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Port: Thank you, Nancy Pelosi, for visiting Taiwan

She stared down China's threats, she ignored President Joe Biden's characteristically bumbling efforts to discourage it, and she made the trip anyway.

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi.
Bloomberg photo by Yuri Gripas
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MINOT, N.D. — I'm a conservative, so here are some words I never thought I'd write: Thank you, Nancy Pelosi.

As I write this, the speaker of the House has just landed in Taiwan, despite saber-rattling from China who tried to bully the Califonia Democrat, the woman who is third in line for the presidency, away from making the visit.

Though, according to the Chinese, it's we who are the bullies.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the Associated Press that America's supposed betrayal of China “on the Taiwan issue is bankrupting its national credibility.”

“Some American politicians are playing with fire on the issue of Taiwan,” he said. “This will definitely not have a good outcome … the exposure of America’s bullying face again shows it as the world’s biggest saboteur of peace.”

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That's something, coming from a nation that is making intimations of violence in response to Pelosi's visit. And to be sure, it's a risky move, this visit, but also a bold one.

And America was due for some boldness.

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We haven't exactly been covering ourselves in glory, of late.

Our domestic politics are in shambles. Congress barely functions. Our nation is above the oldest of the modern democracies, and yet our last national election was punctuated by a violent attempt to overthrow the outcome inspired and facilitated by the outgoing president. We are as divided, as a people, as we've ever been. Our dominant cultural institutions, from the news media to academia to Hollywood, are intensely focused on our nation's warts, to the exclusion of its virtues.

Meanwhile, on the international stage, our abrupt and calamitous exit from Afghanistan was an embarrassment. The Taliban is back in power, and while we just assassinated the leader of al-Qaida, it's worth noting that he was operating that notorious terrorist organization from Afghanistan, just like Osama bin Laden was.

Even in Ukraine, our support for President Volodymyr Zelensky and his democratically elected government's efforts to hold off Russia's brutal war of aggression has been, as a practical matter of action, both tepid and confused .

I love this country, and what it aspires to be, but there's no question that we've been falling short, of late. We are the leaders of the free world, but we've given the rest of the world plenty of reason to question that leadership.

We were due for a moment to remind the world of what Americans stand for.

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That we stand up to the bullies.

That we are not cowed by tyrants.

China wanted to show the world that they're in the driver's seat now. That they could issue commands to American leaders, and that we would obey. After all, we've been caving to the Chinese a lot lately. When Beijing demands censorship, too many Americans have gone along with it .

Speaker Pelosi isn't going along with it. She didn't get the memo that we're supposed to be deferential to the Communists.

She stared down China's threats, she ignored President Joe Biden's characteristically bumbling efforts at discouragement , and she made the trip anyway.

The people in Taiwan are jubilant.

I have spent my adult life disagreeing with people like Nancy Pelosi on just about everything. And in a week or so I'm sure I'll be back to disagreeing with her on most things.

But today?

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Today I'm proud to have her representing out country. Nor am I the only conservative who feels this way. Pelosi is receiving a lot of support for her trip from Republicans, including North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer:

Thank you, Speaker Pelosi, for doing the right thing, and for the needed reminder of what American courage looks like.

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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