The Road to Trump

How Failure to Meet in the Middle Fueled Trump's Rise and the Resurgence of China and Russia

Shay McNeal

The Road to Trump chronicles the most pressing issues the United States faced over the last five years in an effort to illuminate the prevailing political landscape. McNeal's columns, Meet You in the Middle, published in the Charleston Mercury, in Charleston, S.C., reveal the raw nature of the state of our nation. The Road to Trump also places on the record McNeal's insightful analysis of China and Russia as they challenge the United States on the world stage. The Road to Trump also clearly illustrates how failure to meet in the middle fueled the successful election of the outsider, Donald Trump, and contributed to the resurgence of China and Russia.

In January 2016, her column titled Mourning in America was one of the first analyses indicating that Trump would go the distance. Moreover, she was the rare columnist at the time who was prescient regarding the 2016 election and called it right, even before candidate Trump became the Republican Party nominee.

On Russia and the Election

This debate will rage and finally boil down to a foul-tasting roux...that foul-tasting roux has already revealed a mouth full of facts that are hard to swallow for so many who prefer not to acknowledge the nether world that operates 24/7 as nation states protect their own interests...the bitter taste of reality has bubbled to the surface...espionage, spy craft, cyber-attacks, and the intelligence game are the names of today's modern warfare. (January 2017)

On Race

Race has been a difficult issue in this country. Honest dialogue has been nearly impossible to cultivate as there is a deep well of emotions that can spew its rancid water anytime the discussions become inflamed. (September 2016)

On Immigration

Well, again hold it. It is easy if you are China, Singapore, or Russia to tell us how to be a part of the new world when the pressures your countries are suffering from are not pressures related to new immigrants and refugees. (November 2016)

On China, North Korea and Japan

There is much at play to protect our interest vis a' vis South Korea and Japan, who have been good allies in the region where China is now stepping forward to secure its dominance. (April 2018)... Often in the UN, China and Russia have shown solidarity in defeating any US resolution regarding sanctions or other punitive measures to stem a real war from evolving (May 2018).. Now is a crucial moment as we negotiate the North Korean challenge. We are asking Kim to come in from the cold and Russia, Syria and China - who do not have our best interest at heart - are rushing to visit, set up summits and more so that they can influence the direction Kim takes and the message his actions will send. (June 2018)

On the Middle East

...the all-consuming Middle Eastern puzzle and how it directly affects us here at home. This huge chessboard and our next move are preoccupying each side of the aisle and few are meeting in the middle. The matter of Middle Eastern affairs cries out for our best and brightest to formulate a strategy and execute a plan regarding our involvement or non-involvement. (July 2014)

On ISIS and Terrorism

Could we not find someone who is not naive and blinded by his or her own vision of how things will turn out to sit with Putin and his coalition to attempt to meet in the middle and truly work together to defeat the ISIS threat with no hidden hands at work? For us it may be Sophie's choice. (November 2015)

On Ukraine and Crimea

While we watch the will of another nation's majority hangs in the balance as they proclaim an independent Ukraine. (March 2014)... Russia became emboldened by our lack of push back on Ukraine and Crimea in 2014. Does this mean that Russia and China have finally shown their colors - and have not their anti-Western UN Security Council votes already made this clear? (September 2018)

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