The Helsinki summit between the USA and the Russian Federation promised to be yet another barnburner, and it delivered. Not because Trump issued any new policy towards Russia, but because it was the perfect trigger for any Russiagate conspiracists to demonstrate the validity of their hysterics.
I went to my opponent’s Facebook page expecting her typical reaction to this event, and I was not disappointed. So I figured I’d expand on that here.
Let me be perfectly clear here: Trump’s stance towards Russia at this summit was no different than his predecessors. It reflects our policy of cautious optimism towards a rival power which, nevertheless, shares some interests with us in maintaining a world order.
I’m not going to get into how the Democrats twisted all sorts of things Trump said, or Obama’s famous “flexibility” comment. Other bloggers can show you that. Rather, witness Bill Clinton’s statement from 2000. How different is it from Trump’s language? Not at all, if you look at it with fresh eyes.
So, let’s take a look at the reality of our relationship with Russia. Minus the anti-Trump hysterics. We have a tepid relationship with Russia, yes. They hack us, and we hack them, much as parties all over the globe do – and why I think we need to reaffirm a national commitment to cybersecurity.
But they are also a trading partner. As Trump pointed out, Europe gets a great deal of its energy from Russia. We sold $1 billion in movies to Russia last year – a big part of the incoming wealth to our city. They are no longer the existential threat they were under communism.
Yes, they look to expand their influence any way they can. Frankly I blame Obama’s flubbing of the Arab Spring for allowing Russian influence to come into the Middle East. Putin gave a rather understated UN speech about spreading post-Spring anarchy and what superpowers need to do about it. Doubtless that got him influence at our expense. An influence Trump is looking to reverse with his latest Middle East actions.
So there’s a realistic summary of our relationship with Putin. This is the kind of realism you can expect to hear from me. My opponent has nothing but Russiagate conspiracy hysterics. The choice is yours.