For centuries smart and talented people have made fatal mistakes, miscalculations and ended up on the wrong side of history. Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle was a Nazi sympathizer, President John Kennedy’s father was also a Nazi sympathizer, Eleanor Roosevelt was against the US entering World War 2, perhaps the greatest blunder of the 1940s the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which gave President Roosevelt the ammunition to get the US into World War 2, Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, Hitler’s diversion of his troops at the verge of taking Moscow to turn to try to take Stalingrad, and more recently Brexit in the UK which has caused huge insoluble problems, the list goes on.
It is equally true that EVERY President of the United States has had successes as well as made mistakes. Nixon did, Clinton did, both Bushs did, Obama did. Donald Trump is no different. President Biden will end up just like his predecessors.
However, it makes no sense for the current right wing pundits to try to make out that Donald Trump was something we all saw that he was not. Saying that he was strong against Russia – even after he made the statement last week calling Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “Genius” cannot serve conservative values well. Yes Obama did not react as much as he should have against Russia’s taking of Crimea. But then what did Trump do? All we saw was moves to soften sanctions against Russia, blame Ukraine for things we all know Russia did, no move whatsoever to get Russia out of Crimea, and in fact boasted of his great relationship with Putin, his respect, siding with Putin over his own intelligence experts, etc etc. We also know how much money the Trump organization made from Russians, they boasted about it. We know Trump was super focused on getting a Trump tower in Moscow and had closed door meetings alone with Putin. We also know that Russia favored Trump to be President and were hoping he won a second term. We heard his many pronouncements against NATO, correctly pushing the NATO countries to spend more money while at the same time undermining it and suggesting the US end its connection to it.
We all see what Putin is now. He is obviously NOT smart as what he is doing in Ukraine is resulting in the opposite of what he says he wants. NATO is more relevant now, he has pushed Ukraine away and given them greater resolve to join NATO, encouraged Sweden and Finland to consider joining NATO, and planted the seeds of his destruction in Russia itself. He is also NOT a person one would want to say you have a “great relationship” with any more than one would have wanted to say one had such a good relationship with Hitler. The point is we cannot escape from the fact that Russia did not have to attack another country during the Trump Presidency. Trump is correct in saying that. But why attack when the US President was doing your work for you? Weaken NATO, Trump did that. Divide and break up Europe, Trump did that. Let’s not forget he supported Brexit. Never criticize Russia, Trump did that. Weaken sanctions, Trump did that. No wonder in the old KGB circles Trump was on the “useful idiot list.” If Putin is indeed smart then he saw Trump as someone who he could use – and he did. Because Trump did not get a second term then Putin was stuck with his alternative option; use military force.
Turns out Trump was wrong about NATO. He was wrong about Putin. He was wrong about the nuclear deal with Iran as even the top Israelis now admit, etc etc. What ever happened to replacing Obamacare with something better and cheaper? Apparently forgotten the day he took office. Did he ever replace the Iran nuclear deal which he said was the worst deal ever? No, he just wrecked it and dropped the ball. And more than anything, was the USA more divided against itself after his 4 years in office? No question the answer is yes.
History will show that he did the most unthinkable thing a President of the USA could do. Challenge the peaceful transfer of power, the very essence of what makes America great in the first place. Credit Trump for what he did right, but don’t credit him for what he did not.