Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Franklin D. Trump: What else can I do?

Jerry Stratton, July 18, 2018

Continuing on the theme of the eye of the insulter, yesterday I saw the following misguided satire on Facebook:

Retweeted Mike Scully (@scullymike): “I asked Japan if they attacked Pearl Harbor. They said no. What else can I do?” —President Franklin D. Trump

Obviously, given what we know about history, the comparison between FDR and Trump doesn’t come off very well in this instance—for FDR. Because it turns out FDR said and did exactly this, and for Russia. Trump, at least, is working to make sure the smaller nations that Russia wants to intimidate and invade have the means to defend themselves. It was only a few months ago that he approved missiles for Poland, for example, and he’s also approved weapons sales to Ukraine and military aid to Georgia. His domestic oil policies encourage American oil producers to undercut Russia’s main economic strength, oil, weakening Putin within Russia.

FDR, in comparison, just wanted to give Russia everything they wanted:

“I think,” Roosevelt told [advisor, William] Bullitt, “that if I give [Stalin] everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.”

Roosevelt continually promoted the image of a friendly “Uncle Joe”, far beyond the need for an ally against Nazi Germany, to whitewash Joseph Stalin’s culpability for the millions dead by his policy, especially in Ukraine. Seeing this comparison made by the left is especially head-shaking because of the left’s complicity in those deaths; journalists on the left, such as Walter Duranty for the New York Times, deliberately hid Stalin’s deliberate policy of genocide from the American people. Prominent socialists George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells also helped Stalin hide his crimes.1

Far from “aligning” with Putin as the left claims, Trump appears to be following the advice of that other Roosevelt, Teddy, by speaking softly and carrying a big stick—or, in this case, making sure that the countries Putin is threatening have big sticks. I hope it works: Putin may not have reached Stalin’s toll against humanity, but he does sometimes seem to aspire to it.

We’ve had several years now of speaking softly without the big stick, such as President Obama, who simply asked Putin for more time until he no longer had to worry about the American people voting against him. President Obama refused military aid to Russia’s threatened neighbors, so as not to anger Putin. That clearly hasn’t worked: Putin continues to be aggressive toward his neighbors. And Iran, of whom Obama mirrors FDR on giving them everything they want and asking for nothing in return, continues to export terror.

Which all goes to say that in this particular comparison, Trump clearly comes out better not only than FDR but better than the left in general. Unlike Stalin, Putin has yet to kill four to eight million Ukrainians2 in a deliberate genocide.

But the comparison to FDR is even worse than that, because unlike FDR, Trump has yet to issue an executive order imprisoning over a hundred thousand Japanese-Americans. That’s what FDR chose when he asked himself “what else can I do?”

Which makes me wonder if my Facebook friend isn’t a secret Trump supporter. The comparison just seems incredibly wrongsighted given what we know about FDR, both in how FDR chose to work with and especially portray Stalin to the American public, and in how FDR chose to treat Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor. It seems, in two sentences, to compare Trump directly to FDR’s two worst weaknesses, rather than his strengths.

Unless the left really wants internment camps for Americans of Russian descent.

In response to 2018 in Photos: For photos, memes, and perhaps other quick notes sent from my mobile device or written on the fly during 2018.

  1. Sometimes it seems as though the left is continuing to try to downplay it, as in this exchange between host Larry Gross and Red Famine author Anne Applebaum on NPR’s “Fresh Air”:

    GROSS: So there was a famine that was being caused by natural reasons. But you say that Stalin orchestrated a famine within the famine in Ukraine.

    APPLEBAUM: Actually, to be more precise, there were no natural reasons for this famine. There was no weather issue. There were no insects, none of the things that normally cause famines. This was a famine that was entirely caused by political decisions.

  2. Upper estimates for the death toll in the Ukraine famine are as high as twelve million.

  1. <- A socialist Pledge
  2. Tyranny of CNN ->