It took a roughly four-hour meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, to strike the U.S. media and congressional Democrats down with a severe – but likely temporary – case of amnesia. If anything was going to make them forget the illegal alien children ripped from their mothers and the impending apocalypse which Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee will bring down upon the world, it was this first one-on-one between public enemy number one and public enemy number two.
Cutting through the outrage and hysteria, though, a little perspective on what has come out of this meeting should, one would think, elicit little more than a collective shrug and, perhaps, even a sigh of relief. It is worth remembering what is at stake when dealing with Russia, on what scale the Russians really succeeded in destabilizing the American political system, and what changes the world will see as an immediate result of this so-called summit.
Missed Opportunity Or Calculated Political Risk?
No sooner had the post-meeting press conference wrapped up when President Trump was hit with a sustained barrage of criticism from the left and also from many on the right. His mistake, it seems, was failing to publicly condemn Putin for meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
To be sure, this was a mistake, of sorts. Had the American president even made a non-specific statement to the effect that foreign interference in the U.S. political system was unacceptable and would not be tolerated, he would have given his critics less ammunition. Of course, Trump would have been criticized by the left no matter what he had said or done in Helsinki. He may well have made the calculation that it was not worth bringing up in a public forum, merely to satisfy the chattering classes back home.
As unpalatable the thought is that foreign agents would attempt to influence an American presidential election, there are certain facts that ought to be remembered by the professionally outraged: 2016 was not the first time the Russians have carried out destabilizing operations in the U.S. Other foreign powers have done the same and the U.S. intelligence community has also done the very same thing in other countries. Add to that the fact that no informed observer has suggested that these Russian interlopers had any effect on the result of the election itself and it becomes clear that, while Trump should certainly have addressed the issue with Putin during their private meeting, it was not something that should have been used to turn their joint press conference into a duel.
Trump put it best himself, in a line that will surely go down in history alongside the greatest presidential quotes of all time:
“I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.”
A Little Perspective Goes A Long Way
For those Democrats, progressives, and neocons who seem to be virtually calling for war with Russia, now would be an excellent time to remember that they are attempting to whip Americans into a frenzy of hate against the one nation on earth that is capable of inflicting total nuclear annihilation upon the U.S., regardless of the fact that they, the Russians, would surely meet that same fate. Any meeting between the leaders of these two countries that ends with an exchange of soccer balls rather than ballistic missiles is probably a good meeting.
Although billed as the Trump-Putin summit, this talk was clearly nothing more than that; a talk. It was a prelude, perhaps, to a better understanding between the world’s two military superpowers. It laid the foundation, one would hope, for a resolution of the crisis in Syria, a strategy for dealing with Iran and maybe an untangling of the multi-layered geopolitical puzzle concerning the very future of Europe – a powder-keg that, remarkably, is going unnoticed by even many European nations.
It really is all about perspective. As much as the American left tries to perpetuate the myth that Trump is president only by virtue of a sinister Russian conspiracy, that is simply not the case. The wailing and gnashing of teeth will subside somewhat because there are still illegal alien children to think about and their fate is more valuable to Democrats running for office in November than the Russian boogeyman of who most Americans are already tired.
As for Trump; he will need to do a little damage control, but he has now met with three of the four most dangerous foreign leaders on the planet and not a single city has been vaporized.
Of course, there is always Iran.