Las Vegas Sun

November 17, 2018

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Where I Stand: Is Trump a traitor?

Donald Trump.

President of the United States. Darling of the right and the far out. A symbol of hope for some of the disillusioned. Tax breaker to the super rich. Divider in chief. User of the best bigly words. Ivy League schooled and, yet, not very well educated.

Let’s add the possibility of one more thing.

Traitor.

By this time, most Americans have an opinion about President Trump’s disastrous performance on the world stage with Russia’s Vladimir Putin this past Monday. Mine is simple. It was nothing short of the worst example of American leadership in the face of our enemy since the founding of this republic over 240 years ago.

Throughout this past week, almost every decent and honorable American has expressed a negative opinion about what Trump did to our country and our allies while he stood on a stage in Helsinki, Finland, with our longtime enemy, Russia. Our own Sen. Dean Heller took his usual position — he came down on all sides and on no side.

There are some who still believe that Trump’s “base” will continue to support him, just as they have when his trade policies have hurt them, his tax policies have neglected their needs, and his treatment of our allies has undermined their safety. And, so far, that appears to be the case. But I choose not to believe that, especially about the supporters Trump claims are at the “higher ends of intelligence.”

There comes a time in every American’s life when he has to choose between his own well-being and the long-term health of the United States. It is called a patriotic sacrifice.

Servicemen and women do it, first responders do it and, yes, even ordinary citizens have to do it.

We have always drawn the line for such sacrifice at treason. For very good reasons, we don’t like those who don’t like or try to hurt our country. This past week in Helsinki, Trump stepped across that line. He sided with Putin and Russia over the United States and every intelligence official in America who has given his or her life to make America safe.

Finland is a Scandinavian country just like Norway. I mention that because the Norwegians came up with a name for traitors way back in the pre-war days of World War II. It is called a quisling and it fits what Trump did to a tee.

Three generations after a Norwegian named Quisling climbed into bed with the Nazis to sell out his own country, the world witnessed Trump kick America to the curb and climb into bed with Putin.

I honestly believe that most of Trump’s base loves America more than they do The Donald. And that means they will soon have to choose between a man who may sell us all out in pursuit of his own vanity or their country, which still holds the promise of greatness, if only we can find a way to talk to one another.

In the end, talking — one American to another American — is a far better way to keep our country great than going to the dark side like Trump did in Finland.

It is not easy to use words like traitor and quisling because they have meaning and they are mean. But, in this case, they are the only words I can find to describe what I and millions of other Americans saw and heard on that stage.

If you ask me if I think Trump is a traitor, let me answer that in Trump’s own words. I can’t see a reason why he would be.

What I meant to say is I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be.

I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.

Brian Greenspun is editor, publisher and owner of the Sun.