Commentary: Make America Great Again, But For Real

first_imgBy John KrullTheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Maybe Donald Trump will make America great again.Just not the way he thinks.On Monday, after a private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump held the single most disastrous press conference in American presidential history. He argued, again and again, that the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election was a threat to America and the world. He said, again and again, that he believed Putin rather than U.S. intelligence advisors, including former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, whom Trump cited by name.The reaction was swift.Trump’s abandonment of U.S. interests and embrace of a Russian dictator and murderer was too much for many Republicans.Coats issued a dignified but stern rebuttal, saying he would continue to defend American security and interests. Coats implied he would do so despite any presidential attempts to deter him from his duty.U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, also issued a statement saying he supported all attempts by intelligence and investigatory agencies to protect America’s security and interests, a rebuke to President Trump.Other Republicans around the country joined in.Feeling the heat, Trump on Tuesday tried to walk back what he’d said on Monday. Reading from a written statement, he said he “misspoke” – that he meant “wouldn’t” when he said “would.” This explanation satisfied few who paid attention because it ignored the president’s repeated insistence that he accepted Putin’s assurances and doubted the facts presented by his own advisors.And there was the reason to doubt Trump even meant it.By Wednesday, he was walking back his attempted walk-back. Via Twitter, Trump’s preferred medium, the president insisted his meeting with Putin had been a great success and that Russia was a true friend to the United States.This typically Trumpian befuddling episode provoked expected reactions.The Trump haters who think of this president as a liar, a knave, and a buffoon now had a new term – traitor – to add to their list of epithets for the man.And the president’s band of defenders made clear that there is no reassurance, however preposterous, Donald Trump offers them that they won’t accept. If Trump tells them that, like so many other dictators who illegally invade other countries and either murder or imprison dissidents, Vladimir Putin is merely misunderstood and desperately in need of kindness and friendship, they’ll not only swallow it.They’ll ask for seconds.But the reactions from Coats and Young add something new to the dynamic – a growing awareness that this situation has grown beyond standard political gamesmanship.When Trump read from his written statement Tuesday, he edited in, in his own handwriting, an assertion that there was “no collusion.”It was a revealing addition.In the president’s mind, this whole thing is about him – his reputation, his brand, his interests, his inconvenience.But it isn’t about him.Vladimir Putin and Russia didn’t attack just Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.No, as Dan Coats pointed out, they attacked the United States. They attacked all of us.They hoped to gain instability within the one nation on earth with the means and the might to check their abuses. They got that. They also hoped to fracture alliances that might contain their ambitions to exert control over other parts of the world. They also have achieved that.Whether they were able to do this because this U.S. president is too compromised or simply too naïve to understand the nature of the threat Vladimir Putin presents is important, but it’s less important than the fact that Putin and the Russians are trying to attack us again.And we must stop them.The president won’t help us with this.He’s too wrapped up in his own drama to notice anything else.That means it falls to the rest of us to do our duty as Americans and protect our country.One of the things that have made this nation special has been our ability to either resolve or put differences aside in times of trouble and danger.That quality made us great in the past.And it can make us great again.FOOTNOTES: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.  This article was posted by the City-County Observer without bias, opinion or editing.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

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