*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
Nearly every four years Americans hear a phrase, “elections can be dirty affairs.” It’s a phrase that should never be applicable in a representative democracy, and not just regarding nasty candidates resorting to mudslinging to demean their opponent’s character. Likely one of defining moments elucidating that phrase’s veracity was the Nixon-era Watergate scandal that brought a sitting president so low he was forced to resign in shame. Today that could never happen because regardless the treasonous scandal, Republicans are incapable of having any shame.
America is in the midst of a dirtier affair in 2016 than the Watergate scandal because today a political candidate received, and is openly seeking more, campaign assistance from a hostile foreign government with little response or condemnation from the Republican Party’s leaders. Now it appears there is a good reason why the RNC or congressional Republicans have not condemned Donald Trump’s allegiance to Russia, or his willingness to assist Vladimir Putting neuter American or NATO resistance to Russian aggression and imperialism.
There is every reason to believe, based on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s own statements, that the campaign aid rolling in from Russia is an investment to assure Vladimir Putin that America will allow Russia unrestricted access to rebuild the dreaded former Soviet Union. There is a world of noise about Donald Trump’s embrace of Vladimir Putin, particularly his obvious eagerness to help Russia annex NATO members, including a nation aspiring to NATO membership, Ukraine.
It has been curious, and a mystery really, that none of the Republicans in Congress clamoring for the Obama Administration to engage Russia with militarily aid to assist in the defense of Ukraine a couple of years ago, and Georgia for that matter, have not condemned Trump’s cozy Russian relationship. It is not a mystery any longer.
A damning article in the Guardian revealed that not only is Donald Trump in bed with Russia, “a key figure at the Republican national convention has strong business ties with Ukraine,” and that the official RNC party platform astonishingly “removed references to arming Ukraine in its fight against pro-Russia rebels;” rebels who are and have been receiving material support from the Vladimir Putin.
The article states:
“Analysts suggest…[a] primary motivation for the WikiLeaks email dump [is] doing harm to Clinton; and boosting Trump who broke from Republican policy by suggesting the US would not automatically come to the aid of NATO allies [under attack].”
Also, it is very important to remember that Trump said that if elected he would recognize that part of Ukraine, Crimea, is Russian territory.
The reason a pro-Russian policy was included in the official RNC platform is because the coordinator of the Washington diplomatic corps for the Republicans in Cleveland was Frank Mermoud, a former state department official involved in various business ventures in Ukraine. Not surprising, pro-Russia Mermoud has longstanding ties to Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort who worked as a campaign adviser to a former disgraced pro-Russia Ukrainian president and Vladimir Putin ally who now lives in exile in Russia.
The Guardian report noted that Manafort was brought in to “oversee the convention operations” and that his pro-Russian cohort Frank Mermoud was “a key figure at the Republican convention;” most likely because he “has strong business ties with Ukraine, to which others in Trump’s orbit have been linked.” This business-tie link to pro-Russia Ukrainians is particularly damning as questions of Donald Trump’s patriotism and loyalty to Russia and its president continue to grow. The question about why no Republican has come out and condemned Trump for his allegiance to Russia and apparent willingness to lead an American role in Russian aggression and annexation crusade is now abundantly clear; it is the official foreign policy position of the RNC.
The harshest criticism of the RNC’s “no aid to Ukraine” policy came not from any Republican, but from Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook. Mook said,
“It was concerning that Donald Trump changed the Republican platform to become what some experts would regard as pro-Russian.”
One veteran Republican Party operative and lobbyist, Charlie Black, said that the “new position in the platform doesn’t have much support from Republicans” and he added that the sudden shift in GOP foreign policy “was unusual.” The official RNC “aid Russia’s annexation of Ukraine” policy is a stunning reversal, and it was said to be condemned by “some Republicans,” but only Ohio Senator Rob Portman spoke out and “described it as deeply troubling.” Still, it was not troubling enough to purge it from the party’s official foreign policy agenda and not troubling enough for typically “pro-defend our allies” Republicans to condemn.
It is abundantly clear now that no leading Republican is going to criticize Trump’s embrace of Russia, or his pledge that if elected he will bow to the will of Vladimir Putin. How can they? It is written into the official RNC platform to aid Putin’s annexation of Ukraine by refusing to assist the nation in defending itself from Russian aggression. This is a shocking reversal for the Republican Party, but an indication that Donald Trump and his pro-Putin operatives now control the GOP’s foreign policy agenda.
If Trump was not the undisputed leader of the party, Republicans who are typically strong on aiding America’s allies like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, or even Tom Cotton would have banned the inclusion of a blatant pro-Russian policy in the official party platform; but they didn’t.
And they didn’t because now that Trump and his pro-Russia operatives have seized control of the party, coupled with the tacit approval of the establishment, it is clear that the official RNC is as much in bed with Russia as its pro-Putin leader Donald Trump, and if they aren’t, why is there no outrage from leading Republicans in Congress?
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.