Yesterday, in his daily podcast, commentator Andrew Klavan listed five examples of things Trump has done that disqualify him for President. All five reasons are valid, but it was the fifth reason that struck a chord for me: that Trump often “has kind words for dictators.”
Mark Steyn has often said that he is the most pro-American. If that is true, then count me as the second most pro-American non-American. One principal reason I am is that - more than any other country - the United States has opposed tyranny and dictatorship. Obviously considerations of realpolitik require alliances of convenience with unsavoury regimes, but until recently, this was done reluctantly and only for pressing foreign policy reasons, and even then, not always. What was always the case was that no Democrat and Republican President ever romanticized a foreign strongman or considered him to be anything other than a lowlife and a thug. At least until Barack Obama, who has shown open favour to Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Donald Trump seems to want to continue this abhorrent policy.
Trump’s affection for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is well known. Putin would be the former KGB goon who became the corrupt mafia leader of Russia; who rose to power via a terror campaign against the Russian people conducted by the FSB (the successors of the KGB); who openly murders his political opponents, such as anti-Putin journalist Anna Politkovskaja (who was machine-gunned on Putin’s birthday) and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov (who was butchered in broad daylight in Red Square); and who runs Chechnya through a vicious Islamist warlord, Ramzan Kadyrov.
If that weren’t enough, and to prove that he bromance with Putin isn’t some recent flight of fancy, in a 1990 Playboy interview he seems to agree with what the Chinese Communist government did in Tiananmen Square:
“What were your other impressions of the Soviet Union?
I was very unimpressed. Their system is a disaster. What you will see there soon is a revolution; the signs are all there with the demonstrations and picketing. Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.
You mean firm hand as in China?
When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world–
Why is Gorbachev not firm enough?
I predict he will be overthrown, because he has shown extraordinary weakness. Suddenly, for the first time ever, there are coal-miner strikes and brush fires everywhere- which will all ultimately lead to a violent revolution. Yet Gorbachev is getting credit for being a wonderful leader and we should continue giving him credit, because he’s destroying the Soviet Union. But his giving an inch is going to end up costing him and all his friends what they most cherish-their jobs.”
So the Chicoms “almost blew it” because they ‘almost’ didn’t massacre the peaceful pro-liberty protesters? He also seems to blame Gorbachev for ending the Soviet Union. When asked about these comments during the election, he referred to the Tiananmen Massacre as a “riot”. Hey Donald, just a minor point of terminology: when peaceful protesters are machine-gunned in half and then run down with tanks, that’s not a “riot”, its a massacre.
Oh yeah, he also had kind word for Muammar Khaddaffi and Saddam Hussein.
I think it is obvious that such sentiments are completely contrary to the wording and spirit of the US Constitution, and would be abhorrent to America’s founding fathers if they were alive to hear them. The low regard for strongmen is one of America’s sterling qualities. It has propelled the United States to the first rank among the world’s nations. If you think America would have had as much success with a strongman in charge, think again. Why is it that all (and I mean all) the poor, decrepit nations of the world are governed by iron-fisted tyrants?
The worship of the strong man is also contrary to the principles of conservatism. Anglo-Saxon conservatism has two strands: libertarianism, and the conservatism of Edmund Burke. It is obvious that the worship of strongmen goes against every principle of libertarianism. To see what Edmund Burke thought about the worship of power, read this.
In other words, I regard Donald Trump’s infatuation with thuggish foreign strongmen as not only unconservative but contrary to the founding principles of the United States, principles that have made the US the world’s greatest nation.
Donald Trump should not be President.