Anti-Trump Chihuahuas Overlook the President's Many Achievements

I am told that on that this day in 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt opened diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. Despite Walter Duranty’s protestations to the contrary in The New York Times, that was while Stalin was systematically starving millions—yes, millions—of his own people. He went so far as to seal the windows of trains running through the areas he wished to devastate so that passengers could not throw out food to the starving multitudes.  FDR knew this.  So: was his diplomatic action a good thing or a bad thing?

On this day in 1985, Ronald Reagan travelled to Geneva to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev. The Cold War was still raging.  So: was Reagan’s action a good thing or a bad thing?

Fun archival project: go back to the 1980s and read what The New York Times (and kindred outlets) had to say about Ronald Reagan.  He was a moron. He was a war monger. He was being played by Gorbachev.

Fast forward to today. Andrew Rosenthal, writing in The New York Times, wants us to know how “grown-ups” deal with Vladimir Putin. His proffered adult is Prime Minister Theresa May, who, in her address at the Lord Mayor’s banquet, gave a tart (and accurate) assessment of Putin’s hostile actions, from his annexation of Crimea to his propaganda war and “weaponization” of information technology. Spot on, Mrs. May!

Andrew Rosenthal contrasts May’s blast against Putin with Donald Trump’s diplomatic efforts.

Let’s leave aside the hypocrisy of a reporter for The New York Times stepping onto his high horse to deliver anti-Russian salvos. Shameless: he even invokes Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech in Berlin. Go back and read what the Times had to say about that phrase at the time.

You do not have to convince me that Vladimir Putin is a nasty piece of work. Indeed (commercial break), I am just about to publish Putin on the March, Douglas Schoen’s brilliant book on that subject.

The world is full of bad guys.  But if you are president of the United States, you should understand that the interests of peace and the interests of prosperity demand that you get along with other nations, if at all possible, especially powerful nations.  Donald Trump was quite right when he tweeted a few days ago that “having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. . . . I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!”