An American foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump chided the United States on Thursday for an “often-hypocritical focus on democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change” in its dealings with Russia, China and Central Asia.Carter Page, an energy executive tapped by the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign for his business experience in the former Soviet Union, told students and journalists gathered in a Moscow lecture hall that Washington had missed opportunities to work with leaders such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping because it had ignored principles of “respect, equality and mutual benefit.”Page’s remarks put him, like Trump, at sharp odds with the Obama administration and traditional Republican policy circles, which have viewed Russia in more adversarial terms over the war in Syria, the conflict in Ukraine and other issues….Page is an outsider to Republican policymaking circles. But he has regularly criticized U.S. intervention and on Thursday quoted Putin in Russian as saying that his country does not intervene in the internal politics of other nations.
I also believe that the world is a tough, complicated, messy, mean place, and full of hardship and tragedy. And in order to advance both our security interests and those ideals and values that we care about, we’ve got to be hardheaded at the same time as we’re bighearted, and pick and choose our spots, and recognize that there are going to be times where the best that we can do is to shine a spotlight on something that’s terrible, but not believe that we can automatically solve it. There are going to be times where our security interests conflict with our concerns about human rights. There are going to be times where we can do something about innocent people being killed, but there are going to be times where we can’t.
The Economist Intelligence Unit maintains democracy index, which it says has been “in limbo” or declining since the index was created in 2006. Reporters Without Borders, an international nonprofit, sees a “deep and disturbing decline” in press freedom around the globe. And the widely used Polity IV data set shows the number of democratic countries stagnating or falling in almost all regions of the globe since the early 2000s. The World Economic Forum believes that the liberal order is being “challenged by a variety of forces.”