Walter Russell Meade destroys 'Trump as Russian mole' narrative

There have been calls on the left for an "independent" investigation into charges that President Trump colluded with Russian president Vladimir Putin to get elected and has been plotting with him ever since.  To what end this cooperation will lead is a little fuzzy.  Apparently, the goal is to suggest that Trump is a traitor to America and a Russian mole.

This Walter Russell Meade essay destroys that narrative with devastating logic:

A Trump administration is going to be four years of hell for Russia: a massive American doubling down on shale production along with a major military buildup. Trump is, in other words, a nightmare for Putin and a much, much bigger threat to Putin’s goals than President Obama ever was or wanted to be.

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran

That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.

Obama actually did all of these things, and none of the liberal media now up in arms about Trump ever called Obama a Russian puppet; instead, they preferred to see a brave, farsighted and courageous statesman. Trump does none of these things and has embarked on a course that will inexorably weaken Russia’s position in the world, and the media, suddenly flushing eight years of Russia dovishness down the memory hole, now sounds the warning that Trump’s Russia policy is treasonously soft.

This foolishness is best understood as an unreasoning panic attack. The liberal media hate Trump more than they have hated any American politician in a generation, and they do not understand his supporters or the sources of his appeal. They are frantically picking up every available stick to beat him, in the hopes that something, somehow, will Miloize him.

Trump's realpolitik approach to Russia has unnerved the left.  You could make a sound argument that his policy is shortsighted and fraught with uncertainty (Will Putin respond positively to the U.S. approach?).  But only an idiot would make the case that Trump is some kind of Russian mole about to betray U.S. vital interests.

Meade points out the political danger for the left in building a narrative of Trump as traitor:

So blind does hatred make them that they cannot understand how their own behavior is driving American public opinion in directions that bode ill for liberals in the future. In the first place, suppose Donald Trump does not in fact turn out to be the second coming of Benedict Arnold. Suppose instead, as is much more likely, that he turns out to be a very hawkish president, one who quite possibly will make George W. Bush look like Jimmy Carter. The media and Democratic Party leaders will have staked huge amounts of credibility on a position that turns out to be laughably untrue. Six months or a year from now, they will have to flip from calling Trump an anti-American traitor and Russian plant to calling him a dangerous, fascistic ultranationalist whose relentless hawkishness is bringing us closer to World War Three.

Trump has chosen national security advisers with a far more realistic outlook on the world than President Obama's "soft power" advocates and "don't be beastly to the Arabs" strategists.  Whether this approach will yield the results the president seeks remains to be seen.

There have been calls on the left for an "independent" investigation into charges that President Trump colluded with Russian president Vladimir Putin to get elected and has been plotting with him ever since.  To what end this cooperation will lead is a little fuzzy.  Apparently, the goal is to suggest that Trump is a traitor to America and a Russian mole.

This Walter Russell Meade essay destroys that narrative with devastating logic:

A Trump administration is going to be four years of hell for Russia: a massive American doubling down on shale production along with a major military buildup. Trump is, in other words, a nightmare for Putin and a much, much bigger threat to Putin’s goals than President Obama ever was or wanted to be.

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran

That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.

Obama actually did all of these things, and none of the liberal media now up in arms about Trump ever called Obama a Russian puppet; instead, they preferred to see a brave, farsighted and courageous statesman. Trump does none of these things and has embarked on a course that will inexorably weaken Russia’s position in the world, and the media, suddenly flushing eight years of Russia dovishness down the memory hole, now sounds the warning that Trump’s Russia policy is treasonously soft.

This foolishness is best understood as an unreasoning panic attack. The liberal media hate Trump more than they have hated any American politician in a generation, and they do not understand his supporters or the sources of his appeal. They are frantically picking up every available stick to beat him, in the hopes that something, somehow, will Miloize him.

Trump's realpolitik approach to Russia has unnerved the left.  You could make a sound argument that his policy is shortsighted and fraught with uncertainty (Will Putin respond positively to the U.S. approach?).  But only an idiot would make the case that Trump is some kind of Russian mole about to betray U.S. vital interests.

Meade points out the political danger for the left in building a narrative of Trump as traitor:

So blind does hatred make them that they cannot understand how their own behavior is driving American public opinion in directions that bode ill for liberals in the future. In the first place, suppose Donald Trump does not in fact turn out to be the second coming of Benedict Arnold. Suppose instead, as is much more likely, that he turns out to be a very hawkish president, one who quite possibly will make George W. Bush look like Jimmy Carter. The media and Democratic Party leaders will have staked huge amounts of credibility on a position that turns out to be laughably untrue. Six months or a year from now, they will have to flip from calling Trump an anti-American traitor and Russian plant to calling him a dangerous, fascistic ultranationalist whose relentless hawkishness is bringing us closer to World War Three.

Trump has chosen national security advisers with a far more realistic outlook on the world than President Obama's "soft power" advocates and "don't be beastly to the Arabs" strategists.  Whether this approach will yield the results the president seeks remains to be seen.

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