It’s sometimes useful to remind yourself what things might have been like if Donald Trump had actually won the 2020 election.
Over the weekend, the former President provided a glimpse into how he may have handled on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine – and it is a doozy.
According to audio obtained by The Washington Post, Trump told a group of Republican donors in New Orleans that the United States should paint Chinese flags on its F-22 planes and then use those planes to bomb Russia.
“And then we say, ‘China did it, we didn’t do it, China did it,’ and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch,” Trump concluded.
The naivete here is massive. (And that’s just the start of the problem.) Does Trump really think that that the Russians would be so easily fooled? That painting a Chinese flag on our airplanes is a significant enough ruse to fool the Russians?
What’s even worse than Trump’s seeming belief that this, um, plan would work is what would happen if it did. Does it really behoove the US to have two countries with nuclear weapons fighting one another? The instability that this would cause on the world stage is literally unfathomable.
The Post reports that the Republican donor audience laughed when Trump proposed his “pretend-we’re-the-Chinese” strategy. What’s far less clear is whether Trump was actually joking.
If past is prologue, there’s plenty of reason to believe he is not.
Remember that this is a man who brought up trying to buy Greenland from Denmark. And when they didn’t go for it, he abruptly canceled a planned visit to the country. “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” he tweeted at the time.
This is also a man who sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin over American intelligence services when it came to whether or not Russia actively interfered in the 2016 election.
And a man who denigrated immigrants from central America and Africa, insisting he wanted more immigrants from countries like Norway.
In short, Trump has shown us – time and time again – how incredibly unorthodox he is when it comes to, well, just about everything.
Which means there is absolutely no reason to give him the benefit of the doubt on his most recent comments.
Which means a former President of the United States – and the front-runner to be the 2024 Republican nominee – may well really believe that the solution to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is to paint some Chinese flags on US airplanes in hopes of starting a continent-wide conflict between Russia and China.
Which, well, wow.