Patti Davis, daughter of late President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, penned an open letter Thursday about Donald Trump, and he apparent friendship with the Russians. Davis has called out Trump in the past, especially pertaining to Trump’s disregard of the press.
In this post Davis wondered why Trump had so many Russian friends, and warned about the threat of getting too chummy with them.
It’s well known that my father was quite focused on anti-communism long before he entered politics. Ronald Reagan’s time as president of the Screen Actors Guild was often used in speaking out against the threat of communism as he (and others) perceived it in Hollywood. So it should come as no surprise that the topic occasionally found its way to the dinner table.
As a child with a flair for the dramatic I got it into my head that there was a real threat of the Russians landing on the beaches of Malibu with the goal of making America more like Russia. Which meant, in my mind, a landscape of somber gray cities and ashen faced people with no joy in their lives. I have no idea how I got the idea that everything in Russia was gray, it’s just the color my over-active imagination chose.
As I got older I found humor in my childishly dramatic projections, and would occasionally share the story with friends as a way of revealing what a quirky imagination I had, even at the age of seven. I have to admit that, these days, I don’t find it so funny anymore. Not that I think boats are going to land in Malibu, or that an entire country will be washed in gray, but the idea of Russia gaining leverage and even dominance over America no longer feels impossible.
In six short months Donald Trump, the president who doesn’t know how to be one, has tipped America off its position as the most powerful country in the world and left us scrambling in the dust, trying to remember who we are and who we are supposed to be on the international stage. David Gergen pointed out how sad and sobering it was to see, at the G-20 summit, that America is no longer the major player.
I would add that what is particularly sobering is how quickly power can be dismantled. Our democracy was supposed to be invincible — that’s what many of us had come to believe. But that isn’t true. One man, whose arrogance and ego lead him trippingly into chaos of his own making, can turn a shining city on the hill into a shadowy, taudry replica of itself. Where once we had currency in the world, we are now left holding fool’s gold.
I would just like to point out that I have never seen a group of people acquainted with so many Russians. I’ve met two Russian people in my entire life, and one of them was a refrigerator repair man. The fact that every other person the Trumps know is Russian should have tipped us off a year ago that something was amiss. But I digress.
The almost Shakespearean irony of Donald Trump as president is that his worst fear — that of being ridiculed and disregarded — is precisely what he has created by his own actions. If he was quiet for five minutes he might hear the echo of Putin’s laughter carried on the wind across countries and oceans. But Trump’s ego is a loud, boisterous thing and will never allow him to hear anything that might cause him to reflect.
I hate to end on a chilling note, but I’m going to. Our democracy, and the dignity of America, is wounded and bleeding out. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be restored and healed, but not by this administration. And it will only get worse if those intent on making excuses continue saying that Trump and his extended family are new at this governing thing, and are just bumbling a bit. They know exactly what they’re doing. And so does the rest of the world.