Conservatives have rightly denounced a long history of liberals excusing dictators and their atrocities by claiming America is no better. In 1971, future US Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry claimed American soldiers were ravaging South Vietnam “in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.” In the last decade it has become fashionable for some of the more extreme elements on the left to compare Republicans to the Taliban, because both say religion is important. The wanton, indiscriminate murder on the part of terrorist groups is excused because American soldiers accidentally kill some civilians in unfortunate accidents.
Sadly, this kind of moral relativism is far from over. So, who is the liberal currently defending dictators by condemning America? Donald Trump.
In a pre-Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News host asked Trump why he would respect Putin considering the Russian dictator is a killer. The following conversation is stupifying and infuriating:
Trump: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think – our country’s so innocent?
O’Reilly: I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.
Trump: Well — take a look at what we’ve done too. We made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.
O’Reilly: But mistakes are different than —
Trump: A lot of mistakes, but a lot of people were killed. A lot of killers around, believe me.
That actually happened. The president of the United States compared American soldiers to a Russian dictator who has imprisoned political opponents, murdered journalists, and even poisoned a critic with radiation.
This is not ok. If Obama had said these exact words, every single Republican would rightly blast him for insulting U.S. troops to defend a tyrant. It should be no different for Trump. Placing an “R” after his name does not suddenly excuse the inexcusable. This disgusting slander would be at home in the far left anti-war groups that popped up during George W Bush’s presidency. In this instance, if Trump is going to talk like a liberal, anti-American protester, we should treat him as such.
Apparently “America first” only works when it suits Trump. When it does not, he is more than willing to use lies and slander to attack America and those who defend her.
Fortunately not everything has been reduced to partisan politics and several high ranking Republicans have condemned Trump’s moral relativism. (These statements came out after the teaser from Fox News that cut out after Trump said “What do you think – our country’s so innocent?” but before he slandered American soldiers).
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “I don’t think there’s any equivalency to the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does.”
My new favorite Senator, Ben Sasse: “The U.S. affirms freedom of speech; Putin is no friend of freedom of speech. Putin is an enemy of freedom of religion; the U.S. celebrates freedom of religion. Putin is an enemy of the free press; the U.S. celebrates free press. Putin is an enemy of political dissent; the U.S. celebrates political dissent.”
The rest of the Republican Party should condemn Trump’s anti-American moral relativism as well. America should expect better from our president, but unfortunately that is unreasonable these days.