Donald Trump’s bizarre affinity for Vladimir Putin and Russia has astonished most Washington insiders, outsiders, and well, just patriots. It would be an unprecedented betrayal of loyalties by any citizen, but coming from the President it’s dumbfounding. With an emphasis on the “dumb.” And the problem doesn’t end with just Trump’s Putin worship. Many in the the Republican Party continue to support the President. They range from those too cowardly to speak up about this naked treason, to those who fervently embrace it.
Those on the right side of American patriotism face a harsh rebuke from the Trump cultists. But there are a few who are still brave enough to call out a traitor when they see one. An example of this was found in an unexpected place Tuesday night. On Fox News, host Tucker Carlson engaged in heated debate on this subject with military analyst Col. Ralph Peters. It went quickly from heated to blazing inferno:
CARLSON: It’s hard to see why — I’m not vouching for Putin’s character, he seems like a shady guy, a strong man for sure. Wouldn’t want to live there.
PETERS: He’s a killer.
CARLSON: Hard to see why he’s a threat to us. How many wars can we fight at once? And how many people can we be in opposition to at once? Why not just accept that people who are bad people share our interest and side with them?
PETERS: You sound like Charles Lindbergh in 1938 saying, “Hitler hasn’t attacked us.”
CARLSON: I beg your pardon? Slow down. Slow down, Colonel. You cannot compare me to somebody who makes apologies for Hitler. And I don’t think Putin is comparable to Hitler. I think it’s a grotesque overstatement, actually. It’s insane.
PETERS: I think Putin is — fine, you can think it’s insane all you want.
CARLSON: You Just up compared me to a Nazi apologist because I asked a simple question. Which is, – slow down, slow down – which is, why does it contravene American interest to the common cause with a group that’s trying to kill ISIS?
PETERS: Because Vladamir Putin invaded his neighbors, broke the long peace in Europe, he assassinates dissidents and journalists. He bombs women and children on purpose in Syria. He is as bad as Hitler. And I am sorry, if you don’t like the Charles Lindbergh thing, I will retract that. But let’s just say you sound like someone in 1938 saying “What’s Hitler done to us?” Putin is the equivalent of Hitler.
Peters went on to point out correctly that Putin hates America and wants to hurts us. He was outraged that some people, including Carlson, suddenly think Putin’s a good guy and that Russia’s OK. Carlson then complained that if the U.S. can’t have common cause with any country whose leader is “evil,” it takes most of the world off the table. “Most countries,” he said, “are run by really bad people.” That’s a strikingly stupid remark that he never bothered to support.
Throughout the discussion, Carlson did his best to defend the ludicrous notion that Russia should be regarded as an ally. Their alleged cooperation in Syria and the war on terrorism was sufficient reason, according to him, to ignore decades of brutal dictatorship and human rights violations. Peters, however, steadfastly argued that Putin’s international criminality could not be overlooked. While Peters is a staunch, far-right, conservative, he is also an unyielding opponent of Russian tyranny and aggressive ambitions.
No one should mistake Peters for a heroic liberal advocate. He was once briefly suspended by Fox News for calling President Obama a “pussy” on the air. But his honest comparison of Carlson to the fascist sympathizers of the 1930s was a long overdue rebuke of Carlson. His ignorance, smug self-righteousness and perpetually furrowed brow makes Carlson a legitimate target for a smack down. And he sure got one last night by his own guest on his own show.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.