Too many opinion leaders in the United States still believe that several presidential administrations have failed to take advantage of the so-called U.S. victory in the Cold War. Self-proclaimed liberals such as Susan Rice even share a point of view with neoconservatives such as John Bolton. They appear to believe that the “shame of the West” is the failure to capitalize on the winning of the Cold War by not making sure that former Soviet republics such as Georgia and Ukraine be admitted to NATO and that recent events in Crimea and Hong Kong justify a new Cold War. They have exaggerated the extent of Putin’s risk-taking and ignored Washington’s contribution to the sorry state of Russian-American relations.
More than a half-century ago, exactly one year before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. brilliantly identified the keys to the American political, economic, and social crisis that has worsened over the years. At the Riverside Church in New York City, King linked the militarism of the Vietnam War; the racism of American society; and the inequality and materialism of the American economy to demand a movement toward social justice that we seek today. Fifty-three years later, we are still trying to solve the ills of racism, militarism, and materialism that beg for social justice.
Trump certainly remains first and foremost in this loathsome trio for the damage and havoc he has done to governance, particularly his campaign against the Department of Justice and the justice system itself in undermining the rule of law. But we should never forget the truckling of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton.
Donald Trump crossed a red line that could finally cost him politically. This one is the latest of many he has crossed over the past three and a half years. The trappings of his fascist march to St. John’s Episcopal Church and his blasphemous display of a bible (held backwards and upside down) in front of the church elicited significant criticism from the highest military and civilian leaders of the Pentagon.