Monday, 12 December 2016

America is Good and Russia is Bad. Right?

I grew up in a world where Russia was bad and America was good.  These were the final cold war years, the time of Gorbachev and Reagan, when even superhero comic books had our caped wonders battling the evils of communism and contemplating the assassination of Soviet leaders.  How times have changed.

The election of Donald Trump in the United States has made a lot of people question the future of the established world order.  That settled state of affairs where America stands for freedom and tolerance and democracy, against despots and tyrants and terrorists, is a thing which can no longer be taken for granted.

In this writer’s opinion, President-elect Trump said and did many troubling things during his successful presidential campaign, two of which were to publicly speak in favor of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and suggest his (Trump’s) support of Russia’s alleged hacking into the Democratic Party’s emails.  He stated clearly that he admired the Russian strongman, and that Putin had bested Obama at every step. 

Now that Trump is weeks away from being sworn in as the President of the United States, what are we to expect from the United States – Russia relationship?  Is this apparent chumminess a good thing?  Does it signal the start of a safer more coordinated era of peaceful diplomacy among major world powers? Or is it the start of a troubling decline towards pragmatism and away from social and philosophical ideals that have held sway in Western world politics since the end of World War II?

Only time will tell.

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