You get the government you deserve, and in America, we certainly got the one we deserved when the egomaniacal Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016.
Yet no matter how conservatives looked at Trump and his kaleidoscopic policies, they had to spot the dastard in him, even as they refused to acknowledge it publicly. For not a single president in America history has cared so little about the principles of our republic as Trump.
While in office, he bullied his critics inside the United States, and outside our borders, he sided with tough-talking autocrats who threatened to tear global peace, whatever that fiction looked like, into shreds.
In the Ukraine, Trump’s hands are all over what Vladimir Putin is doing there. The Russian attack on a country that once was part of the Soviet Union speaks to what feckless public policy resembles.
Yeah, I know, my thoughts echo those of us on the progressive side — folks who are too quick to blame the conservative thought in the Trump era when things turn topsy-turvy on us. But can those right-wingers accuse those of us on the left of being dead wrong about Trump now?
His willingness to acquiesce to all Putin wanted pushed the United States into a space it never wanted to be. In trying to keep concord, the United States and the administration that followed Trump’s have found discord.
They can’t reign in wantoned globalists, strongmen who view world domination as their next great frontier. We see those leaders in North Korea; we see them in China; and we see them, bombs bursting everywhere in the Ukraine to punctuate the point, in Russia.
Bombs might eventually bring peace, but that cost for peace is a high price to pay. Body bags are pricey.
Our allies understand that better than our former president, who remains the voice for the lunatic right. I have issues with traditional conservatives on many fronts, but I can see some reason in our contrasting views on governance.
I see no reason in what Trump and his sycophants have done in trampling peace and fomenting hatred — here and elsewhere.
As a nation, we act tentatively in our decision to use bullets to exact peace. We hope economic and political pressures will serve the effort for peace best. Even that effort, however, would profit from a consensus at home, which means Trump must turn his back on a politician he venerates.
For in America, Trump will never be Putin.
Oh, Trump tried, of course. His harangues about a stolen election do bring him willing listeners, but the little insurrection they embarked on in January 2021 didn’t achieve their aim: four more years of the man.
Trump can — and he does — blame President Joe Biden for what Putin did in invading Ukraine. Trump’s game of blame is tragically absurd, because it’s akin to blaming a fire that destroyed a house next door on the flames and not on the arsonist who set it ablaze.
In the days ahead, Biden might have to weigh an awful question: Do our bullets speak louder than our words? For he and U.S. allies can only sit so long in the expectation that Putin will temper his ambitions.
He might if Trump does.
Autocratic tendencies are difficult to rein in. Trump’s are impossible.