Mike Pence isn’t the only one on the receiving end of a Trump air kiss.
Although television journalists continue to be fascinated by the farce that is the Republican National Convention; although those same journalists are hoping against hope that Donald Trump will give a rehabilitative speech this evening so they can talk about it for several hours into the night and pronounce him fit for office, print journalists aren’t ignoring perhaps one of the most dangerous things Trump has said to date:
That frightening New York Times story begins this way:
CLEVELAND — Donald J. Trump, on the eve of accepting the Republican nomination for president, explicitly raised new questions on Wednesday about his commitment to automatically defending NATO allies if they are attacked, saying he would first look at their contributions to the alliance.
Asked about Russia’s threatening activities, which have unnerved the small Baltic States that are among the more recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing if those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”
“If they fulfill their obligations to us,” he added, “the answer is yes.”
Mr. Trump’s statement appeared to be the first time that a major candidate for president had suggested conditioning the United States’ defense of its major allies. It was consistent, however, with his previous threat to withdraw American forces from Europe and Asia if those allies fail to pay more for American protection.
If that doesn’t scare every American with a measurable IQ, then nothing will. Here’s how The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg began his article on the matter, an article titled, “It’s Official: Hillary Clinton Is Running Against Vladmir Putin”:
The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a KGB-trained dictator who seeks to rebuild the Soviet empire by undermining the free nations of Europe, marginalizing NATO, and ending America’s reign as the world’s sole superpower.
Goldberg notes that Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, “was for many years on the payroll of the Putin-backed former president of Ukraine.” And Goldberg goes on to say this:
Trump is making it clear that, as president, he would allow Russia to advance its hegemonic interests across Europe and the Middle East. His election would immediately trigger a wave of global instability—much worse than anything we are seeing today—because America’s allies understand that Trump would likely dismantle the post-World War II U.S.-created international order. Many of these countries, feeling abandoned, would likely pursue nuclear weapons programs on their own, leading to a nightmare of proliferation.
It may be entertaining for some people to watch what is going on at the circus in Cleveland this week, but this is serious business, people. It’s time television journalists started taking it that way. Trump is a very dangerous man whose election could cost a lot of people their lives and could, quite realistically, lead to a global nuclear war.
Enough with the pretending that this is just another presidential race. It isn’t.