American Elephants

An American Ally Assesses Our President by The Elephant's Child

The Wall Street Journal had a most interesting article titled “An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump: When he says something consistently, it will happen. And his message is that America will remain a reliable partner, but don’t expect too much.” It’s by Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia, 2013-2015.  (subscription barrier)

The truth is that the rest of the world needs America much more than America needs us. The U.S. has no threatening neighbors. It’s about as remote from the globe’s trouble spots as is possible to be. It’s richly endowed with resources, including energy and an almost boundless agricultural capacity. Its technology is second to none. Its manufacturing base is vast. Its people are entrepreneurial in their bones. From diversity, it has built unity and an enviable pride in country.

In many respects, America is the world in one country, only a better world than the one outside. If it decided to live in splendid isolation from troubles across the sea, it would lose little and perhaps gain much, at least in the beginning. A fortress America would be as impregnable as any country could be.


Australia Has New Management! by The Elephant's Child

Abbott, Tony Australia

Australia has new management. Prime Minister Elect Tony Abbott has led the Conservative Coalition to a resounding victory. The Australian House of Representatives has 150 seats. Kevin Rudd’s Labor party got only 54 seats, 76 are needed for a majority. The Coalition won 87 seats, the Greens 1, and other 2, with the remainder still in play. A pretty resounding rejection of the Labor party and the hated carbon tax.

Mr. Abbott is a former boxer, a Rhodes scholar, and Catholic seminarian. He has promised to rein in government spending, scrap the hated tax on carbon emissions, and stop the flow of refugee boats arriving in Australia’s northwest. He also promised to keep his promises.

Labor dumped Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2010, for Australia’s first female prime minister Julia Gillard, only to reinstate Rudd as leader in June of 2013 in a desperate bid to stay in power. Labor’s overall vote was the worst since 2004 when conservative prime minister won his fourth and final term. Abbott could end up with a majority of around 30 seats, ending the party’s first minority government since World War II.

Mr. Rudd had attempted to portray Abbott’s planned spending cuts as “dangerous European-style austerity” and said that Labor was best placed to manage an economy that while slowing, is still the envy of much of the developed world. Sounds familiar.

Congratulations to Mr. Abbott and to our friends Down Under

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