, President Trump’s July 4th celebration, U.S. trade negotiations with China, and overcrowding and other issues at Customs and Border Protection Facilities. Read the insights below, and, of course, we encourage you to read the articles in full and inform yourself on these important issues:


“The Russian president claims liberalism is obsolete. He is wrong. It is more necessary than ever even as Trump scoffs at it. But America’s ability to promote liberal democracy cannot be served by what Ambassador Bill Burns [TCG Past Speaker] calls ‘a State Department in which officers are bludgeoned into timidity, or censor themselves, or are simply ignored.’” - Roger Cohen [TCG Past Speaker], New York Times, MORE

“Since President Donald Trump announced his proposal for a military display and presidential speech on the National Mall, Trump’s critics across the political spectrum, have reached a consensus: The president’s intrusion into Independence Day is a hijacking. New York Times columnist Michelle Cottle complains that Trump is "trampling a longstanding tradition of keeping these events nonpartisan — apolitical even — and focused on bringing the nation together.” The same sentiment came from...conservative Trump skeptics like radio host Charlie Sykes and former GOP Congressman David Jolly [TCG Past Speaker]...By one measure, the criticism is overwrought. There have been presidents who've appeared during celebrations at the Capitol, most recently Harry Truman in 1951...Celebrations of the Fourth do not tend to benefit both parties equally, and here, Trump may well be demonstrating his instinctive grasp of which way a big event tends to nudge the populace.” Jeff Greenfield, Politico Magazine, MORE

“In its trade negotiations with China, the U.S. should have all the leverage. It buys far more from China than vice versa, is sole supplier of numerous critical technologies and commands more loyalty from the rest of the world. But China brings one powerful advantage of its own: clarity of purpose. Though its negotiating priorities change, over the decades its goal has remained the same: moving steadily up the development ladder while remaining a one-party state. The U.S. ban on supplying key inputs to Huawei Technologies Co. was an existential threat to the next stage in that development, competing globally in the world’s most advanced technologies. Thus, when President Xi Jinping met President Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, this past weekend, his main condition for restarting negotiations was to lift the ban. U.S. leaders, for their part, have long been divided over whether to treat China as a partner that can be managed or a rival that must be ostracized. The Trump administration is itself split, and the president’s decision to give Huawei a temporary reprieve has left the endgame as muddy as ever.” - Greg Ip, Wall Street Journal, MORE

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“A new government report describes in detail the prolonged detention, overcrowding and security risks at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities in the Rio Grande Valley, including facilities housing children and families. The report, published by the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General, included details of visits to five detention facilities and two ports of entry, including several photos. In one photo, 88 men are huddled in a cell with a maximum capacity of 41. The report described the situation as “a ticking time bomb,” detailing the scenes witnessed.” - Jasmine Aguilera, Time, MORE

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Common Good.