Trump Jr.’s Emails May Set a Dangerous Precedent
Robert Sasso, Politics Contributor
Opinion - In yet another “scandal” from the 2016 election, Donald Trump Jr. had emails released by himself, then the New York Times stating his meeting with a Russian lawyer in regards to HIllary Clinton and her email scandal. Once again, the Trump administration is battered by a needless scandal. The left, once again, is pushing collusion as grounds for impeachment, and Former VP candidate Tim Kaine went has far to say it is possible treason. Everyone has chosen, again, to run around like chickens with their heads cut off. The right is screaming nothingburger and the left treason. Both sides are rejecting the possibility the truth lies in between.
What the right has correct is that the story is not earth-shatteringly important. The right, for whatever motives, sees that this story is not going to affect anyone's perception of what happened with Trump and Russia. Those who support him will continue to say how the connections are all fabricated, and the left is going to try and find anything to connect collusion to Trump. The left has it right in saying this story is important to investigate. Even if the Russia connections have all run dry, it is naive to pass over any other shoes which drop.
Outside of the political spin, this does have major cultural and future political ramifications in this case. One of the hallmarks of the Republican Party of the 20th century was its stance on the Soviet Union. The Republicans told the voters that the Soviet Union was the greatest existential threat facing America. This stuck. From 1952-1988 the Republicans lost only three elections. That was a huge dominance over a short period of time. Republicans have quickly flipped, or have appeared to be heading in that direction. Since 2012 election, during which Mitt Romney stated “Russia is our greatest geopolitical threat,” the GOP has quickly moved away from that statement.
The Trump meeting, despite having no content, poses a couple of issues. First, it shows intent. The meeting, as stated in the email, was supposed to contain information dangerous to Hillary Clinton. This is actual collusion. The Trumps, however, were hit with a Russian connected lawyer lobbying for fewer sanctions for Russian bankers. Does this matter? Of course, it does. Since Trump won Putin had this meeting dangling over their heads for his leaking. Trump was at the behest, whether he knew it or not, of the Putin regime. Additionally, it puts the US at a weaker point than Russia. As a nation, we should frown upon taking info on Americans from foreign powers. It shows loyalties lie in the wrong places. American progressives should always rank higher than foreign governments.
Second, it shows Republicans are willing to engage in relativism if it benefits their side. When Republicans are refusing to call out President Trump's relations or supposed ties, it tarnishes the brand. When the left did the same thing for Bill Clinton in the 90's it dramatically changed the shape of sexual relations in the mind of young people. Only 20% of young people now believe oral sex counts as a sexual encounter. This is directly caused and correlated to the Clinton Administration refusal to acknowledge the severity of his actions. Trump can have the same effect with Republicans and Russia. If Trump does not come out and say what had happened and what he will do to fix it in the future, it will spell danger down the road. Republicans will be able to take the cue that it does not matter if the US has good relations with enemies.
Going forward, the right needs to call out Trump. It is tough to have these conversations on our side when the left refusing to do it themselves. But, in order to move forward with principles, it is important to see when the right has gone astray. The right can benefit from removing this virus from its changing policy preferences. It is undeniable we need to have some relationship with Russia. They are an important geopolitical force and they should be handled as such. However, they are not friendly and do wish us ill. They love that the US is focused on this meeting. The theory that the Trumps were set up and that this meeting was supposed to target them for the purpose of blackmail seems to be holding up. The Russians are keenly aware of our political squabbles and they have seized on this one. Republicans are fully responsible for their own stances. We are the party of personal responsibility at the end of the day. As such, it is important to understand that relying upon and cozying up to a large, relatively powerful adversary is not a smart move to make.
Follow this author on Twitter: @realrobertsasso
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