Monday, December 26, 2016

Election Thoughts

It's a long time since I've written.  Reviewing my February post on Trump, following the South Carolina primary, I think I made pretty good sense.  Let's see if I can keep it up.

This is indeed the season of whining and excuse-making for the Democrats, who are thus doing all they can to ensure that they lose again in 2018 and 2020, but events helped by Trump's blunders may enable them to avoid the consequences.  After all, Trump's blunders during the campaign nearly enabled the Democrats to escape the well-earned defeat of Hillary Clinton.  If we get out of 2017 without a considerable financial unraveling, I will be amazed.  Is Trump the guy to keep that from happening, if anyone is?  I don't think that's the way to bet.  And if any of a variety of things goes wrong as is likely, who knows what could happen?  Nothing good for Trump or the Republicans when they get caught holding the bag like Herbert Hoover, I'm sure.

Still, I feel like addressing one principal Clintonista whine - the supposed interference in the election by the Russians.  I have several points to make.

1.  If in fact the Russians interfered in the US Elections, they had every right to do so, as the US revolutionary tradition affirms.  A principal grievance against the British stated by the American revolutionaries was "No taxation without representation."  The colonies resented being taxed by a Parliament in which they had no representatives and therefore no say in the taxes and other measures to be imposed upon them.  It's a reasonable principle.   

Taxation is a special case of the general principle that people affected by the enactments of a government ought to be represented in it.  It is on this basis that the right to vote in the US was extended in later years to women and to others. 

It follows that anyone whose life will be profoundly affected by the results of a US election is entitled to try to influence it.  No drone-bombing without representation!  No invasions without representation!  No neo-Nazi coups so as to plant nuclear missiles on our borders without representation!  No plans to provoke a shooting war in Syria that could lead to a nuclear exchange without representation!  It seems obvious that Syrians and other Middle Easterners - and Russians - have a claim to representation in US elections, as the US revolutionaries defined such rights regarding the British Parliament in 1765 and in the decades that followed, because US elections have direct consequences for these parties.

This reminds me of the principle stated by the apostle Peter, "Do not suffer as an overseer of the affairs of others."  If you oversee the affairs of others, they gain the right to interfere in yours.

2.  No one has in fact offered any evidence that the Russians had anything to do with the exposure of the Clinton campaign emails, probably because there isn't any.  They've claimed that there is such evidence - the same credible sources that assured us of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the unprovoked invasion of Iraq.  But they have produced no such evidence at all.  Are we really supposed to be played for suckers again by those same liars?

3.  Trump is not some sort of traitor if he tries to make a deal with the Russians as the price of a working alliance with them.  He may not succeed, of course.  He is quite likely to muff the execution, which is delicate.
But what he or any other US President must do if possible is to pry apart Russia and China, and there is no way to do that while opposing the vital interests of both.  It happens that the vital interests of Russia are of little importance to the US.  It doesn't cost the US anything for Assad to survive in Syria and for the US empire's al-Qa'eda and ISIS proxies to be defeated there - these are unreliable friends and a public relations nightmare that have caused millions of refugees to destabilize Europe. Moreover, they have given Recep Tayyip Erdogan millions of refugees now sitting in Turkey with which to blackmail the Europeans, as he is explicitly doing.  If Trump gives all these troublemakers away, so that millions can safely return home, he just bails out of trouble while pleasing the Russians.  Likewise, the Ukrainian Nazis are no loss to the United States.  Accordingly, for the US to give Russia its gotta-haves costs little in exchange for the hope of fashioning a working alliance, as in fact Nixon did with China in 1972.

It's obvious that Trump has chosen Putin's business buddy Rex Tillerson to be Secretray of State to accomplish this mission.  I don't like their chances, but unlike Clinton and her kind, at least they seem to have the sense to try it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us not forget something else that is never mentioned outloud in polite company. There is circumstantial evidence that the US government gave moral and technical support to the military officers in Turkey who attempted to overthrow the Turkish government in July of 2016. Furthermore even if the US government did not give such support it is really impossible to believe that people in the highest levels of the US government were not aware that a plan to remove that government was not underway. What good is a massive intelligence apparatus if it can not detect a plan to overthrow an important allied country. That this apparatus would be incapable of detecting every attempted at a military coup in countries that are important to the leaders of the USA is absurd. It is conceivable that it might not be aware of every small detail but it would certainly be aware of the existence of a plot and when the attack of such a plot is imminent. So at the very least there was support for the plotters through the failure of the US government to warn the leadership of the Turkish government. This did not happen during the time that Donald Trump was serving as the press secretary of the US military but while Barack Obama was serving as the press secretary of the US military. Trump would no doubt have served the military just as loyally as Obama. After all a person can not serve TWO Gods. One either serves the US military or the God of Truth, Justice, and Fraternity.
Curt Kastens

12/26/2016 9:29 AM  

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