Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a man who knows the painful personal price for opposing communism, said: “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

Indeed, President Donald Trump was rebuked by lawmakers, editorials and leaders across the political spectrum after his cozy joint news conference in Finland with Russian President-dictator Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent for the communist Soviet Union and a man who has brutally used Russia’s military in the Crimea, the Ukraine and Syria.

The Boston Globe echoed many in asking: “Is Donald Trump committing treason?” Even the Trump-loving Fox News was highly critical.

The U.S. Constitution, Article 3, Section 3 states in part: “Treason against the United States shall consist … in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

Did Trump did, and what he said, give comfort and aid to Putin, an obvious enemy of America and of freedom everywhere? More dangerously, did Trump surrendered exactly what Putin wanted: affirmation of Putin’s Russia as a world power?

McCain described Trump as delusional and deliberate, noting the president’s “naiveté, egotism, false equivalence and sympathy for autocrats.”

Communism and Russia

I am a certifiable child of the Cold War. I knew when Russia got the atomic bomb. I recall school air raid drills, where we scrambled under our desks at the sound of warning sirens.

As a young American, I personally was ashamed in 1956 when President Dwight Eisenhower failed to respond to the desperate calls for help from freedom fighters in Budapest, Hungary.

I was absolutely certain that world communism would fail. A half-century ago, communism and Russia were threats most Americans understood and opposed.

In 2011, I wrote:

America still must act as the leader of the free world. But based on [President Barack Obama’s] foreign policy and his failure to understand Putin’s Russia, a new U.S. president will be needed before such a historic reassertion of America’s role in the world can be achieved.

In 2014, when Putin forcefully took Crimea from the Ukraine, I wrote:

It does not appear that [Obama] has studied the history of the Cold War period. He certainly does not understand Russian history or the nature of KGB thugs such as Vladimir Putin, an apt successor to the murderous Josef Stalin and the tsars before him.

My words apply now with even greater accuracy to Obama’s successor.

Captive Nations

As college students, my wife and I were active supporters of the National Captive Nations Committee and friends to Dr. Lev Dobriansky, a professor at Georgetown University who was the group’s founder. In 1959, Eisenhower signed into law the annual event known as Captive Nations Week, rallying Americans to help free the people suffering under Russian domination.

In the spring of 1765, in his maiden speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, young Patrick Henry offered a series of resolutions attacking the tyranny of not only Parliament, but the king as well. Critical of George III, Henry was interrupted by cries of “Treason!” from some fellow delegates. Henry paused briefly, then calmly finished his sentence: “If this be treason, make the most of it.”

Those who truly believe in freedom, and who know and understand history, realize megalomania on the part of national leaders is a threat to America and the world.

It is not too much to ask that responsible officials act to protect America.

Yours for liberty,

Bob Bauman, JD

Legal Counsel, Banyan Hill Publishing