After the heavily-anticipated summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, both stateside media and politicians blasted the current administration for conceding to the Kremlin. One of the biggest issues is the allegation that Putin meddled with the 2016 presidential election, in which Trump secured a shock victory.
Although I’m critical about this latest excursion in U.S. foreign policy, I don’t view the election-meddling controversy as a priority. I agree with Senator Rand Paul’s recent statement that “we all do it.” As an adversary – not an ally – we should expect the Russians to spy on us, and influence our elections to suit their agenda. We also respond in turn, and perhaps more vigorously.
No, the real issue is the changing character of our foreign policy. We don’t draw lines in the sand like our adversaries do to us. Rather than challenging geopolitical affronts, and to be willing to “play chicken” in a Mexican standoff, we instead seek diplomatic solutions that are morally and ethically undeserved.
In other words, this is the Obama administration all over again. The difference is that Trump is white.
Prior to the Helsinki summit, the President gave an unprecedented concession, stating that the crux of the U.S.-Russia relationship deteriorating was America’s doing. Trump tweeted:
Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!
Unsurprisingly, the Russian foreign ministry tweeted back: “We agree”.
Here’s the thing: this pandering to the Russians is unnecessary. As President Trump repeatedly said throughout his campaign trail, we should lead from a position of strength, not weakness. I wish he would take his own advice, and be just as vigilant in foreign policy as he is on Muslims and Mexicans.
We should strive for good relations with countries that deserve it. However, Trump should realize the truth in this popular adage: you can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can never please all the people all the time.
We’ll never be friends with all nations, and that’s okay. With the U.S. progressing significantly towards energy independence, there’s no reason to be friends with anyone. Having and accepting allies is a privilege earned through meritocracy.
Nevertheless, if Trump and his electoral base want to have warm relations with Russia, so be it. But he does not have to place blame on the U.S., nor his intelligence services. Just go there, and get the job done. Speak softly and carry a big stick. Instead, Trump speaks bigly, and carries a small stick.
That should rile every Fox News analyst that blasted Obama for going on an “apology tour.” But white Obama gets away with saluting a North Korean general, and siding with Putin on the election-meddling issue for some odd reason.
It must be the hair.