Updated: Jul 29, 2021
I've heard a lot lately about The Don and his interactions with Putin, and the one question that gets me to look at the radio (or rather, the NPR commentator on said radio) like they're uneducated is this (and I paraphrase): "Is it possible to be both a nice guy to Putin and hold his feet to the fire?" This is of course with regards to The Don's use of political pressure against Putin while he treats Putin like someone he want's to talk to.
The obvious answer is, "Yes... It is entirely possible to do that."
Example: You are speeding. You get pulled over by the police. The cop comes to your door. They're polite, courteous, and treat you like a decent human being even though you broke the law and they could drop you like a bad habit in three seconds flat. And they hold your feet to the fire by giving you a ticket that you can appeal in court if you so choose.
The Don is doing this absolutely right (even though he is kinda muffing it up). The Don has THE BIGGEST FREAKING BUTTON EVER. A stick the likes of which Teddy would be jealous of. He has the means to be not only nice, but courteous and warm- and still hold Putin's feet to the fire.
Putin isn't stupid. He may be a shifty con artist, but he's not stupid. He knows that the US can turn his nation into a cinder in about an hour and maybe even prevent a similar response. Events in Syria have shown Putin that his forces would get wasted by those of the US if they even came to blows. America has a military that is still (even with the progressive ideals arrayed against it) close to unbeatable. And it's only getting bigger. And The Don has this massive freaking stick (more like a Redwood trunk) at his disposal.
To all those who are losing their minds over The Don's method of dealing with Russia. Think about it. Do YOU want to get into a shooting war with Russia? Does berating the man in charge of Russia help ANYTHING? Wouldn't it be better to get along peacefully and settle our disputes without needless bloodshed? Or would you rather hoist the flag, fix bayonets, and charge into Russian forces headlong- because Russia is one of the few nations that COULD hurt us.
I don't agree with everything The Don is doing, but on this I stand with him. The methods he is employing to deal with Russia are the kinds we should be using. "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." "Speak softly, but carry a big stick."
The Don is trying to get close to Putin- to be a potential friend. But a friend who can wield a mighty Redwood trunk of diplomacy should Putin try and molest The Don's other friends. And that is a good thing.
Unless you like seeing American Flag covered coffins...