Let us all give Trump more elbow room to maneuver in the tricky political waters ahead, not rush to judgment on any of his pronouncements taken in isolation
Progressives, please put down your pitchforks!
by Gilbert Doctorow, Ph.D.
These days I watch and hear the great Angst among friends and acquaintances that
- the US presidential election will be stolen by a putsch on Monday, 19 December, when the Electoral College casts the definitive votes affirming the victory of Donald Trump. This feared putsch has been engineered by our War Party with the CIA secret report on Russian hacking, so much in the news this past week, as their vehicle
2) the election will be stolen when Tillerson’s nomination for Secretary of State is denied in the Senate and Donald is de-fanged by the deep state
Though I have for the past several years been a full-time worrier, I find myself now in the unexpected and very pleasant situation of being the only calm guy among all my acquaintances. I would like to think there are rational justifications for my present Olympian calm.
I have immense respect for Donald Trump’s entourage which his money and unbelievable political courage have brought to his side, and for his own political savvy. This respect tells me that with his every nomination and policy statement this past month Donald has been “deal making” and ensuring that neither above scenario is realized.
Most of my friends have taken these nominations or policy statements in isolation. For example, his nomination two days ago of a pro-Netanyahu Jewish lawyer to be the next ambassador to Israel, a hardliner who favors the illegal settlements and wants to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State. This political signal to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its many Congressional friends set off all alarms in the two-state American and worldwide progressive circles. Or at the start of the nominating process, when Donald wrote Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama into the Attorney General slot which all of progressive humanity took to be the start of an onslaught on black rights. Or General Michael T. Flynn as National Security Advisor, which everyone took to mean imminent war on Iran.
On the other hand, these same Progressives have chosen to ignore Trump’s clear statement a couple of days ago that his infrastructure projects will be much closer to FDR and the Democratic Party wish list than to what Republicans would draft.
I see the Gestalt of Trump’s nominations and foreshadowed domestic policy as having a clear overarching mission: to disarm the War Party and ensure that neither alarmist scenario featured above comes to pass.
For those who remain concerned over the implicit compromises with their principles that this grand dealmaking entails, I highlight the question: who will be managing whom? Will Trump be managing his appointees or his appointees managing him? We have had a succession of weakling presidents (Bush, Obama) under whom the second scenario held true and middle-level or even top officials were implementing policies directly contradicting the President. Trump breaks that mold. By designating a cabinet of bosses, either from among generals or from among captains of industry, he has made it clear he will run the US Government like a Chairman of the Board and he has loyal people reporting to him who know the meaning of hierarchy. That means explicitly that he will be calling the shots and will be giving directional leadership though not micromanagement. He also seems to understand very well the guiding principles of Human Resoures, meaning that you work with what you have to get the best out of them and not the worst.
The Tillerson nomination is the bellwether. As the Washington Post told us this past week, the name was put to Trump by former Secretary of Defense, former CIA Director Robert Gates and was taken up with alacrity by Donald who was disappointed in his options to this point. His choosing Tillerson was a stroke of genius. It brought into play on his side some of the heaviest guns of the Republican establishment, starting with former Secretary of State James Baker and running through George W. Bush’s Vice President Dick Cheney, with Henry Kissinger at the edges. At this moment we can fairly say that sob’s they may be, but for the coming fight they are OUR SOBs.
In the past week I put a very undiplomatic question point blank to the president of The American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow, Alexis Rodzianko. When I met him in his offices two years ago, he made it clear to me that he personally and the organization as a whole would not wade into battle against the US policy of sanctions. This week when I asked him whether AmCham would take a stand in defense of Tillerson or let him “hang in the wind,” he answered in clear English, that AmCham will support Tillerson. Business people do not like controversies in public, and so this policy statement is memorable.
In conclusion, let us all give Trump more elbow room to maneuver in the tricky political waters ahead, not rush to judgment on any of his pronouncements taken in isolation. Our challenge is to generate public education and support for the policy of detente that Donald Trump so clearly is championing for the nation’s security and our own peace of mind.
© Gilbert Doctorow, 2016
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G. Doctorow is the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. His latest book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 20, 2015.