By Harry C. Blaney III
Via NBC News
We have two worries on the Trump-Putin connection, one is Trump himself and his nearness to dangerous power and his absurdity as Commander-in-Chief. And the other is Putin and his desire to undermine American power, influence, and democracy and his desire to divide Europe from America. I’ll leave our well informed readers to figure out who is the more cunning, experienced and shrewd strategist.
Much has been written about the Trump-Putin relationship already but some areas have not been fully commentated to the general public by the media. Indeed the subject has not even been asked often by the media or the public when they have had the chance. Yet the very heart of American security and our relations with the rest of the world including our allies has not been deeply covered on TV or in much of the conservative papers around the country. That itself is shameful, but it applies not just to the Putin connection but also to most substantive issues – we hear a lot about the horse-race and not much else except effort to keep Trump on the airwaves and getting his voice to citizens for free and without any pointed questions or commentary.
America has never had to face such a clear real threat to America from within, but we never had a Republican candidate for the President being so close to having not only his finger on the atomic button, but the power and motivation to undermine our entire alliance structure, to make a shambles of American influence in the world and within our economy, and to create chaos and even more of a divide among Americans with his crazy policies. And according to the polls, this candidate is now just three percentage points away, in the right states, to making that nightmare a reality.
This would not make America “great again” but make America impotent and vulnerable to some of the worst dangers of an already high risk world which has existed for several decades. What is needed is not “Trumpism,” as in very high risk global poker – in effect a stratagem of dangerous bullying. But rather we need the Obama strategy of not taking “stupid” high risks when the odds are greatly against you, the field murky, or when the field of conflict is overly dangerous and we clearly face greater costs than any gain. But look for more effective if deliberate options. In short, the correct approach of giving serious analysis and careful thought to the consequences of military action and, when necessary, acting with allies and with caution.
Trump does not think of cost, of human lives lost needlessly. (Note his statements on the first use of nuclear weapons, building a wall on the Mexican border, or illegal use of water boarding and torture.) These statements have already caused serious doubts about American leadership with our allies and joy from our adversaries.
Not least does trump’s vision of the world encompass the same destructive action as we are seeing from Putin his vision of a “strong leader.” His admiration for authoritarian Putin could possibly be his own view of what he wants to become. Is his vision of a “strong leader” the model like Putin, Stalin, Assad, Napoleon, Hitler and if so what does it mean for the future of a democratic just nation or of the US presidency? And American civil society? That outcome is the last thing we need in a high risk world.
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