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US vs. Russia: Trump the Pragmatist vs. Clinton the Warmonger

By: David Unsworth - @LatinAmerUpdate - Jan 10, 2017, 6:52 pm
Ford plant in Mexico
Trump is likely to seek to defuse US geopolitical tensions with Russia (Gage Skidmore).

Never in the past generation has Russia figured so large in American foreign policy and politics. In the wake of the Obama administration’s claims that Russian hacking influenced our presidential election, politicians across the spectrum have called for tough talk and actions against meddler-in-chief Vladimir Putin. But as a report by the Ron Paul Institute has recently demonstrated, the evidence of Russian interference is lacking.

The American Left is woefully deficient when it comes to self-criticism and reflection. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, in fact, suggested that there were no lessons to be learned from the American electorate’s stunning rebuke, and that Democrats should just keep doing what they are doing. The reality is that there is no way to sugarcoat it: The American Left has just experienced the defeat of the century. It was ugly.

Russia is not to blame for Clinton’s loss, but the divergence of the Clinton and Trump campaigns with respect to Russia foreign policy is partly to blame for why the electorate put Trump into the White House, and returned the Republicans to power in Congress by a comfortable margin.

The hypocrisy of the American Left and the Democratic Party knows virtually no bounds. This has never been more true than when it comes to the ideals that they allegedly espouse, juxtaposed with those of the candidates that they support. Let’s take foreign policy. Faced with the Iraq War, the greatest foreign policy blunder in a generation, they saw no irony in their enthusiastic support for the Clinton campaign, despite the fact that Clinton supported the war, and Trump opposed it.

Currently, the socialist justice warriors on social media have taken to insinuating that Trump is just oh so frightfully dangerous because he dares to play an apocalyptic game of chicken with North Korea. Yes…that is the big threat that the United States and the world are facing now. Kim Jong-un is well aware that if he ever used a nuclear weapon against Japan, South Korea, the United States, or any one else, his nation would be destroyed and he would be out of power within a matter of days, not weeks. The idea that Kim Jong-un is going to start a nuclear war, because Trump is ratcheting up the tension, is utterly preposterous.

But the same millennial left-wing activists who are so frightfully concerned over Trump having the nuclear codes, are completely oblivious to the far more serious conflict zone in the world today: the border between Russia and its Eastern European neighbors. Trump and Clinton share contrasting worldviews when it comes to how to deal with Russia. Clinton believes that taking an aggressive and belligerent tone, coupled with massive military buildups in the border region, is the key to making everything better. As many libertarians pointed out during her campaign, Clinton never saw a war she didn’t like.

Trump has discussed pushing the reset button with Russia and defusing tensions. We can fundamentally infer from Trump’s campaign platform and discourse that he is less likely than his predecessors to use war as a tool of American foreign policy.

It is utterly hysterical that the same party that for the duration of the Cold War wanted to buddy up with the Soviet Union is now making Russia out to be responsible for the death of American democracy. When the Marxist professors at Harvard and MIT and Columbia told us that the Soviet Union and its domination of a third of the world was really not such a bad thing, and that their economic and political system really wasn’t so morally bankrupt and incompetent, the Democratic Party didn’t bat an eyelash.

When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the Evil Empire, he was derided and mocked by the American Left for his peculiar and dated beliefs in such things as “American exceptionalism” “ethnocentrism” “imperialism” “warmongering”…and so on and so on. And despite the massive military budgets during the Reagan years, the United States was only spending 20% of its GDP on the military (and our massive commitments abroad) while the Soviet Union was spending an astounding 50% of its GDP on its military!

It is the perfect example to demonstrate that socialism has always, is now, and always will be, enforced by the barrel of a gun. Wherever socialism has been instituted, massive loss of economic, social, and political freedoms have followed.

Say what you will about Putin, but he is neither a Communist nor a socialist nor a religious fundamentalist. Trump’s first and foremost geopolitical challenge will be to defuse the tensions along the Russian border, ensure the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and prevent the proliferation of any more conflicts.

How is Trump going to do this? Why, he will make a deal of course.

Here is what Trump should say to Vladimir Putin:

“Look. As it stands now we have this massive and unnecessary buildup on both sides of Russia’s western border. That just doesn’t make any sense. Let’s both dramatically scale back our military presence in the border region. We will pull out the vast majority of our missiles from Eastern Europe and you will promise to stop aiding rebel groups in eastern Ukraine. Instead of wasting money on pointless military buildups, let’s work together to boost international trade between Russia, the EU, and the US. Let’s work together to defeat ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other dangerous jihadist groups around the globe. Let’s work together to invest in transportation and infrastructure around the globe. Let’s encourage economic cooperation that is mutually beneficial for Russia and the United States.”

Yes, there are some significant differences between the values of the US and Russia. Russia has some serious problems. But Trump is far less likely than Hillary Clinton to drag us into yet another military conflict with a perceived enemy, who should really be an ally.

25 years ago, the Evil Empire fell, and the United States and Russia had an incredible opportunity to push the reset button and work together. Following a decade of Putin and Obama, it appears that our relationship is at its lowest point since the Cold War.

Trump is far from perfect. But let’s hope that he can, indeed, steer us away from military conflict, and focus on cooperation.

Russia is not the enemy.

David Unsworth David Unsworth

David Unsworth is a Boston native. He received degrees in History and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, and subsequently spent five years working in real estate development in New York City. Currently he resides in Bogota, Colombia, where he is involved in the tourism industry. In his free time he enjoys singing in rock bands, travelling throughout Latin America, and studying Portuguese.

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