Trump’s isolationism is a lure for China and Russia to seize power
No nation’s security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation but only in effective cooperation with fellow-nations.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors “The Chance for Peace” (16 April 1953)
By now, only the truly witless still believe that the man purporting to be president, the man foisted on us by gerrymandering, Republican powermongering and an electoral college that failed in its mandate to stop us electing a monster is anything but a narcissistic, sociopathic traitor whose criminal past includes credible allegations of rape. We’ve had some vile presidents but to my knowledge, we’ve never had a worse one in our entire history.
This 73-year-old fossil, whose views of reality are at best limited, ignorant and skewed, has embraced a style of governing we thought we had ditched mid-last-century with the advent of World War II — isolationism (read more about the history of US isolationism). The idea of a global alliance of like-minded people standing up against tyranny and aggression finally came into play when it became clear that nobody would escape without involvement. Everybody who wasn’t attacking was being attacked and, without cooperation, the free world would essentially end.
This forged the alliances that continued until shortly after this man took office in 2016. Ostensibly, they still exist, but at this point, they’re becoming little more than a formality. The legitimate world leaders, people like Angela Merkel of Germany, leaders who understand the way the world works and the paths power must take to be benign and effective, know Trump to be an ignoramus and a buffoon and their contempt is barely masked. Hardly the foundation for a tight, effective working relationship.
Enter Mr. Bone Spur Combover, stage right. He never before governed. He knows nothing of process. He keeps himself deliberately ignorant of world affairs and governmental realities. He eschews reading and any news source other than Fox, which is a true bastion of xenophobia. He has no connection with the natural world or any person on earth, and I include his own children, whom he loves only inasmuch as they are reflections of him — essentially loving only himself within them. The people they are? Not really. The rest of us? The nation? Not at all. He loves himself, winning and golf — at which he notoriously cheats.
This dreadful man embraces the long-abandoned and completely unfeasible philosophy of isolationism as if we’d never ditched it in the first place. He could care less about breaking alliances and offending allies we truly need because he honestly thinks we can do without them and that our status as a world power is firmly entrenched.
But he is absolutely wrong.
The power structure of the world is transforming, and it’s deeply disturbing. The truth is that China and Russia have been waiting for us to slip. Both are far older countries, with an understanding of the long game — something of which Mr. Want-It-Now-Now-Now has no concept. They have been patiently watching and forming their game plan and now, according to many verifiable sources, among them Politico, they are moving to join forces against the West (Politico article about China and Russia’s push toward consolidating power).
If you think it’s bad here now, imagine living under a combination of Russian and Chinese rule. Don’t even begin to think they don’t want that. They do. They want our land, our resources and they want us under their thumb, quelled, powerless, obedient and owned. Both Xi and Putin are known for their human rights abuses and I believe thoroughly that their rule would be brutal. Look no further than Tibet for what China would do. Look at any country annexed at will by Russia.
This political reality, particularly in the face of a planetary ecological catastrophe that is in the process of happening right now, should terrify us all. It should also stir us to action. It has in some places — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being one loud, clear voice — but not enough. Not nearly enough. With Democrats waffling, doing their best imitations of paper tigers and Republicans smooching orange heinie at the cost of their constituents, vulnerable immigrant children, all women and people of color (whether they believe it or not) and the entire planet — this bloated miscreant is piloting this mammoth vehicle with the steering wheel detached, aimed straight for a brick wall.
We cannot allow it to hit that wall. The consequences would be unpayable.
We honestly think that the way things are and have been are the way they will always be. That’s human. All people do it because if we dwell on how unstable the world actually is, we would be too terrified to continue on with our lives. The problem is, that magical thinking is absolutely useless.
German Jews thought that way, sure that a country that produced such music, such literature, such art, such philosophers, could never descend into savagery. I am quite sure that Syrians decades ago wouldn’t have believed that they would be living among rubble, on the run from gunfire any more than the people of Kosovo years before them. Nobody believes that their tidy lives can implode without warning. That their sweet neighborhoods and happy lives and contented routines can vanish in a puff of smoke, never to reassemble themselves again.
But they do. The world has always been uncertain and even our accumulated knowledge, our technology and our refinement of the governing process will not forestall disaster if we sit — either complacent or terrified — and do nothing.
What should we do? Well, to start:
- We must vote Trump out in such a groundswell that there can be no question of his ouster.
- We must disempower the Republican kleptocracy and install rules that insure that such corruption will never again be allowed to take hold.
- We must examine our racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and homophobic culture and make real, immediate and enforceable changes.
- We must care for our own and no longer seek profit on the backs of the vulnerable.
- We must assuage our allies and reconnect with them, making a strong, solid alliance dedicated to individual freedom.
- And we must pour our efforts into slowing and ameliorating climate change or every single damn bit of the rest of this will be moot.
Yes. It’s terrifying — all of it. And I understand the urge to hide from it. But being ostriches has never been an effective strategy. It merely makes our exposed tushes even more alluring and all-too-visible targets for people who have a focused, organized agenda to subsume us into their nightmare vision of conquest, dominance and power.
If we want better for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and the planet itself, we’d damned well better get on board, get involved and get to work. Or there will be nothing left to work for. Nothing at all.