COLUMN: Welcome to America: Our facts are fiction and democracy doesn’t matter
President Donald Trump said some horrible things to Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly and probably privately. Things that undermine American Democracy and our history, both old and recent.
How Trump acted with Putin was a low point in American democratic ideals and the safety of Western Democracy.
Rather than believe his own intelligence agencies, Trump once again took Putin at his word and told lies about our history with Russia.
What is vitally important to understand about everything Trump said was his lack of courage to look Putin in the eye and stand up to him.
Even days after the meeting, Trump and the White House are still flip flopping.
During the meeting in Helsinki, Trump said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia.” Days later claiming he did hold Russia accountable and meant “wouldn’t” rather than “would”.
When asked if Russia was still looking to undermine US elections, Trump said no. This was later contradicted by Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, who said he meant no questions.
While this is bad on the US domestically, it is way worse on our alleged allies abroad.
All of this comes after constant criticisms of NATO by Trump.
NATO is an alliance founded and maintained to defend The West itself and western values from Russian and other hostile attacks.
The more Trump criticizes and the more Republicans shrug at the insane theory that America should leave the alliance the more powerful Russia gets.
That directly weakens The West. Countries like France, Germany and Canada need NATO to maintain their safety and trade. But those countries are not the ones with the most to lose.
Weaker states along the Russian border will be the first to suffer from doubts in NATO’s resolve. Ex-soviet countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine will be the first casualties from a weaker, less unified NATO.
Trump has been criticizing NATO since before his election. It finally seems that he is ready to act on those threats.
While Trump’s blunder in Helsinki reflects poorly on America domestically-- he is literally showing support for the ex-KGB agent, Putin, over his own intelligence agencies-- it looks even worse for the futures of countries being targeted by Russia.
The threat to these countries is not just speculation.
In 2014 Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimea Peninsula. He has also been meddling in elections across Europe.
Since 2004, USA Today reports, Russia has meddled in the elections of at least 27 countries.
If Trump continues to downplay Russian aspirations, what is to stop Putin from ramping up aggressions when the United States ignores these violations even happened?
Not much. Certainly not our president.