Hillary Clinton is out with a new ad, this one lambasting Donald Trump for fawning over dictators:
Clinton takes a bit of a risk here relying on the public’s understanding of how horrific these leaders’ actions really were. One hopes by this time voters know, for example, that Moammar Gaddafi was behind the Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people and the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing and that Saddam Hussein gassed his own people and gave sanctuary to terrorists. Perhaps Clinton should remind voters that Russian President Vladimir Putin is behind the killing of journalists and other critics of the regime, invaded both Georgia and Ukraine, and viciously suppresses civil liberties and LGBT rights.
Trump’s creepy admiration for dictators underscores both his jaw-dropping ignorance of their conduct and his abject lack of concern for democratic values. Trump worships money and power, making a mockery of the values on which the country was founded and undermining America’s moral standing in the world. “I’ll leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants,” Clinton said in her June 5 foreign policy speech. “I just wonder how anyone could be so wrong about who America’s real friends are. Because it matters. If you don’t know exactly who you’re dealing with, men like Putin will eat your lunch.”
Page, an energy executive with ties to Russian gas giant Gazprom, praised Russia and China for embracing foreign policies built on “non-interference,” “tolerance,” and “respect” while describing U.S. foreign policy as too interventionist during remarks at Moscow’s World Trade Center.
“The United States and other developed powers, including in the EU, have often criticized [China, Russia, and Central Asian nations] for continuing methods which were prevalent during the Cold War period,” Page said. “Yet ironically, Washington and other Western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change.”
He also accused Western powers of approaching Russia and Central Asian nations with a “nearly universally critical tone” despite their “advancements.” This he said, may “understandably advance a certain level of insecurity.
One is tempted to ask whose side Trump, Page and Trump’s other advisers are on. (The Trump camp says Page was traveling as a private citizen, but he and other Russia sycophants remain in Trump’s inner circle.) Plainly their affection for authoritarian methods has led them to a skewed view of reality and an abnormally lenient stance toward regimes who threaten U.S. interests.
Perhaps Clinton is saving her best zingers for the debate, but she would do well to put the most basic question before the voters: What is wrong with this man?
Whatever the reason, Trump’s penchant for creating divisiveness at home and projecting a twisted, decidedly un-American view of evil men make him uniquely unsuited for the presidency. It’s a theme Clinton would do well to raise consistently and forcefully.