I taught a Russian child whose parents and he were living in Canada. When he was returning to the USSR which was Russia at that time, I put my arm around his shoulder like I would any other kid and wished him a safe trip and a happy life. His doubtful eyes are in my memory. He is one of the children I wonder what happened to them.
That particular child could be difficult. The guidance counselor could calm him down in a minute. She had a note he had written that he would not want his parents to see. The Canadian kids were kids. One time the Russian child challenged me in class.
The little Canucks thought we would have a regular USA versus Russia rivalry. I wound up giving the class a lecture that the disagreements between countries had no role in people not being able to get along. I guess not wanting another class lecture, the kid gave up. He was not that popular and getting a teacher from the South lecturing the class again was not the greatest mantle to wear.
(I was never a disciplinarian. I'm like my parents in that I believe in someone having free will. It's an old Baptist belief. My parent's were not missionary Baptists which most Baptist's are today. It's interesting how beliefs of Quakers and Puritans can reach their hands across centuries and affect us in the present. I went for control to teach class. But kids could have their opinion. When I taught at an evening school, I was careful in asking opinions. You did not always want to hear what a life hardened 17 year old had to say.)
Which leads me to a serious matter. People who underestimate that Russia is an enemy to the United States. I read one blog about the Christian nature of Russia and how the blogger prays for Putin. She looks forward to hearing his Christian message.
As a former KGB agent, I doubt Vladimir Putin has a good message for the United States. Putin may be a practicing Christian. But we know how all of us interpret the message and filter it through our own perspective of the world.
The United States has been the world's policeman for a long time. Small countries all over the world have petitioned the United States for help and many have gotten that help.
If the United States loses it's credibility and leadership, there will be vacuum to fill. Emmanual Macron, President of France and Angela Merkel of Germany have been attempting to fill that gap. It is inevitable the the United States and Western Europe will lose leadership of the world. But I do not anticipate the coldness and callousness of Russia and China.
In China there is a special uncontaminated food and water supply for their oligarchs. I can't imagine the Flint, Michigan water crisis becoming the norm in the United States.
I listened to Boris Johnson speaking to the Australian media. Johnson pointed out that the actions of the United States are stable although the rhetoric appears destabilizing. Boris Johnson is a conservative MP who was born on the Upper East Side of New York City and an architect of the Brexit.
Boris Johnson's quote My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive. summarizes my opinion of thinking that Putin is our friend and has our best interests at heart. Yeah, pray for him, pray for your enemies. The Bible admonishes us to do so. But the Bible does not direct us to deceived by our enemies.
The business of politics is beyond the scope of most of us. It is an intellect honed by fire. I am not that smart and neither are most people or you. Trump's true weakness is he has lived in a world of privilege where people do exactly what he says. Despite what his "hardcore" followers want, we live in a democracy not a dictatorship. There is a dimension of the "Art of the Deal" that Trump will need to acquire if he wants to govern effectively.
What is interesting to me is that most people are in agreement about certain items but can have different political ideologies. We've become tribal in our politics. Actually, it is our nature handed down over the centuries to us. Some of the lies and/or propaganda used during the American Revolution are surprisingly modern in tone. I'll dig my favorite book up and share a few next week. The book is the American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard
I am a Christian and an American. As an American, I believe we all have a right to serve God in the way we want. I am not afraid of someone having a different belief system as myself. I want the right to believe as I wish. Quite frankly, so many people speaking the mind of God are actually speaking their mind and unaware. In some cases, they are aware and in my belief system they have a lot to fear when they meet the Almighty.
It doesn't take Einstein to know what my message is. The old Soviet Union is the United States enemy. Russia is not concerned with our welfare. They would like the United States to be weak so they can control more of the world. Putin is no one's friend, not even Russia. He squashes political dissent. You may think he agrees with your values. Think again, he is a trained KGB agent. Once he gets what he wants, the heck with you.
What made me aggravated to write this post are the sonic attacks on embassy personnel in Cuba. The cold war has only thawed. Why is North Korea threatening? They perceive as being weak.
When I lived in Canada, I met all walks of life. The frustration of sleeping beside an elephant was how they felt about sharing a border with the United States. A friend shared this article written in 1973 at the close of the Vietnam war. Our country was torn by discord. We are torn again. But the American people have a promise to keep and I hope we keep it.
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