Trump is suggesting that there is little difference in values between America and Russia and those in his chorus have suddenly taken up his chant. Who do you think Ronald Reagan was referring to when he said: “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.”
Ronald Reagan had no interest in going it alone. He was not leaving Europe and the allies in the Far East to their own devices. He never put a price on free people by asking if they were paying enough money. How on earth did the Republican fall so low.
Some of today’s trumpeteers blowing the horn for Russia would certainly have to wonder what Reagan meant when he said: “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr.Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!'”
Now I would expect those newfound lovers of Putin to say: “why is he complaining about that wall. We have walls in this country. What about that wall in Washington, D.C. with those 60,000 names on it? ” Pretty soon there’ll be really confused when we get the Trump Wall on the Mexican border. I don’t know how they’ll figure out the difference between the wall that separated Berlin and the one separating America from Mexico.
Let me quote President Obama at his news conference last week: “There was a survey some of you saw where not this just one poll, but pretty credible source, 37 percent of Republican voters approve of Putin. Over a third of Republican voters approve of Vladimir Putin, the former head of the KGB. Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave. And how did that happen? ”
It happened because a guy without values lied his way to the presidency. It happened because the Trump era is the post-truth era where many can say there is no difference between America and Russia. There is no difference between an individual athlete using banned substances and a nation having a national policy developed by the KGB to use banned substances on over a thousand individual athletes and having its top officials conspire to cover it up. It happens because some cannot see there is a difference in the willful bombing of civilians in a clear terrorist campaign against the civilian population in Aleppo and the accidental killings of civilians in Mosul where the first mandate is to spare as many civilians as possible. They fail to see any difference between a country that people flock to and one that they run away from. No difference between a country that gives 2 billion dollars to the World Food Fund and one that gives 48 million.
Let me quote what Obama said about the Russians at the same press conference: “They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn’t produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don’t innovate. But they can impact us if we lose track of who we are. They can impact us if we abandon our values.” He’s talking to those Americans who accept the false Trump position of Russia being like America.
The president said: “It was C.S. Lewis who, in his unforgettable “Screwtape Letters,” wrote: “The greatest evil is not done now in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.”
Well, because these “quiet men” do not “raise their voices,” because they sometimes speak in soothing tones of brotherhood and peace, because, like other dictators before them, they’re always making “their final territorial demand,” some would have us accept them at their word and accommodate ourselves to their aggressive impulses. But if history teaches anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.
So, I urge you to speak out against those who would place the United States in a position of military and moral inferiority.”
The president who said those last words quoted was Ronald Reagan.