Trump is an old man. He is no stranger to the history of the cold war. He is also no stranger to America’s continued efforts to maintain its standing in the world against some of its historic enemies. Yet with every move he makes, America loses ground in Europe against our two most feared rivals: Russian Intelligence and Islamic Terrorism. And a single failure in judgment could set American back fifty years, at home and abroad.
If there is a question of motive as to why Trump was propped up by connections in Russia during the election, you have to look no further than Europe. With the Muslim immigration into Europe – some of whom have a propensity for violence and distaste, if not hatred, toward America – there is the making of an Anti-American army on the continent. And there could be no better Emmanuel Goldstein for Big Brother to lambaste in order to drum up hate for, than our current president. Making Americans and American affiliations heightened targets of terrorism. The result is the capacity for the Kremlin to create further distance between America and a European citizenry hostage to random acts of violence, explicated as Anti-American sentiment – true or false. The perceptions are as important as the reality. Should a people, not knowing otherwise what they can do to protect themselves from violence, decide that they can at least disassociate, just in case, then they may – provided they do not see it for what it is.
The Kremlin wants, and at all cost, for Europe and the world not to see it for what it is, and America cannot dawdle bringing it to light.
Should the Europeans see this presidency for what it is – an attempt to prop up a (notably non-Jewish, though not anti-Jewish) Goldstein in order to win hate against America – they are integral enough not to collapse under the weight of pressure from anti-American sentiment. Should the means and methods by which Trump came into power remain even too slowly dragged into the public consciousness, a single misstep can destroy American objectives for years to come in the meantime. This may well be the intended purpose of this presidency itself. And with it the Kremlin gains what Authoritarians always desire most, control.
The best hope is for the FBI to move swiftly with their investigations – something that Trump is now fighting with the release, and threat of release, of previously classified intelligence documents. But the best case scenario is admitting we have been had by the Kremlin, so in any case, America will have to realize it has some fighting to do, but at least we stem the tide of tyranny.
It happens everyday, but not least in the highest reaches of government. In the highest reaches of government, people are quick to clean their hands of any potential wrong doing with a turn of phrase. The matter does not have to be complicated. If I am a diplomat and I say that we don’t like X, and if you do Y, we will do Z, this only constitutes a threat if the other side does not like Z and it is not to your advantage that they do Y. But if you say it like that, your hands are washed of whatever wrong was done with Y, and if you do Z given Y, you can effectively establish trust – all under the guise of whatever protection Z feigns to provide (e.g. xyz=(Ukraine,Syria,Economy).
Matters are not as cut and dried as national broadcasts would like, and in relations, both domestic and foreign, such implicit agreements are the norm rather than the exception. Still I cannot but beg to maintain that if there is to be integrity to the system – and if our leaders are to know the first as well as the last thing as to what is going on – then we need a system of coordination which is forthright and does not save face for the sake of future votes, protecting against future spin, and living in a reality of appearances which cannot be sustained given a more intelligent populous.
In this follow up to Should The Pope offer St. Maria’s of Alhambra to Islam, I want to consider what the Catholic church has to gain by offering St. Maria’s as an offering to interfaith worship.
The short answer is that The Church has peace to gain, with a start toward reconciliation among faiths, which need to come together rather than grow further apart. The long answer is that it is only through an unsolicited offer by The Catholic Church, in advance of pressure from outside events, that The Church can authentically make a gesture that other faiths can trust as an offering to peace. The act needs to take place prior to strife, for it to be clear that The Church’s hand was not forced in the matter – which it is not, but could seem so, should such an offering occur after an event of great distress. This means that it is the right moment for such an offering.
Open dialog between faiths is much needed, so that theoretical reconciliations can be reached, which promise to support a broader day to day acceptance of other faiths living together in the same community. There is no better way to reach a state in which reconciliation can be achieved than through a community of shared worship. Seeing and hearing and feeling those in prayer and worship inevitably makes the practice and people of other faith less alien, more akin to yourself and your own needs and fulfillment. And the setting at Alhambra is the most perfect given the history of intolerance in Spain and the history of Alhambra, not to mention its beauty.
The Office of the President is the face of the nation and ours is a nation with a big footprint. That footprint extends well into other nations as we willfully take on the task of policing the world from at least the worst of its ills. That life abroad is occasionally neglected and occasionally abused by our Presidents, but it really can be neither if we want America at its best.
While the Office of the President is consistently fighting domestic political battles which make them more narrow-minded than we can afford our administrations to be, America is busy being America abroad, trying to defend what is right, while fighting the concurrent battle over the visage of America as domineering where it doesn’t belong.
It is the latter where our president can be decidedly understanding or standoffish and in the past they have been both, but in the interconnected world which America built, we cannot afford the latter when it is not overwhelmingly due. Our current president has done well with diplomacy, despite occasional botched communications, and we can’t afford anything less from our future presidents.
The presidents of the near future – born and raised before the rise of the internet – threaten to misunderstand a younger generation who are to make up America and much of the first-world, in short order. And it is a persistent and perpetrated misunderstanding, which is America’s greatest foe.