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February 27, 2024

Still Waiting for Trump to Condemn Putin Over Navalny Death

I expect sympathy for his widow, and a solid attack on the man who wrongfully imprisoned, poisoned and then killed his most powerful rival.

I try and avoid writing about Donald Trump, even though I voted for him twice.

But sometimes you cannot avoid the elephant in the room, literally.

As a preface, I have to admit that I understand why Trump is particularly upset these days. He has been the target of prosecutions that in most cases seem stretched to the legal limits and designed to influence an election.

Liberals reject that premise and believe that Trump incited a riot, that he paid “hush money” to a porn star for reasons other than trying to avoid sleeping on the couch, that he stole top secret documents so he could make copies and sell them as “Trump Confessions: My Presidential Memoir” and that he tried to stop Black people from voting in Georgia.

Of course, they all have their explanations for how these are legitimate prosecutions that have absolutely nothing to do with making sure Republicans are permanently barred from the White House, so arguing otherwise is screaming into the wind. I’ve no time for that. Let them believe what they want to believe.

The problem comes mostly from the other side, my side, which is unwilling to criticize the president other than to say that he says things he shouldn’t say, and so what?

I have had conversations with conservatives who excused the crude comments about encouraging a foreign aggressor to invade a hypothetical deadbeat NATO ally with an eye roll and this sort of reply: Well, they should pay up!

There is also the idea that since the economy was so much better under Trump — mine wasn’t — we should excuse these provocations and look at the bigger picture. For them unfortunately, the bigger picture doesn’t include our global interests.

Some might call me a globalist, because I view the United States in relation to the world and not as an island. I do not hate the U.N., although I have significant problems with some of its recent acts and initiatives. I see the value in NATO.

As an aside, the only time Article 5 was invoked, the one that requires all member nations to mobilize in favor of another member who’d been attacked by a foreign aggressor was after 9/11. In other words, to protect the U.S.

This growing isolationism on the part of Trump-supporting conservatives is quite troubling to me, and it’s not because I practice immigration law. It has to do with my pride in how we are viewed around the world, a reputation that I can promise you is being diminished with every offhanded “it’s your problem, don’t involve us” comment that emanates from the GOP.

I have been waiting for Donald Trump to do what so many world leaders, both current and former have done: condemn Vladimir Putin for having murdered Alexei Navalny. I don’t expect him to call Vlad a rat bastard, or some other similar term a la Joe Biden, but I do expect sympathy for his widow, and a solid attack on the man who wrongfully imprisoned, poisoned and then killed his most powerful rival.

I’ve waited a week, and the only thing to come from the former president is a rather narcissistic little whine about how Navalny’s sad destiny reminds him of himself. He used the occasion of the murder of a generational human rights activist to talk about how he, Donald Trump, had been persecuted by “leftists.”

I’m angry. I cannot believe the spin that I’ve heard from some on the right, questioning whether Navalny created his own problems or whether Putin really was involved in his death.

Only slightly less blameworthy are the people who have remained silent about this horrific human rights atrocity.

And it’s not just conservatives.

We had people filling the streets when George Floyd was killed, and to be honest, George Floyd was no Navalny.

So where are the cries from the so-called defenders of civil liberties? Where are those pretentious little children in their masks and with their “Free Palestine” placards screaming about the oppression of innocents?

I don’t even know what’s worse, the apathy or the selective empathy.

As a conservative in the Reagan-Thatcher-John Paul mold, my DNA compels me to rise up against tyrants.

That’s why my anger is strongest against my fellow travelers on the right, who have hitched their wagon to a man who compares his legal troubles to the death of a hero.

As for the left, I hope I’ve angered them enough that they’ve stopped reading by now.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers

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