It seems like only yesterday the neoconservative, establishment frontrunner for the Republican Party Mitt Romney was mocked by Democrats for warning of a resurgent Russia. Today, the Democrats are the war hawks, ratcheting up their anti-Russian rhetoric to coincide perfectly with the most hawkish Democrat in the party, Hillary Clinton, taking the reins and formally accepting her nomination.
While on the campaign trail in 2012, Mitt Romney made a repetitive case for taking a more hawkish approach to Russia. The Obama campaign ridiculed his stance, mercilessly going after it by running campaign ads and at the debates painting Romney as a Cold War relic.
OBAMA: And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
The Democrats laughed off his Russia warning. Their think tanks and academic wonks were determined to designate not terrorism or Russiaa but Climate Change the greatest National Security threat to America in the 21st century. It’s clear Democrats are now making an attempt to link Climate Change and National Security, but under a Clinton presidency, we can expect a catalogue of foreign military interventions to be included on her Foreign Policy wish list.
Today, the Democrats have become the war hawks, reversing course on Russia after eight years of the White House mishandling Foreign Policy. Being outplayed by Russia in Syria, Ukraine, and other Russian geopolitical hotspots that remain on the periphery for the United States, really angered some Democrats. Particularly the one running for President. As Secretary of State, Clinton pounced on Russia, criticizing their elections, and meddling without any diplomatic tact into Russian internal politics. A Clinton presidency could heighten tensions to a level unseen since the Cold War, doing as much damage if not more than a Neoconservative Mitt Romney may have done in office.
Judging by Trump’s statements, the Republican Party has reversed course as well. The Republicans have shifted their Foreign Policy orientation to “America First” under the party leadership of Donald Trump. Concerned primarily with fixing America, and hoping to cooperate overseas with Russia as respected equals in the fight against Islamic extremism that is festering in the Islamic world and exporting to Europe.
The Democrats on the other hand grow increasingly rhetorical, blasting Putin and the Russian intelligence services. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) email leaks communicated to the American public through WikiLeaks a disturbing amount of collusion between the DNC leadership and the Hillary Clinton campaign. In an attempt to avoid the content of the leaks and avoid the story it produces, they struggled to instead fabricate a story about an unholy alliance between Russia, WikiLeaks, and Donald Trump. Then ran with the misdirection all throughout the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia.
Let’s be clear: neither the Mitt Romney nor Hillary Clinton approach to Russia is productive or in the best interests of the United States. Russia is used a rhetorical tool for election campaigns, then quickly fades away once governance becomes a responsibility of the Party in power. Will Hillary change that? Making “getting tough on Russia” her signature Foreign Policy goal? If her time as Secretary of State is any indication, the answer is yes. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov candidly addressed the American political process, and its use of Russia as a foil.
We are again seeing these maniacal attempts to exploit the Russian theme in the U.S. election campaign. This is not breaking new ground, this is an old trick which is being played again. This is not good for our bilateral relations, but we understand that we simply have to get through this unpleasant period.
The strategy of the Democratic Party was to use their 24/7 media access offered by the convention to tie Donald Trump as best they could to Vladimir Putin. Trump responded in an hour-long press conference. For Hillary supporters reading this, a press conference is when your candidate gets on stage in front of the press and answers unfiltered questions from journalists. When was Clinton’s last press conference anyway?
I digress, how did Donald Trump respond when asked to comment on their strategy?
TRUMP: I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me.”
MEDIA: Would you treat Vladimir Putin as an adversary or an ally?
Trump: I would treat Vladimir Putin firmly, but there’s nothing I can think of that I’d rather do than have Russia friendly as opposed to the way they are right now. So that we can go and knock out ISIS together, with other people. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with people? I’m all for it, and let’s go get ISIS. We have to get them fast. You saw what happened to the priest [in France]. It’s only going to get worse.”
The Kremlin came out with its own response to the Democrat’s insinuation they were at all involved with the leaks, or trying to tip the scales of an American national election towards Trump. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked about the leaked emails.
As regards these (email) batches, that is not our headache. We never poke our noses into others’ affairs and we really don’t like it when people try to poke their nose into ours,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saidsaid said.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we got along with other countries in the world? With Russia, with China, if we cooperated with countries fighting radical Islamic terrorism to defeat it. If we gave it our best effort to negotiate trade deals that work for Americans and peace plans that work for Israelis and Palestinians? Trump’s rhetoric, for all his bombast and showmanship personality, is rejecting the globalist worldview both the elites of the Republican Party and increasingly the whole of the Democratic Party believe in. The Democratic rhetoric against Russia will be no more useful to them than Romney’s rhetoric against Russia in 2012. Most Americans are not concerned about Russia. Americans are starting to see Russia as an ally against revolutionary forces that threaten national and global interests. Particularly those Islamist militants in the Middle East that, for some reason, the Obama administration chose to support. Most Americans are not happy about the direction of this country, but even fewer believe we’re on the path to defeating radical Islamic terrorists.