We Are Behaving Like a Silly People

Here is Bruce Thornton writing about silly people at FrontPageMag.com:

What’s really driving the hysterical response to the Helsinki summit.

The hysterical reactions to Donald Trump’s comments in Helsinki show how we are becoming what David Lean’s T.E. Lawrence called the Arabs: “a little people, a silly people.” The difference is, we are the richest, most powerful, freest people in the history of the world, yet like children we are obsessing over words rather than paying attention to meaningful deeds.

Here from the Washington Post is one sample of the thousands of bipartisan complaints about Trump’s comments in Helsinki: “Trump was just compliant and submissive, nearly fawning over Putin. Without a doubt, Putin is more powerful now than he was before the summit and Trump is weaker.” Notice how the subjective adjectives in sentence one become objective facts in sentence two. In a world where language trumps reality, what you say is what you are, not what you do. This has been the central fallacy of most Trump criticism since he walked down that golden escalator.

Words have consequences, Trump’s critics warn. But they forget to add that words mean something when they are linked to deeds. Here’s an example: “This is my last election . . . After my election I have more flexibility,” especially on “missile defense.” In 2012 Barack Obama was caught asking Dimitri Medvedev to pass this message along to Putin in regard to missile installations planned for Poland and the Czech Republic. True to his word, Obama halted the programs, earning kudos from Medvedev, who called it a “responsible approach,” and Putin, who called it “correct and brave.”

And how was this appeasement of a geopolitical rival received? Very differently from Trump’s words. Republican John McCain said of Trump that he had “abased himself . . . abjectly before a tyrant,” and warned that “The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate.” Democrat Nancy Pelosi said of Trump that his “weakness in front of Putin was embarrassing, and proves that the Russians have something on the president, personally, financially or politically.” But Obama’s deeds that followed his abjectly appeasing words, from McCain earned a mild rebuke of “seriously misguided.” And Pelosi said Obama’s move that weakened our allies and strengthened our rival was “brilliant.”

Read more: Front Page Mag

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