July 23, 2016

TRUMP UPENDS EVERYTHING AGAIN: Donald Trump and America’s Moral Authority.

Mr. Trump was asked about orders from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to detain tens of thousands of Turkish citizens. Asked whether he would press Mr. Erdogan “to make sure the rule of law applies,” Mr. Trump did not emphasize the delicate nature of criticizing a strategically important ally. Instead, he focused inward, saying that “when it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems, and I think it’s very hard for us to get involved in other countries when we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see straight in our own country.”

The problems he had in mind were “policemen being shot in the streets, when you have riots, when you have Ferguson. When you have Baltimore.” The United States needs “to focus on those problems,” he said.

This argument — that the United States could not be a model because of its domestic problems — was made during the early years of the Cold War, when racial segregation and violence against civil rights demonstrators generated international criticism. But this case was made by Soviet propagandists, not American presidential candidates.

Well, it’s a standard lefty talking point — those tend to come, ultimately, from Soviet propagandists whether the talkers know it or not, and usually they don’t — and it’s one that’s been echoed by President Obama with his reminders to Americans not to get on our high horse (the Crusades, you know) and his disparaging of American exceptionalism.

The big news here is that a Republican candidate is saying it, but then, Trump spent most of his life as a Democrat. And while it would be better if we had Presidential candidates who sounded like Reagan or Eisenhower, it’s pretty rich to see people complaining about Trump’s statement after 8 years of Obama saying pretty much the same thing.