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Returning Cuba to terror list is an 11th hour move by Pompeo and Trump

Does Cuba belong back on the US's State Sponsors of Terrorism list? The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board showed their support for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision on this issue in a recent opinion piece, "Cuba's Support for Terror." But in this edition of The Red Pen, Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analysts Risa Grais-Targow, Jeffrey Wright and Regina Argenzio argue that the WSJ's op-ed goes too far.

We are now just a few days away from the official end of Donald Trump's presidency, but the impacts of his latest moves in office will obviously last far beyond Joe Biden's inauguration. There's the deep structural political polarization, the ongoing investigations into the violence we saw at the Capitol, lord knows what happens over the next few days, there's also last-minute policy decisions here and abroad. And that's where we're taking our Red Pen this week, specifically US relations with Cuba.

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China's EU deal betrays insecurity; not a wedge between US & EU

In our first edition of The Red Pen for 2021, we take a look at an editorial by the FT's Gideon Rachman, who argues that the recent EU-China treaty will complicate President-elect Biden's ability to handle China and rebuild the US-EU relationship. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Michael Hirson point out the deal actually demonstrates how much Beijing fears being out-maneuvered by Biden.

There's a lot going on in the world, and obviously plenty to discuss right here in the United States where our democracy is getting tested like nobody's business. But that doesn't mean that good op-eds out there don't deserve to be sparred with. And, I don't want to just neglect all those perfectly important writers, so we have one this week.

Turning our attention abroad to how China factors in as President-elect Joe Biden takes office in a short period of time … and what role Europe will play in how the United States approaches the second biggest economy, soon to be first, on the planet.

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Donald Trump's relevance to US politics doesn't disappear on Jan 20, 2021

In 2020's final installment of The Red Pen — as we say goodbye not only to this tumultuous year, but also to the Trump presidency -- Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's US team: Jon Lieber, Jeffrey Wright, Clayton Allen, and Regina Argenzio are taking the Red Pen to an op-ed by John Harris, veteran political journalist and co-founder of Politico, optimistically titled, "Relax, a Trump comeback in 2024 is not going to happen."

On January 20th, Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States. So how long will Donald Trump still be a thing in US politics, and does he have another shot at the White House? John Harris makes his case that Trump is going to fade away based on historical precedent that the US system has seen disruptors before and endured other politicians who were more obsessed with their own publicity than the greater goals of their party. And that's true, but we're not so sure that Donald Trump is quite the same phenomenon.

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America is still a democracy post-Trump, but is it a healthy one?

Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber, Jeffrey Wright, and Clayton Allen are taking the Red Pen to an op-ed by Eric Posner, an author and law professor at the University of Chicago. It's titled "America Passed the Trump Stress Test" and was published recently by Project Syndicate.

Professor Posner's argument is basically this: sure, President Trump has violated norms and challenged legitimate election results, but in the end, no real harm done to American institutions, or America's democracy itself. Now it's certainly true that Trump's behavior hasn't led to meaningful policy change, but Posner is blowing the whole thing off as a, "Nothing to see here, no big deal," moment. And we think it's a bit more serious than that.
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Don’t "give up" on all 73 million Americans who voted for Trump

In an op-ed in the New York Times, author Wajahat Ali says he's giving up on reaching out to Trump supporters and thinks Ian Bremmer and others shouldn't bother trying. On this edition of The Red Pen, where we pick apart the argument in a major opinion piece, Ian and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber explain what Ali got wrong - and right - and why it's important to see the 73 million Americans who voted for Trump with nuance.

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