By Kennedy Applebaum
March 14, 2016
In the lead-up to March 15, another “Super Tuesday” when 358 Republican delegates will be decided—165 of them from the winner-take-all states of Florida and Ohio—Donald Trump is winning support from surprisingly disparate political quarters. What does the billionaire businessman have in common with quiet, meticulous Ben Carson? Or with fiercely critical anti-American geopolitical analyst known as “The Saker?”
Reason, pragmatism and fairness are the common qualities that draw together a wide variety of thinkers, transcending the bias of origin or the facade of personality. Trump, far from the “demagogue” that some detractors call him, represents these qualities of principled thought essential in a world leader.
“I’ve come to know Donald Trump over the last few years. He’s actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America.” Carson adds, “There are two different Donald Trumps. There’s the one you see on the stage and there’s the one who’s very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully. You can have a very good conversation with him, and that’s the Donald Trump that you’re going to see more and more of right now.”
That Trump is cerebral and considers things carefully is evident from the integrity of his principles, as well as from his astounding success as a builder of magnificent enterprises. Trump’s reasonable, businesslike and humane views on US foreign relations, particularly evident in his absence of Russophobia, stand out against a backdrop of neoconservative warmongers on both sides of the contest, with Democrat Hillary Clinton leading the pack, followed close-at-heel by Republican contenders Rafael Cruz and John Kasich.
To some observers, Trump’s humanitarian sense, balanced with hard-core logic and businesslike fairness, was apparent soon after the start of his campaign. For these early supporters, his brash facade is irrelevant to the equation: what does it really matter? Vladimir Putin, arguably the most astute leader on the world stage, saw immediately past Trump’s brashness, spotting the benefits to Russia of a possible alliance between the two estranged superpowers.
But as Ben Carson notes, people put off by Trump’s abrupt manner may not initially recognize the “second” Trump: a cerebral, considerate and intelligent man who cares deeply about his country. Only by comparing him with alternative candidates do these critics wake up and support him. In this category might be William Blum, a US freelance journalist who left the State Department in 1967 because of his opposition to the Vietnam war. Blum says in his article American Exceptionalism Presents an Election Made in Hell:
And Mr. Trump? Much more a critic of US foreign policy than Hillary or Bernie. He speaks of Russia and Vladimir Putin as positive forces and allies, and would be much less likely to go to war against Moscow than Clinton would. He declares that he would be ‘evenhanded’ when it comes to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (as opposed to Clinton’s boundless support of Israel). He’s opposed to calling Senator John McCain a ‘hero’, because he was captured. (What other politician would dare say a thing like that?) He calls Iraq ‘a complete disaster’, condemning not only George W. Bush but the neocons who surrounded him. ‘They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.’ He even questions the idea that ‘Bush kept us safe’, and adds that ‘Whether you like Saddam or not, he used to kill terrorists.’ Yes, he’s personally obnoxious. I’d have a very hard time being his friend. Who cares?
A most surprising turnabout was that of geopolitical analyst The Saker. In his recent commentary Could Russia Still Become an Ally of the West?, Saker says:
What the Russians need to do is to identify those individuals or political forces in the West which are the most likely to be interested in some (or even many) forms of cooperation with Russia. … The obvious example: Trump becomes the next POTUS and offers to Russia a real partnership to deal with Daesh, not only in Syria but also in Iraq. I would argue that Russia would have a huge stake into delivering this objective to Trump as the best way to silence the anti-Russian forces inside the USA. … Right now the West is “confronting” Russia everywhere, from the Arctic waters to the Pacific – but this begs the question of who really needs that?! Is that not a huge waste of resources and efforts when working with Russia could be so much more beneficial? … It is this maniacal insistence on subjugating every nation on the planet coupled with a total inability to cooperate on a mutually respectful basis which has brought us to the edge of a thermonuclear war between Russia and the USA. This is a purely ideological problem which does not have any objective basis in reality. Listening to Trump, I get the feeling that there are clearly some folks in the USA who do not suffer from that kind of megalomania and who are much more interested in getting things done rather than sacrificing it all in the name of some kind of (unsustainable) ‘indispensable nation’ status. … Whatever the outcome of the US Presidential election, I think that Trump’s statement that he wanted to work with Putin and Russia already gives him a competitive advantage over his opponents. He put very simply: ‘what do we need problems for?!’ He is absolutely correct, of course.
Donald Trump, as a younger man in New York, was an avid fan of Methodist minister Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, whose lectures he attended regularly and whom he found greatly inspiring. Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, says on p 110:
Things become better when you expect the best instead of the worst, for the reason that being freed from self-doubt, you can put your whole self into your endeavor, and nothing can stand in the way of the man who focuses his enitre self on a problem. When you approach a difficulty as a personal unity, the difficulty, which itself is a demonstration of disunity, tends to deteriorate. When the entire concentratin of all your force—physical emotional, and spiritual—is brought to bear, the consolitdation of these powers properly employed is quite irresistible. Expecting the best means that you put your whole heart into what you want to accomplish.
This is the energy behind Donald Trump.