Same liberal media called Reagan 'warmonger' and Trump 'accommodationist' on Russia

Many of you remember the 1980s.  Ronald Reagan became president in the wake of the Iran hostage crisis, the Soviet placement of nuclear missiles in Eastern Europe, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Reagan's response was to call the Soviet Union an "evil empire" and to begin a major buildup of our conventional and military forces, as well as placing medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe to drive Russia to the negotiating table.

And how did the liberal media respond?  They called Reagan a "hardliner" and a "warmonger."  They urged him repeatedly to engage in détente with the Soviet Union.  The media showed no interest in investigating Soviet involvement in the U.S. anti-nuclear movement, which might have uncovered allegations like this:

Russian GRU defector Stanislav Lunev said in his autobiography that "the GRU and the KGB helped to fund just about every antiwar movement and organization in America and abroad[.]

Now go back even farther to the 1950s, and liberals tell us that this was a shameful period infested with "McCarthyism" where people were investigated for ties to the Soviet Union (which really existed).

Obviously, in both the 1950s and the 1980s, the liberal media thought engagement with the Soviet Union was progressive and that opposition to it, even rhetorically, was "hard-line."

Now let's talk about the present.  Anyone who advocates dialogue with Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, is labeled an accommodationist.  The media eagerly play "Where's Waldo" in the search for Russian collaborationists in the ranks of the Trump administration nearly every day.  It's gotten so bad that we have reporters questioning whether it is even appropriate for President Trump to meet with Vladimir Putin.  "Why Trump won't cancel his meeting with Putin," blares Politico.  "Just sitting down with Trump, Putin comes out ahead," declares The New York Times.

So what has changed since the 1980s, when dialogue with Russia was considered forward-thinking and even rhetorical criticism of Russia was considered backward?

Russia is much less of a threat than the Soviet Union ever was.  It has a much smaller army.  It has a smaller economy.  It occupies a much smaller land mass.  It's still a dictatorship (basically), and it still has nuclear missiles pointed at us, and it seems to like poisoning people in Britain a lot, but from a rational standpoint, it is impossible to see how engagement with a strong Soviet Union is good but engagement with a weaker Russia is bad.

The only way it makes sense is to look at what is good for liberals.  Liberals had a not so secret crush on the Soviet Union because it was a communist country.  Liberals loved, and still love, communism, even as they rebrand it KFC- and IHOP-style with names like "progressivism" and "socialism."

But liberals hate Russia because Russia tried to interfere in our elections against Hillary.  Liberals feel that a bunch of Twitter and Facebook bots tossed the election to Donald Trump.  They really believe this.  Perhaps they felt that all the Russian-originated Facebook posts somehow counteracted the legions of illegal aliens who voted for Hillary.  So liberals hate Russia because they think Russia tried to stop Hillary from winning the election.

Their partisan hatred is what is driving national policy now.  If the Russians had tried to help Hillary, they'd love Russia.

It's just like 1984, where people are constantly told, "We are at war with Eastasia.  We are at peace with Eurasia." and then "We are at war with Eurasia.  We are at peace with Eastasia."  The media have redefined who our enemy is, and most people haven't blinked an eye.  That's just another example of how Orwellian our society has become.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at

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