A Time for Conservatives to Speak Out

by James C. Sherlock

Sometimes in life we come to a major fork in deciding who we are and who we are going to be going forward.

Donald Trump was quoted in the New York Times as having on Tuesday

“praised Mr. Putin’s aggression as “genius” and called the Russian leader “very savvy” for describing the troops aligned on the Ukrainian border as peacekeepers.”

Watch the video. No one can hurt him as badly as his own words and sneering presentation. Mr. Trump has lost what little self control he ever had. He can’t tell the difference between feigning intimacy by being casually offhanded about something as important as war and instead seeming utterly unanchored in reality.

Mr. Trump’s rant made it all about himself. He praised Mr. Putin as a throw away line. The whole presentation was disgraceful.  No a word about the freedom of Ukraine’s 41 million people.

He clearly has no sense at all of history and he can’t tell the difference between savvy and madness in Mr. Putin — and perhaps in himself.

Some Virginia politicians have tied themselves to Mr. Trump. Those who from this point forward do so without calling him out for this will have made a public choice.

NATO, which together has brought stability to the world for more than 75 years, is facing a crazed and delusional bully, a Napoleonic KGB Colonel, who has started a war in Europe. For no other reason but that he wanted to.

Whatever admiration Mr. Trump earned from conservatives for his policy actions while President, many of which I supported personally, he has revealed himself to be utterly unworthy of that trust in this moment when we, indeed the free world, badly needed him to be a team player.

Top congressional leaders of both parties slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin as evil over his war on Ukraine, and called for him to face massive backlash for the invasion.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Ca:

“Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is reckless and evil. The United States stands with the people of Ukraine and prays for their safety and resolve.  Putin’s actions must be met with serious consequence. This act of war is intended to rewrite history and more concerning, upend the balance of power in Europe. Putin must be held accountable for his actions.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky:

“What we have in Europe now is the first shooting war since World War II.  The U.S. and the West should deploy every available sanction against Russia immediately”.

“We’re all together at this point and we need to be together about what should be done. But I have some advice. Ratchet the sanctions all the way up. Don’t hold any back. Every single available tough sanction should be employed and should be employed now. There’s no such thing as a little invasion.”

It is fine to disagree with President Biden’s foreign policy. I often do myself. So do Senator McConnell and Representative McCarthy.

But those with influence need to make careful choices in times like these. Mr. Trump on Tuesday chose to make the comments he made about a mad dictator poised to invade his neighbor. In Europe. Bringing Russian troops to the borders of NATO states.

There are people who show up small, weak, and self-centered at critical moments. Donald Trump has done that this week.  He wanted it to be about him.

Now it is.