OK, as I've said, I wasn't a big fan of Trump's meeting with Putin. His strange walk-back hasn't changed much of my assessment. My big problem with it is that I don't think it helped when our situation in the face of Russia needs serious help. But nothing happened. Trump could have been meeting someone for dinner and a movie. Sure, I hope relations between our countries could improve, but it will take more than this. In the end, I can't help but think Trump was hoping for a Reagan/Gorbachev Geneva moment. Just have a meeting, and it will all work from there.
Ah, that was a magical moment, I'll admit. It was fall quarter of my freshman year of college. Naturally the media spent days leading up to the meeting lamenting how Reagan would screw up glasnost and embarrass us and all that jazz. Likewise, I remember well the hysterics when Reagan grabbed Gorbachev and "condescendingly" walked him to the stairs. Boy the outcry, the hysterics. Sometimes the current coverage of Trump brings back old memories.
Still, once the meeting was over, the fish was replaced, and Reagan came home to address the nation, all the partisan bickering and sniping stopped and the world heaved a massive sigh of relief. For even the briefest of moments, critics gave Reagan a thumbs up, and we all believed we might make it through the Cold War without the catastrophic annihilation of humanity.
I can't help but think that's what Trump was hoping for. Well, sorry to say, he failed. At best it wasn't a disaster. But at best it was a big nothing burger. It was a photo op, a private meeting, and a press conference where Putin's blah demeanor was only surpassed by the loony questions coming from the American press.
But back to Mark's little Trump attack. Personally, I don't give a damn about Rather's feelings, snowflake or otherwise. I reject Rather's assessment because he is one of the most glaring examples of just why Trump is in the White House in the first place. Do I worry about Russia? Sure. I haven't stopped since the end of the Cold War. I've studied too much history to think all that animosity was a thing of the past. I also worried about it in 2012, when Romney pointed out the obvious and was mocked by Obama for his troubles. This is because Russia is a complex place, with a complex history, and should never be underestimated, even by the foreign policy guru Obama.
But I'm more worried about the internal threats to our democracy, liberty, freedom and civil rights. I'm worried about the obvious collusion between various power-brokers and public and government institutions for the purpose of aiding one particular political philosophy and party even against the voters' wishes. I worry about the institutional corruption, the lies, the deception, the systemic falsehoods, and a contempt and loathing for a growing portion of Americans that is being promoted by the very agencies that should be protecting us. I'm worried that all of these things are joining together to stack the deck and even take away the desires of the average voter for the sake of the powers that be. And I'm worried that they are teaching more and more Americans to jettison the very ideals we are supposed to embrace, all for the sake of eliminating everything it meant to be American.
I worry more about this because, ideally at least, we can always come together against an external threat to our nation. Despite the lessons we've learned since 9/11, we might still be able to unify and seek common cause against a hostile foreign power. But when that enemy is within, I fear we are too divided to care. Just the circus and freak show that has been the DOJ and FBI kerfuffles over the last two years, beginning with a secret, private meeting between Bill Clinton and the woman in charge of investigating his wife, is enough to send chills down a normal spine. That so many defended it, dismissed it, and attacked those who were bothered by the event, showed that it was clear we no longer cared about law, justice, truth or our nation. We cared about winning for one side only. Even if the win is at the expense of America itself.
Of course that was only a small part of the last decades of growing collusion between an expanding number of powerful individuals and institutions. And it's in these decades of development that Mr. Rather became one of the faces of the new alliance between the industry once known as the news media and the Democratic National Committee. An alliance that continues to this day, often to the detriment of the will of the people.
When I look at Russia, I see an old adversary that could become a threat if we continue on as we have for the last couple decades. I see it has already tried to compromise our democracy. But I see the clear and obvious attempt to throw away all values, morals, ethics, principles, truth, consistency and common sense, while demanding we ignore the obvious about the collusion and corruption in our own power centers, as the greater threat. Especially since one of the byproducts of this internal movement has been to convince a growing number of people that the world would be better without America in it. At least Russia merely wants to get the upper hand on America, and not see it eliminated from the global stage.
That is why I don't care about Rather's opinion Mark. Not because Rather is a snowflake, or because I'm beholden to Trump. It's because I have a brain, eyes, ears, and the ability to see the way the wind is blowing, and just who's blowing it.
NOTE: As I prepare to hit 'Publish', I am made aware of yet another Shea-Gem. Here. Seizing upon the stat that 16% of Republicans have a favorable view of Putin, he embellishes, including jumping on the story of the young Russian woman accused of being an agent for Russia. He calls it collusion, despite the assertion that she was a spy - that is, those working with her wouldn't know she was an agent. And of course we still don't know. She's only been accused. But that doesn't matter.
Few people demonstrate more clearly than Mark's zealous embrace of the RME's* 'why wait for evidence when we can hie to the noose!' mentality as to why the real threat to our democracy and our future of liberty and freedom isn't necessarily on the other side of the ocean.
*Roy Moore Era