It was a familiar scene: Bill O’Reilly pressing his guest to make a saber-rattling statement against Russia. Good for ratings, good for Raytheon!
But Bill’s guest was President Trump, and Donald didn’t want to play along.
In an interview which will be aired before the Super Bowl on Sunday, Trump shut down O’Reilly’s unique brand of self-righteousness with one simple question: “You think our country is so innocent?”
After Trump reaffirmed his respect for Putin as a leader, Bill pressed him further: “But Putin is a killer.”
“There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers,” Trump said. “Well, you think our country is so innocent?”
Trump added that he thinks the United States is “better” getting along with Russia than not.
“If Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all around the world, major fight. That’s a good thing,” Trump said.
A few thoughts:
- We can already imagine your comments: “But Trump just called Putin a killer!” Not really. Instead he simply parried the question: What makes Putin so exceptional in the eyes of self-righteous dingbats such as O’Reilly? Trump understands that Putin is not an anomaly among world leaders. In other words: If you label Putin a “killer”, what would you call Obama? One of these leaders had an actual kill list. And it wasn’t Putin.
- Trump’s statement is meaningful because it challenges America to dismount from its high horse, instead of lecturing from the perch of its blood-soaked saddle.
- What Trump is saying to Bill (and to the rest of America) is that we are entering a new era of true pragmatism. Gone are the days of self-righteous moralizing and chest-thumping idealism. Russia plays a critical role in ensuring global security and stability. Let’s acknowledge this and work with the Russians, instead of calling them names. We’re not in kindergarten.
- Trump just illustrated the difference between Making America Great Again and decades of delusional American Exceptionalism.
It’s undoubtedly a good sign when the President of the United States refuses to bash a foreign leader, and instead asks his country to look inward. More of this, please.