The U.S. is engaged in two wars right now that seem impossible to win.

In a clumsy attempt to protect a single American industry, the president has embarked on a trade war.

By raising tariffs on imported steel to protect the rust belt, the president is doing long-term damage to the farm belt and beyond as our trading partners retaliate.

Republicans have traditionally been for free trade and against tariffs like the president’s, but this is further proof Mr. Trump has reshaped the party in his own image.

And odd as it seems, the more his base suffers under his policies, the stronger their support for him. He is the real Teflon Don.

China is Alaska’s largest foreign customer for our seafood, spending more than a billion dollars a year. China’s reaction to Mr. Trump’s tariffs is to slap an additional 25 percent tariff on Alaska seafood starting July 6.

This trade war could not only devastate Alaska’s fishing industry, but also doesn’t help Alaska’s best chance of bringing our natural gas to market by working with the Chinese.

In the end, the markets will respond to the trade war.

Harley Davidson has already announced it will open another overseas factory to avoid the retaliatory tariffs.

And while we wage a losing trade war, we are also in the middle of a growing culture war.

The President may not have started it, but he has mastered it. His use of condescension and insults has redefined the term presidential. But, instead of his critics taking the high road, he has successfully pulled them into the gutter with him.

Who benefits from throwing the president’s press secretary out of a restaurant? Who benefits from the public shaming of Trump officials? The president does. That’s who.

This weekend, California Representative Maxine Waters played into the president’s hands by encouraging the public shaming of Trump officials.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said, “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a department store-- you tell them they’re not welcome.”

The president, predictably, responded with an insult, a lie-- Waters did not call for anyone to be harmed and ended with a threat. You know, presidential.

This culture war is one that we the people have some control over. We don’t have to find common ground. Maybe it’s just enough to call a ceasefire to the insults.

Let your vote be your voice this November.

In the meantime, can we take the summer off? And, come together like real Alaskans? Shoulder to shoulder on rivers and streams across the Last Frontier, doing combat with the one adversary that unites us all?

That’s right, I’m talking about a tourist-- with a fishing license!

John's opinions are his own and are not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.

Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.

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