What he said

Tom Nichols at the Atlantic is eloquent on Trump’s NATO lunacy.

Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States and the presumptive Republican nominee, said earlier today that he would side with Russia against NATO and encourage Russian President Vladimir Putin to brutalize our allies…

Trump issued this unhinged threat while telling one of his “sir” stories, a rhetorical device in which some unnamed interlocutor shows Trump great deference while humbly seeking his advice.

And we all recognize the pattern. We’re all familiar with the childish boasting, the infinite sea of conceit, the relentless focus on precious self at the expense of any other concern.

Trump’s feelings about NATO are well-known. He is gripped by the stubbornly ignorant belief, even after four years in office, that NATO is some sort of protection racket, in which our European allies come to Washington like quivering shopkeepers and make an offering to the local mob boss from their weekly receipts. NATO funding doesn’t work that way, of course…

But leave aside (if we must) Trump’s record as a serial liar who lives in a world of his own fantasies. Trump’s comments today are a lot more dangerous than most of his unsettling puffery, and Americans should refuse to let this statement pass as if it were just another distasteful lump in the rancid stew Trump regularly serves up to his faithful.

Instead, we should concentrate on the more terrifying problem, a reality that exists independent of Trump’s imaginary “sir” conversations: The leader of one of America’s two major political parties has just signaled to the Kremlin that if elected, he would not only refuse to defend Europe, but he would gladly support Vladimir Putin during World War III and even encourage him to do as he pleases to America’s allies.

Well when you put it like that…

Trump’s spokespeople will likely try to clean up his remarks by saying he was merely playing hardball with recalcitrant European freeloaders. But anyone who’s watched Trump and his servile fascination with Putin long enough knows the truth: Donald Trump would make the United States a friend to the Kremlin and an enemy to NATO. Putin knows it, and after today, so should every American.

We’re doomed.

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