Last week, the Left got its collectivist panties in a bunch over something President Donald Trump did. He…I’m not even sure I can say this without a warning, so…
Warning: What I am about to describe may cause men, women, children, and some household pets to burst into flames, fits of inconsolable weeping, or both. Post no bills. If you read this blog post backwards, you may find sardonic messages. Violators will be towed. Towers will be violated. Any unauthorized rebroadcast, televising, or description of this blog post is strictly prohibited by Major League Baseball, but may be overlooked with some money and/or cake. Side effects may include dizziness, temporary leprosy, involuntary narcolepsy and/or simultaneous explosive diarrhea, the desire to dress like Carol Channing, holes to appear in your nose and ears, and general discontent, discord, and otherwise icky stuff.
Now that we have that out of the way, I can tell you what President Trump did. He…called Russian President Vladimir Putin and congratulated him on his recent election victory! Against the wishes of some of his advisors!
How will we ever get over such a violation of diplomatic protocol? By talking about diplomacy!
What the Left thinks it means – being a good global neighbor by being willing to give up power in exchange for peace
What it really means – protecting our interests while exercising our strength
The Left loves to portray itself as the party of diplomacy and have pointed to people like former Secretaries of State Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry as examples of how it should be done. The problem? None of them are skilled diplomats, unless you consider constantly apologizing for being American the sign of good diplomacy. And, as you might expect, I don’t.
This isn’t to say Secretaries of State under Republican Presidents have been any better. In my lifetime, diplomacy has gone from strategic alliances that benefit all parties involves to Americans always having to say we’re sorry. Since the Cold War ended, the world stage may have gotten less chaotic, but it shouldn’t have meant our strategic alliances went the way of New Coke.
Unfortunately for us, our political leaders didn’t agree. Once the Berlin Wall came tumbling down and glasnost became a household word, the competent leaders decided to take a 20+ year nap on the diplomatic front and let the new guys (and gals) try their hands at it.
And, boy, did they screw it up.
Now, I’m not talking an “Oops, I forgot to add mustard to the yolks when we made the egg salad” screw-up. When you screw up diplomacy, it tends to go very badly and get fixed very slowly. Thanks to Christopher and Albright, we saw radical Islam get bolder and spread further while we worried about global warming, unnecessary military actions in Kosovo and Bosnia, and whether the Commander in Chief was wearing pants at any given moment. Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice were a minor step up, but that’s not saying much given the folks who were in the office before them. Leftists called the George W. Bush approach to world affairs “cowboy diplomacy.” Say what you will, but it worked for the most part. Then, Clinton and Kerry got into office and gave us…ISIS.
Congratulations, American diplomats. You helped create a bigger mess than we had before you took office.
Going to the Trump call to Putin, the same foreign policy knuckleheads who said the Arab Spring was good went apoplectic. Some said we shouldn’t congratulate Putin because it would look bad, given the allegations of voting irregularities from the 2016 election linked back to Russia. Others said it would legitimize what appeared to be a questionable election.
And all of them are wrong.
It is commonplace for the President to call and congratulate the winner of elections with countries we’re friendly, sociable, or even just familiar with because…how can I put this gently…it’s good for diplomacy. Even if Putin is responsible for half the stuff his country’s accused of doing, that doesn’t make him any less of a world leader. And he’s a world leader who happens to be ex-KGB and isn’t above killing opponents. At the very least, we should try to stay on Putin’s good side.
On a global scale, Trump’s actions could help us down the road with other diplomatic efforts, namely the impending talks between North and South Korea. China has a vested interest in keeping North Korea in check, and Russia and China have become friendly. If we didn’t keep the big picture in mind, Russia and China would make the negotiations more difficult than putting together a piece of furniture from IKEA using only the description of the instructions as given by Joe Biden after 14 shots of Fireball. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, the congratulatory call was the right call.
Personally, I think the reason the Left were so upset that Trump congratulated Putin is because it runs counter to the image of Trump they’ve cultivated. Since Trump announced, the Left said he would lead us to World War III within a few minutes of taking the Oath of Office. Well, judging from the lack of a nuclear winter and radioactive mutants driving around Mad Max style, I would say their assessment was wrong. And Trump’s actions with Putin only underscores how wrong the Left has been about him and about diplomacy in general. The ultimate goal of diplomacy is to avoid war. If it takes calling Putin to congratulate him to accomplish this, why shouldn’t we take that step? And, no, protecting Leftist fee-fees isn’t a good enough reason.
Next time you hear a Leftist pontificating about diplomacy, remember their idea of diplomacy involves America genuflecting to every other world leader, regardless of whether they’re allies or enemies, but more often than not our enemies. That’s like trying to negotiate with the hangman’s rope as you’re swinging from it. Without a firm concept of what is actually good for America, our diplomats are the nerds of the UN lunchroom and we will continue to get atomic wedgies until we stand up for ourselves.
In other words, be prepared for a lot of wedgies.