June 11, 2019 - Tuesday
When Push Comes to Pole...
"The deep state is alive and well," Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.) warned -- and working for the U.S. State Department! While Obama holdovers in India, Chile, Austria, and Nepal try to relive diplomacy's LGBT glory days, the Trump administration has a message for overseas officials: the only rainbows we should see at American embassies are in the clouds.
Not everyone wants to turn the page on the social activism of the Obama years -- including, the world is finding out, a lot of the U.S. officials stationed overseas. We've seen rainbow flags on embassy flagpoles, balloon messages spelling out "PRIDE," even story-high LGBT banners dwarfing the Stars and Stripes. Under Barack Obama, who ran the State Department like an international office of the Human Rights Campaign, these displays were common. Leaders from other nations routinely complained that the U.S. was more concerned with expanding abortion and same-sex marriage than establishing real diplomatic relationships.
Fortunately, that's all changed under the Trump administration, who understands that the best way to negotiate with other countries is not to offend their moral values. "As the president said on the night we were elected, we're proud to be able to serve every American," Vice President Mike Pence said yesterday. When he was asked about Secretary Mike Pompeo's decision to prioritize the U.S. flag over the rainbow flag, President Trump's second-in-command agreed. "I support that," he told reporters. "It's the right decision." Both he and the president, he explained, support human dignity, but "when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, one American flag flies.'
Congressman Harris, one of the sponsors of Old Glory Act, agrees that "the American flag is the only flag that belongs at our embassies. It is what unites all Americans. Putting anything else underneath it in fact divides Americans." He knows that there are Obama holdovers who will "flout the new rule," but, "the fact of the matter is, we have to present a united front to the world -- [one] that's different under this administration... You can have your personal opinions, but they have to remain personal opinions. They're not the opinions that we're going to spread around the world."
To most of the world's relief, it's a new day for U.S. policy. The Trump administration isn't going to browbeat other nations into accepting an agenda that even its own people disagree on. And it's certainly not going to make humanitarian aid and the fighting of terrorists a condition of LGBT support. This president is focused on doing the business of the American people -- all American people.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.