One of the most annoying aspects of Campaign 2016 is how both sides have decided to embrace truly horrible people and regimes because opinions are voiced in opposition to the opponent. If Charles Manson were to come out tomorrow and badmouth Donald Trump, the Democrats would start a petition to have him released from jail.
Hillary Clinton and Trump are political opponents, not enemies. Clinton attended Trump’s wedding at his invitation. Before you claim she had to go because he gave her a campaign donation, which is what he claimed, that donation came more than a year after his wedding. If you think Clinton or Trump is an actual enemy, as opposed to just political opponents, you have a screw loose. In fact, if you truly believe either is an enemy of the state, you as a patriot have a real obligation to stop them through any means necessary.
Considering you probably read that last sentence and immediately thought of the Secret Service suggests that privately you really do know the difference between a political opponent and an actual enemy. The problem, of course, is that both parties are embracing actual enemies who criticize their political opponents.
There have been a series of dictators, mostly in Central and South America, who have criticized Trump. Each of them has been praised by Democrats. Sure they may brutally suppress and starve their people, but they hate Trump. The most glaring examples, however, have come from Republicans of late.
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Many Republicans have fallen in love with Vladimir Putin because he does not wear mom jeans like President Obama. Putin comes off as alpha and Obama comes off as beta. Republicans so loathe the president, they’ll cheer on Putin. But Putin actually is our enemy.
The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Sometimes he turns out to be a worse enemy. Lately, Republicans are giving air time to accused rapist Julian Assange. Assange claims to have documents that will devastate the Clinton candidacy. Good for him if he does. Release them. But let’s not pretend Assange is some sort of nobel hero out to stop Clinton for the greater good.
Assange is a Russian propagandist who hates the United States. Several years ago he was willing to release the names of Afghan citizens who had helped the United States against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. He admitted he knew they would be murdered, but he did not care. It took liberal reporters, not American government employees, to talk him out of it. But some believe he still managed to get their names out there. The Taliban somehow got the documents and began rounding up and killing those who helped America.
Assange has a program on Russia Today, which is Putin’s propaganda wing. The entire network pushes western conspiracy theories in an effort to destabilize western democracies. Assange and Putin do not care for the United States or much of western Europe. Putin wants to fuel nationalist movements in the west hoping those countries turn inward ignoring Russian expansion.
We should also remember Assange is staying in an embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden. The Swedish government intends to put Assange on trial for rape. He is not a good person. Republicans should be leery of promoting him or singing his praises.
Sure, cheer on leaks of information that might hurt your political rival. But do not think the enemy of your political opponent is your friend. In this case, that person happens to be an actual enemy far worse than any Clinton.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.