In the United States, since our very inception, we detest despots. This sentiment is clearly expressed in our Declaration of Independence: “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” So, I really have some questions about the trip a small delegation of lawmakers made last week to a country whose leader exemplifies despotism.
These are the names belonging to the delegation that went to Russia on July 4th, 2018: Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Thune (S.D.), John Kennedy (La.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), John Hoeven (N.D.) and Rep. Kay Granger (Texas). Instead of celebrating our country’s independence from a despot these seven government representatives decided it was better to patronize one in Russia. In general, it doesn’t really matter to me if the intent of this trip was to discuss the proof they had regarding Russia’s interference in our election nor does it matter much if they had any earnest warnings for Russia against trying the same thing in our 2018 elections. That could be done in other ways without having to go to Moscow. By engaging in a trip to Moscow now, there seems to me to be a high probability that it creates the perception that we (the United States) are just accepting Russia’s recent violations of international law.
Such a perception would amount to appeasement. We all know the result of the last time leaders of the Free World tried appeasement (reference Neville Chamberlain). Hint: it didn’t work out so well.
So, I think some real soul searching on the part of this delegation needs to be done but does this delegation also need to be reminded about who their host is? The leader of Russia is someone who is suspected of human rights violations, suspected of murder, attempted murder, has squashed expressions of freedom and, of course, attacked our own country by interfering in our elections. Putin is a leader who has invaded two other independent countries that led to portions of those sovereign states being removed from their sovereign control. In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia then sponsored what amounts to puppet governments in the former Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In 2014, Ukraine was invaded by Russia where Russia simply annexed Crimea outright.
The worst part about the trip this delegation of US representatives made is that it occurred on the 4th of July, our Independence Day. This is a day where we should be shouting to the world in no uncertain terms that we will be free of despots, all despots. Therefore, if this delegation’s intention were not to make a complete mockery of our most patriotic holiday of the year where freedom rings loudest, it may have come close to doing just that despite what its intention truly may have been.
Coming January 20th at 6:00 AM PST/7:00 AM MST
Stay tuned for the Premier of “The Great American Presidential Apprentice,” the new world leader Reality TV show you don’t want to miss is coming this January 20th. As President-Elect he has nearly caused one international incident after another from China, to Japan, to NATO and then throwing in a Russian Hacking denial or two for grins, but he’s just getting started. Just wait until he becomes President on January 20th. Populist autocrats all around the world can’t wait either.
Watch as he fires Congress while his supporters cheer with glee. Then watch him fire the Supreme Court as they cheer some more. And then watch him fire the Constitution but not before steamrolling over the Bill of Rights amidst ever more louder cheers (even the beloved second amendment does not get a reprieve). In addition to his Constitution defacing antics, “Draining the Swamp” will take on a whole new Reality TV meaning as he successfully convinces us that he needs to fill up the swamp in order to drain it.
No Presidential Press Conference will be as much fun to watch as the ones he has planned for his “Press on Trial” segment. All those nasty people in the press corps will be put on trial and then, you guessed it, fired. Watch as he deflects attention away from questionable lawsuit settlements to some poor group of Broadway entertainers whose only crimes were that they asked that the rights of others be respected.
Watch as he dismantles your democratic institutions right before your very eyes, magically and then replaces your republic with a fiefdom. The White House will never be the same. In fact, it won’t be because it is being renamed. Henceforth, it is now, “The Great House.”
So, tune-in on January 20th! It will be like a having a Political Rally right in your very own living room! America will be great again!!! And, oh, by the way, he is also renaming America to the “United States of Greatness,” but, then, soon to be just, “Great, the Country,” because he intends to fire all the States too. Additionally, everyone must now salute the red, white and combed-over flag.
And, for all of you who belong to questionable faiths who should not be let into the country, don’t forget to wear your official state issued religious identification badges because, afterwards, you might win an all-expense paid trip to his new resort, “The Taj Mahal Luxury Internment Villas,” near the new wall site. And don’t pay any attention to those bellhops who look like armed guards. As long as you don’t go anywhere, they won’t bother you.
*Check local listings for availability and times (times may vary).
It really is beside the point whether the Russian hacking actually helped Trump win the election. I don’t think that the intelligence communities ever claimed that they had such evidence. The CIA, FBI and the other intelligence agencies repeatedly claimed that the evidence only showed that the Russians were responsible for hacking our computer networks and that this effort was intended to benefit Trump. Trump repeatedly denied that the Russians could be responsible; over and over again, doing as much as possible to cast doubt upon and discredit the various intelligence agencies at every chance he could. Now it appears that Trump might concede a little bit by acknowledging that maybe there was some hacking by the Russians but careful to qualify that this hacking didn’t help him win the election.
While it is difficult to quantify, it is not difficult to understand how the result of the collected hacked information appearing on WikiLeaks, each week a new set of hacked data presented during the campaign, kept negative attention focused on Clinton’s e-mail server scandal and alleged Clinton Foundation issues. It is difficult to argue that this did not have an effect on the election. But, even so, the not so easily quantifiable presumption that there may have been an effect on the election is distinct and separate from the election result itself which, obviously, is something we can easily quantify. So, absent other evidence, it could never really be argued that the election result is not valid based upon this presumption alone without a great amount of difficulty.
Regardless, Trump continues to put his self-interests above his country. If the President-Elect is unable to comprehend the duty he has to protect the security of his country even above his own interests, how can he be expected to protect its people and the democratic values our country holds dear? Is this really the type of characteristic we want in a President?
The fact that we have a President-Elect who is so insecure about his own election result that he would think the evidence that implicates that the Russians hacked our systems necessarily implies that his election result is invalid may be another indication of just how lacking in character and unqualified a President-Elect we have. Most normal statesmen (and/or stateswomen) would be more worried about protecting our country rather than protecting some less meaningful election result. The last President that might have been accused of having this much insecurity is Nixon.
Interestingly and similarly, that President also went to great lengths in his efforts to protect his 1972 election result even going as far as becoming involved in a conspiracy to cover-up a crime. It’s amazing how more things change the more they remain the same. So, if anyone had any doubts before, it’s pretty clear to me now where this Presidency is headed.