David Marshall: The world is watching

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit AP Photo/Evan Vucci/File

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—Our European allies are seeing what many of us in America have seen since Donald Trump came onto the political scene. With concerns about what a second Trump presidency may bring, Europe is now Trump-proofing itself in preparation for the worst. During his four years in office, former President Trump shocked America’s closest allies in Europe by upending the transatlantic balance on which the post-World War II Western world was built. From the solid alliance between America and Europe, the United States became the respected and dependable leader of the free world.

Today, Europe’s main concern is that a re-elected Trump will pick up where he left off by halting aid to Ukraine and reneging on America’s promise to defend its NATO partners, thus leaving Europe vulnerable to attack by Russia and Vladimir Putin, Trump’s true ally. The former president has falsely suggested our allies owe unpaid balances and has often criticized their defense spending. In recent years, the European nations have increased their defense spending in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But Trump’s blunt ultimatum to NATO—pay more or we won’t protect you—is troubling and has a bigger agenda behind it.  

The paradox is that many critics condemn Trump’s divisive tactics and rhetoric but agree with his central point: Europe has depended on the United States for far too long. Presidents from Harry Truman to Barack Obama have urged Europe to increase its military spending, but no other president has come close to Trump’s offensive threats. Ironically, Trump is threatening NATO allies about “paying their bills” while he has a history of reneging on his own bills—many times at the expense of small businesses.

As a piano dealer, Michael Diehl was a small businessman who won a bid in 1989 to supply $100,000 worth of grand pianos to Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Diehl was still waiting to be paid months after the delivery was made. Despite having a contract, he was told that the gambling mecca ran into financial difficulties and could only give him 70 cents on the dollar. Diehl was forced to take the discounted payment and lose $30,000. The piano dealer was not alone. A USA Today analysis uncovered 60 lawsuits by individuals who say Trump and his businesses failed to pay them for their work.

The list includes plumbers, painters, waiters, bartenders, real estate brokers, and even law firms that helped him defend such suits. Records released by casino regulators in 1990 show that 253 subcontractors on a single project were not paid in full or on time. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Trump had a handshake agreement where Giuliani and his team would get paid by the Trump political operation for their post-election work. According to campaign finance records, Giuliani’s companies were only reimbursed for travel and not paid for the $20,000 a day he requested. Trump is self-serving when he consistently fails to honor his financial obligations, even to his closest ally, Giuliani. Therefore, when Trump complains about European allies who are “delinquent” with their 2 percent GDP contributions, he is guilty of the same accusation he is implying to them. So, what is his true motive? In many ways, Putin and Trump are one and the same.

We know that Vladimir Putin hates NATO and all that it represents—unity. He hates the common bond and the strength in numbers associated with the group of aligned nations. NATO is unity. Its unity keeps Putin in check, which he does not like. Its unity is fueled by separate parts working together and joining to form one cohesive body. NATO is a unified body that Russia cannot destroy externally.

For it to be effectively weakened, the alliance must be undermined and divided internally, which is why NATO must become Trump-proof. Putin also hates democracy; therefore, American democracy must be Trump-proof as well. The internal attempts to destroy American democracy by those with a faithful allegiance to Trump are getting bolder by the day. In a speech at a recent CPAC meeting, a well-known right-wing influencer, Jack Posobiec, spoke about how important it is for conservatives to band together to end democracy in America and presumably replace it with Christofascism like in Russia. “Welcome to the end of democracy,” he declared.

American democracy is unity. Its unity is represented through political bipartisanship and by allowing all people to have an equal voice with equal political authority. The same people who maintain and who seek to end democracy are accomplishing their goal of internally dividing and destroying what was once the Republican Party. The GOP was never Trump-proof and is no longer a political party committed to governing in the best interests of the overall nation or our democratic allies. The white evangelical church was never Trump-proof. Christians and non-Christians continue to be turned off and baffled by White evangelicals’ worship of the criminally charged Trump. Trump has gotten away with so much his entire life.

From not paying his workers and contractors to being indicted for overturning a presidential election. Why should we expect him to stop? The remaining question we now face is with the Supreme Court. Is it Trump-proof? Decisions before the Supreme Court could directly impact Trump’s legal and political future. The world is waiting and watching in disbelief.

(David W. Marshall is the founder of the faith-based organization, TRB: The Reconciled Body, and author of the book God Bless Our Divided America)



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