A Plea to Friends Defending Trump

Here is Donald Trump’s latest wisdom addressing the current crackdown on those Hong Kong protesters lunging for one more gasp of air as the Chinese Communist Party slowly suffocates their last hopes of independence from the totalitarian behemoth.

A grand act of moral equivalency there, just as you ought to expect from America’s chief enemy of freedom and lover of thugs.

In other words, “Yeah, yeah, I know it’s tough for those defenseless little nobodies, but in the end China is more important and powerful, and I want to be on the winning side of history.”

Imagine if Ronald Reagan had stood at the Berlin Wall and said, “Mr. Gorbachev, I can see why some people would like you to tear down this wall, but in the end I know you have to do what’s best for the Soviet Union, and I’ll stand with you one hundred percent on that.”

Trump stands with Xi against the suffocating Hong Kong protesters, at precisely the moment when a simple word of moral support from the supposed leader of the free world would be exactly the inspiration they need to keep up their fight.

Trump vehemently stands with and praises communist tyrant Kim Jong-Un, while simultaneously treating Kim’s targeted enemies in South Korea as America’s adversaries, and demeaning those longtime allies on the world stage as freeloaders. This too, of course, exemplifies Trump’s desperate desire to kowtow to Chinese interests, i.e., to the Communist Party’s goal of regional hegemony. He wants to be on the winning side of history.

Meanwhile, Trump stands with Vladimir Putin against every ally, foreign and domestic, serving and overtly defending Putin’s interests in every context imaginable, from Syria to the G20 to Ukraine. And as for that last case, I believe the Democrats are barking up the wrong tree in pursuing this idea of a quid pro quo linking military aid to a Ukrainian investigation of Joe Biden’s son. The Democrats are missing the point. Trump was not demanding any quid pro quo, although his language and tone may at times have carried that implication; and he was not really all that concerned about Joe Biden as an electoral opponent.

Rather, he was doing what he always does, and what he has been doing consistently throughout his presidency: He was trying to avoid acting in any way that might look like a rebuff to Putin, and therefore anger him, such as by giving military support to Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself against Russia. Trump has been resisting and dragging his heels against the civilized world’s, and even his own party’s, judgments and policy choices with regard to Putin since day one. In every instance, he tries to quash any effort to reduce Putin’s influence or thwart his ambitions. Short of that, he takes pains to position himself in a personal light that is in no way disagreeable to Putin, and to distance himself from all American government resistance to Putin’s global thuggery and expansionist projects. His views on Crimea, for example, and Ukrainian interests in general, have been crystal clear and frequently stated all along. He does not understand why the U.S. should be positioning itself as a friend of puny little Ukraine, when Russia is bigger, stronger, and more important, and Trump always wants to be on the winning side of history.

In short, this president is owned by tyrants, and serves their interests at any price. My question is: How can any half-honest person fail to understand that at this point?

Being on the winning side of history, where Trump so desperately yearns to be — think of how often he makes “winning” his own claim to fame and chief promise to supporters — is an unprincipled coward’s concern. That is why Trump, the unprincipled coward par excellence, supports every brutal dictator at the expense of that dictator’s slaves or potential victims. He does not see right and wrong, good and evil, freedom and tyranny. He sees only “power” and “winning” vs. “weakness” and “losing.” (The scare quotes in that last sentence are meant to indicate that Trump’s perspective on power and victory is the backwards outlook of a moral coward and intellectual weakling.) He therefore admires those who show an ability to maintain or expand their power, regardless of how they do it.

To my friends, past and present, who are willfully blinding themselves, or at best pretending the above concerns are mere peccadilloes or minor reservations about Trump’s judgment, I present a simple and sincere challenge: Please defend this punk’s actions on the world stage as anything less than treasonous.

When Barack Obama was caught on a live microphone whispering to Dmitry Medvedev that he would be able to show more “flexibility” for “Vladimir” after his re-election, you, my friends, saw this for what it was, and you could not believe that any American voter could fail to see what you saw, and to appreciate what it meant. Today, I challenge you to defend your choice to vote for the re-election of a man who shouts Obama’s whispered promise to Putin through a megaphone, repeatedly, a man who routinely and consistently defends communists and authoritarian oligarchs at the price of any friend or ally of the U.S., even at the price of their blood and liberty, as he has just recently done to the Kurds, and as he is doing now to the Hong Kong protesters. Do you really believe such a man would not do the same to you? Do you really not see that he is doing it to you right now?

And please do not tell me about the socialists across the aisle. I know all about them. They are not the issue. Your president, the one you are supporting or defending, is, in practical effect, an agent and enabler of totalitarian tyranny — and you are worried about the threat of Elizabeth Warren? 

If you cannot provide a convincing case for voting for such an unprincipled sell-out of everything America ever stood for, and everything you ever stood for — and I suggest you cannot — then please wake yourselves from the tribal slumbers into which you have been hypnotized by the Washington establishment’s psychological manipulations, or perhaps by your own weakness (we all have weak moments) for needing to feel that you are on the winning side of history.

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