The Washington Post reported yesterday that Trump’s national security advisors wrote “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” in big letters on his briefing papers about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s re-election “win.” So of course the next thing Trump did was to call him up and congratulate him.
The election results carried 70% of the votes in favor of Putin, which was definitely legitimate and not the result of (wait for it) Russian meddling. A call of congratulations wouldn’t be out of the ordinary under normal circumstances (Obama made the same call in 2012), but considering this is coming on the heels of Russia waging a cyber war against the United States and poisoning people with military-grade nerve agents in the United Kingdom, it does seem a little tone-deaf. As John McCain shot back, “An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.” Without there being some strategy behind the move, I tend to agree.
As for today’s comic, we obviously ignored the danger of Hitler for years in the spirit of neutrality – and that led to great costs, in retrospect. The difference between FDR and Trump, in this instance, is that we no longer play dumb with the speed of which we respond to world events. My hope is that Putin doesn’t rise to the comparison of Hitler and we look back at our actions today and wonder why we sat on our hands. Or worse, enabled him.
May 24, 2017