President Donald Trump sent out a very contentious tweet on Wednesday morning, suggesting that only two choices for Americans exist for how to respond to his relationship with Russia.
Trump argued that critics of his budding relationship with Russia President Vladimir Putin would rather see the two nations go to war with one another.
He added that critics were suffering “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2018
“Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this,” he wrote. “It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!”
Such a comment, however, provides only two options from Trump for how we are allowed to deal with Russia, a nation that very clearly attempted to influence our nation’s elections in 2016. According to the president, those two options are:
- accept that he and Putin have a friendly relationship with one another, despite the fact that the autocrat will likely continue to try to interfere in our democracy; or
- go to war with Russia.
Why is Trump only presenting us with these two options? It’s because he wants people to have a limited choice of how they should react. Indeed, if put to a vote, Americans would likely prefer peace with Russia and select option No. 1, versus going to war with the nation.
But those are two extremes between which several other options exist. Trump could, for example, impose the sanctions he was supposed to enforce that Congress told him to do in 2017. He refused to do so last year.
He could have confronted Putin directly, telling him that he trusts his intelligence agencies’ findings over the Russian autocrat's word, and that it’s unacceptable for him to try to continue manipulating our nation’s elections. He refused to do that as well earlier this week (any after-the-fact “corrections” he made to this week’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki are unconvincing, to put it mildly).
He could also strengthen ties with our allies, conceiving of ways to confront Russia in economic or political ways that would hurt Putin’s standing in the world, making the Kremlin’s influence less meaningful in global affairs. Yet any chance of that was lost during his meeting with NATO nations, where Trump struck up a very confrontational tone.
A myriad of possibilities exists between accepting Trump and Putin are buddies now, and going to war. But Trump only wants to give the American people those two options. Both of them are disastrous and don’t promote America’s interests in a very positive way.
Yet only one option is the lesser of two evils, and Trump, in presenting these two extremes as the sole choices we can make, is hoping you pick that one.
Americans should reject this dichotomy and understand that the president is lying when he pushes this choice. It’s disingenuous, and it should cause many to question further just why Trump is so reluctant to take a stand against Putin.