JOHN RANSOM: Trump earned the world’s respect in 2017

January 2, 2018

JOHN RANSOM: Trump earned the world’s respect in 2017 Michael Candelori /

2017 wasn’t a good year. 2017 wasn’t a bad year.

But perhaps it was the year that helped shape the next decade—for the best interests of America.

As 2018 eases in to place, there is real news—much of it good, or at least better– coming out of places like Iran, North Korea, Russia, Iraq and Syria—all hot spots that Obama was never quite able to manage.

In Iran, protests against the Islamic Republic have flashed hot again, this time with American moral support. In North Korea, Kim has signaled a willingness to begin talking, instead of just firing missiles.

In Russia, Putin has said it’s better to cooperate with America despite being disappointed in Trump.  And in the Levant, ISIS, if not defeated entirely, has suffered the worst defeat for Islamists in the last 15 years.

Oh, and the global war that Democrats forecasted under Trump? It didn’t materialize. Just like the one forecasted by Democrats under Reagan never happened either.

The previous administration didn’t accomplish as much in eight years as Trump has accomplished in one year, 2017.  In part that was because Obama had an intense need to be loved rather than feared by foreign powers.

In that quest, Obama had the help of the “most qualified woman” in history, in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Yet Obama was routinely embarrassed, humiliated and scorned by adversaries—even as he sought to befriend and benefit them.

Who can forget the look of distain that Putin grimaced each time he met with Obama despite the administration’s obvious catering to Russia’s interests with it’s reset button?

Who can forget how Iran embarrassed Obama by detaining American sailors after the the administration reached a nuclear deal with the terrorist state? Or who can forget every other time that Iran gave Obama the “Jimmy Carter” treatment?

Who can forget the nuclear tests and missiles launches by North Korea after Obama announced that the DPRK would suspend nuclear and missile tests in return for U.S. food aid?

Who can forget that Obama declared the Iraq War won, as he decamped American troops, and then armed Islamists who became the seed of ISIS– with consequent Iranian and Russian troops deployed all over the Levant?

It’s popular worldwide to think that Trump’s an incorrigible racist and buffoon. But Trump has quickly gained back from other countries the respect for America squandered by the previous administration.

Countries recognize that Trump, unlike Obama, follows a very simple foreign policy premise: Trump will do what is in America’s best interest, unhindered by theology disguised as ideology.

Trump doesn’t want to be loved, he wants America to be respected.

Obama on the other hand, showed over and over that Obama was going to: 1) Make a deal with North Korea come hell or high water; 2) Make a deal with Russia come hell or high water 3) Make a deal with Iran come hell or high water 4) Make a deal with ISIS come hell or high water—damn the consequences to America.

It’s hard to cut the best deal when the seller knows you will buy at any price.

Perhaps Obama felt the need to justify the Nobel Prize he was awarded for no reason. Perhaps Obama thought he was truly serving the cause of peace. Perhaps Obama really hates the United States and worked against the security interests of the country.

His intentions at this point don’t really matter.

What matters is that Trump inherited a country that was demoralized by defeatism and retreat-ism in our national security policy that was mostly the result of Obama’s foreign and defense policies– policies still championed by Democrats.

America has real foreign policy challenges in the 21st Century. The most notable is a surging China that is making war-like noises.  Red China has twice the defense budget of Russia, a growing economy and the Kaiser-like belief that China is being denied its place in the sun. Russia, China’s neighbor, knows this, even if Obama didn’t.

How can we face the big challenge China represents when we can’t face the simple challenges presented to Obama by smaller, less sophisticated states?

2017 was the year we found some answers to some of that. It was the year Democrat foreign policies were reversed.

And Trump punched America’s reset button.

John Ransom

John Ransom is a politics and economics writer and editor with offices in Washington DC and Singapore. Previously he was a regular contributor to the Daily Caller and Finance Editor at His work has appeared on The,, the LA Business Journal, and other outlets. Ransom has appeared with Steve Forbes on the Money Show, Fox Business with Stuart Varney and Charles Payne, and regularly hosted his own syndicated radio show in 25 cities on the Wall Street Business Network, a Salem Network.