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Some Dare Call It Diplomacy

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

President Donald J. Trump made a great decision to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month in Helsinki, Finland. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) just returned from a congressional trip to meet with his counterparts in Russia to discuss better relations between the two nations. Right now, relations with Russia have become so partisan expect Democrats and Never-Trump Republicans to find reasons to criticize Paul’s diplomatic breakthrough that may lead to a historic era of better relations between the two countries.

While some irrationally scream of “treason,” the truth is that President Trump and Senator Paul’s efforts are an example of diplomacy that will have the impact of lowering tensions between two superpowers that have, in the past, been on the brink of nuclear war.  Americans should applaud the efforts of Trump and Paul, because these efforts will help preserve peace.

It is important that two nations with about 90% of all nuclear warheads talk like they did during the Cold War.  Senator Paul reported that on his trip he found that the Russians were open to engagement with the U.S., yet the forces who want perpetual war with Russia, in both parties, seem to be winning that war. Sen. Paul’s announcement of him hosting Russian Federation politicians later this year is an important development. Sen. Paul’s meeting with libertarian Russian leader Mikhail Svetov was another great development to show that the liberty movement is alive and well in Russia. It may be time for a lessening of punishment and sanctions on both sides to try a new approach to better relations between Russia and the U.S. 

I agree with the critics that the Trump-Putin summit presser was cringeworthy, yet I also agree with President Trump’s big picture case that the historic meeting will lead to a lowering of tensions between Russia and the United States. Sadly, Democrats, and unthinking hawks in the Republican Party, are rooting for an unnecessary diplomatic war with Russia.  Democrats have, for the first time, agreed with the neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party, which has trashed Russia and poisoned the well for a bipartisan push for cooperation on issues where the two nations can agree.  

Democrats are also so invested in trashing Trump that they are attempting to gaslight the American people into believing that more jobs, better GDP and a healthy stock market is a bad sign for the American economy. More jobs and a thriving economy are bad for middle America, according to widely used Democratic talking points. The ideas of Democratic Socialists have infected the party and now they root for an economic collapse. Even some unhinged Republicans are rooting for a Democratic Socialist takeover of the Congress because they are blinded by hate for President Trump. This gaslighting also applies to the Democratic claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.  Even though there is zero evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials to fix the election, the Democrats have used one meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and some flunky Russians to paint a grand conspiracy of epic proportions.

Russia has become a proxy war on Trump. One would have to have a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome to believe that Russia moved many, if any, votes during the last presidential election.  Democrats refuse to take responsibility for nominating dislikable Hillary Clinton who was a train wreck of a candidate. Now they scramble for any evidence that they can pin on Russian interference in the election to distract from their own failures.  Russia has become a crutch for Democrats to blame when they are in a jam and that has caused better relations with Russia to become a partisan issue.

The goal of diplomacy should be open dialogue to avoid miscommunication and develop better relations between the nations. Senator Paul recently wrote in Politico, “Politicizing international affairs is a dangerous game, but that hasn’t stopped far too many in Washington, who seem to have forgotten that a vital part of keeping America safe and secure is avoiding war through strong and consistent diplomacy, from playing politics.” Nobody is naïve enough to believe that Russia is all of a sudden a model of freedom and a functioning democracy and Paul has argued that “Russia doesn’t need to be considered our friend. But we certainly have overlapping interests — Syria, Islamic terrorism and energy — that require us to have an open dialogue and relationship.”  Russia has some interests that coincide with American interests.

Democrats have fallen all over themselves for better relations with the oppressive government in Cuba, and neo-conservatives have lauded the good relations with Saudi Arabia, yet both those nations have a civil rights record that equals if not exceeds the oppression in Russia.  President Trump has reached out for diplomacy to Russia, North Korea and Iran – all nations that have been the subject of sanctions and tough talk that has not worked.  Maybe we should balance the many punishments with some diplomacy.

Kudos to President Trump and Senator Paul for trying to open up a dialogue with Russia.  

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