The Left Is Always Wrong: NATO Edition
Prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. had two primary reasons to defend Europe: because the American people didn’t want Europeans to be forced into communist slavery and because we didn’t want the Soviet Union to conquer the world.
During that time, the left constantly told us that America was the problem, that Mikhail Gorbachev was the solution, and that Ronald Reagan was the bad guy. When the Soviets deployed intermediate-range nuclear-capable missiles to Eastern Europe, the left was silent, but when Reagan deployed the same type of systems to ensure parity, the left condemned Reagan and the U.S.
It’s not shocking that the left supported a mass-murdering (over 60,000,000 killed) dictatorial regime in the Soviet Union. After all, the communists in America supported Hitler when he was allied with Stalin. But at a more fundamental level, the left has always been about fascist power, from FDR trying to pack the Supreme Court and imprisoning Japanese-Americans because of the color of their skin to Obama not enforcing laws he didn’t like and doing unconstitutional things such as DACA, which he himself said he had no constitutional authority to do.
In the Soviet regime, the average American saw evil, but leftists saw the perfect system, which was bad only because enlightened American leftists weren’t running it.
The left was never very supportive of NATO after the 1960s. Leftists didn’t want it abolished, but they didn’t want many American troops stationed over in Germany. While most Americans were willing to risk nuclear war in order to protect the people of Western Europe from enslavement, leftists didn’t seem to care. This is also not surprising, since there is no real charity in any leftist position; their “charity” to the poor and illegals is always funded by taxes on other people.
As late as 2012, when Obama mocked Mitt Romney’s belief that Russia was a serious foreign policy threat, leftists were nearly universal in their belief that it was America that was the problem, not Russia.
But when the Soviet Union fell, we discovered the true extent of the horrors that had been perpetrated on uncounted millions of innocent people. We found out that the left’s understanding of communism was completely wrong, that it was an evil system and that at no point was the U.S. the problem.
As usual, leftists learned nothing from this. To them, the Soviet Union was one more example of where “true” communism or “true” socialism hadn’t really been tried.
It seems that a core requirement to be a leftist is to value academic theory: communism is “one for all and all for one!” over real-world experience. Communism is all the work of the vast majority for the benefit of the few.
While the mass murder of millions and extensive imperialism by the Soviet Union didn’t cause leftists to view either the Soviet Union or Russia with less than teen adulation, an issue finally did arise that was so existential to leftists that they had to condemn the love of their life and declare Russia to be enemy #1.
That was the lie, a lie believed by the leftist base, that the Russians sided with Donald Trump and helped deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. You can murder millions of innocents, and leftists won’t bat an eye, but if you get between them and the power to run other people’s lives, there is nothing that will save you from their wrath.
While the Gulags didn’t faze the left, the idea that Trump would be able to appoint Supreme Court justices was beyond the pale.
Hence, suddenly Russia became the arch-villian of the modern world – except when it gets Obama off the hook in Syria.
In light of the new anti-Russian zeal, we’re hearing a lot about how horrible it is for Trump to say the rich nations of Europe should pay their fair share of their own defense costs.
Yet given that Europe is much richer than Russia, and that while Putin has his eyes on reassembling the former Soviet Union, he’s shown no sign of imperialist designs on even Germany, much less Poland, there is absolutely no reason why U.S. taxpayers should be subsidizing NATO.
During the Cold War, the U.S. had to put up with lazy Western Europeans, the British being an exception, who used the money they didn’t have to spend to defend themselves on luxurious socialist states, where everything was free. Meanwhile, middle-class Americans had to work hard to get the money to put their kids through college and make up for the chunk of each of their paychecks that went to subsidize free stuff in Germany.
Europe during the Cold War was like the little brother who has a drug habit. You want him to stop, but you don’t want his dealer beating him up over a past due bill, so you “loan” him money.
Fortunately the drug dealer died of natural causes – thanks to God, Saint Pope John Paul II, Reagan, and Thatcher – so there’s no longer an existential threat to Europe, other than mass Muslim immigration, but that’s a different issue that NATO doesn’t address, and so we no longer need to prop up the failed socialist experiments in Europe.
That’s Trump’s whole point. Sure, NATO could have some value, but in the issues that are critical to the U.S. at the present time, NATO is useless. NATO is providing minimal support in the war on terror; nothing like the boots on the ground that the U.S. has been providing since 9-11. Similarly, if China goes to war to claim the entire South China Sea for itself, NATO won’t be standing toe to toe with the U.S. It’s worth the U.S.’s effort to continue to support NATO so long as NATO has the military power, and the will, to help us at some point. Otherwise, why waste taxpayer dollars on NATO when we could use them to provide free something to people in America – which seems to be the main thrust of the new “democratic” socialist movement – or reduce tax rates so Americans can keep more of what they earn?
Given that the European GDP is around $17T and the Russian GDP is around $15T, there is no reason why Europe can’t defend itself. The problem is that Europe is unwilling to defend itself. Like the drug addict who buys his next fix instead of food, Europe would rather shoot up on socialism and welfare than ensure that it will actually survive.
Not all European countries are evil; Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic states, countries that spent decades oppressed by the Soviet Union, are increasing defense spending. But the ones we hear about, like Germany, have made it clear that defending themselves is not a top priority.
If leftists have their way and America continues to foot the bill, there will never be any reason for Europe to stand on its own two feet when it comes to defense. That’s uncounted billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars going to prop up the socialist experiment in Europe. Remember that socialism always dies when it runs out of other people’s money.
Trump is right to demand that European countries that turn their back on us when we ask for their support on Iran stop being welfare bums subsidized by the U.S. and become hardworking partners in NATO.
The left was wrong to say the imperialistic Soviet Union wasn’t an existential threat in the past, and it’s wrong to say Russia is an existential threat today. Past or present, the left is always wrong.
You can read more of Tom’s rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious, and feel free to follow him on Twitter.