Mental illness, homelessness and drugs — not guns — breed violence

I was sitting in the Lewiston field office of Congressman Raul Labrador in 2016 after the election of President Donald Trump when a group of people entered the office. They proceeded to unload on the congressman’s representative: “What are you going to do about President Trump and his ties to Russia, and how they got him elected to the presidency?”

They were very angry, and they should have been if Trump did indeed collaborate with the Russians.

The Russian collaboration charge has been so effective that we frequently hear political figures blame different things on Russian interference. Hunter Biden’s laptop computer that allegedly contains incriminating evidence against the Biden family was labeled as Russian disinformation. When discussing the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C., Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi were recorded saying that they were sure Trump had planned the riot with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump is out of office now and his accomplishments are public knowledge. Was he Putin’s puppet? Let’s look at what he did for Russia:

l Almost immediately after becoming president, Trump went to NATO and demanded that the members start paying their own way. NATO is a military organization made up of about 30 countries including the U.S. It was formed after World War II to combat the menacing communist Soviet Union, which is now the country of Russia. Each country was to pay 2 percent of gross domestic product to build and maintain a security force. Almost none of the countries were paying its share and the military force was weak and underfunded. The United States was paying almost the full bill for the organization. Now, because of Trump’s efforts, 10 countries are paying their full share and the rest are catching up. By 2024, an extra $400 billion will fund NATO forces against Russia.

l Trump rebuilt our military. The Obama administration left the armed forces in dire straits. I have heard and read that only about a third of our military equipment was fully battle ready and many in the military complained about not even having ammunition. The military is now in top fighting condition and ready to protect our country from Russia.

l When Russia attacked Ukraine and took over the Crimean Peninsula, President Barack Obama gave Ukraine food and blankets. When Trump came into office, he gave Ukraine tank buster rockets and other offensive weapons that stopped the Russian forces in their tracks.

l The economy of Russia is almost totally dependent on the export of oil and natural gas. Trump has made our country energy-independent and turned us into an exporter of oil and liquefied natural gas. That has created tens of thousands of high-paying jobs in the U.S. This also caused the price of oil to drop substantially, significantly helping our economy with low oil, gas and natural gas prices. But it has greatly depressed the Russian economy.

l The Trump administration stopped the Nord Stream 2 natural gas line that was to run from Russia under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany. The line would have provided the European Union countries with almost unlimited natural gas. Trump and a bipartisan group of legislators determined that this line was a critical threat to the security of NATO. Finishing this line would be a cash bonanza to Russia and make these countries dependent on Russia. Russia could simply turn off the gas and the countries would be helpless. Russia had already done this to Ukraine. Since the U.S. is now energy-independent, the plan was to send “freedom gas” to the affected nations.

The Trump administration’s response to all of the above-mentioned situations seriously hampered the economy and expansionistic policies of Russia. If Trump were Putin’s buddy, he wouldn’t have done any of these things. His actions prove his innocence.

There were four separate investigations into Russia collusion that could not convict him of anything. But half of the American public still believes that he is guilty.

The Russia collusion charge was a complete hoax. Congressmen Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., repeatedly claimed that they had top secret information proving Trump’s guilt. The mainstream media echoed everything that they and other congressmen said. They were all lying and they’re still lying. The charges of Russians putting bounties on American soldiers is finally being exposed as a hoax.

CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester was secretly caught on video by Project Veritas, a right-wing activist group, explaining how their station spread false propaganda and how they filmed Biden in only positive ways to get him elected.

The liberal newspaper The Washington Post gave Biden and, in effect, the whole Democrat Party, “four Pinocchio’s” for the lies they told about the new Georgia election law. The whole premise of moving the Major-league All-Star game from Atlanta was to protect minority rights. The move ended up costing minority-owned businesses tens of millions of dollars. The games were moved to Colorado, a state with more restrictive election laws than the new Georgia laws and a much smaller minority population.

I am sick of the lying and deceit coming from our news media and our political leaders. Unscrupulous political forces used the phony Russia issue to destroy the presidency of Donald Trump.

And the “big lie” has worked so well at dividing us that it is turning our country toward mob rule. People on the other side are no longer well-intentioned Americans with different political views. Instead, they are considered evil forces that must be destroyed.

Biden has done more to help Russia in just a few months as president than Trump did in his whole term in office. Biden shut down the Keystone pipeline and stopped any drilling for oil on federal lands. The prices of crude oil and gasoline are skyrocketing. And he is allowing the Nord Stream 2 natural gas line under the Baltic Sea to continue. Both of these things will bring tremendous revenues to communist Russia and many Middle East countries who aren’t our friends. Where is the media outrage?

Dugger retired as a journeyman carpenter from Clearwater Paper. He lives in Lewiston.