So, it appears we have a new Secretary of State. Rex Tillerson, the former head of ExxonMoble. To be honest, originally, I was opposed to Rex being made Secretary of State for, pretty much, the same reasons as everyone else, climate change, Fossil Fuels, lack of qualifications, billionaire, suspected cronyism, environmental rape, etc. You see, I was familiar with Rex’s track record at Exxon. Growing up in the East Texas Oil Field, you learn who the oil men are and how they do things and Exxon always had a good reputation among oil workers. I had read books, both positive and negative, concerning Rex and his tenure at Exxon and I was sure he wasn’t the man for the job. That is until I watched his confirmation hearing.
You see, I was familiar with Rex’s track record at Exxon. Growing up in the East Texas Oil Field, you learn who the oil men are and how they do things and Exxon always had a good reputation among oil workers. I had read books, both positive and negative, concerning Rex and his tenure at Exxon and I was sure he wasn’t the man for the job. That is until I watched his confirmation hearing.
Old Rex is no fool and neither am I, and there was plenty of the typical political oral stimulation one would expect in such a political orgy, at least up until the subject of Russia came up. At which point, Rex said the magic words… “Russia will never be our friend.” He spoke further and pointed out that the Russian values and ideology are significantly different than that of ours. (The U.S.) and that we can be partners on some issues and agree on some things but we will be adversarial on others. Just think, you thought he was a Putin stooge.
So, what does this mean? I bet you think it sounds like something someone would say to get a job in a Trump cabinet. If so, you would be grossly mistaken. You see, what Rex said was not politically expedient and hasn’t been for decades. If you have seriously studied Russia, its history, and its people and talked with the people who live there and who have left there, you would quickly discover that Rex was right on the mark.
Russia isn’t bad or evil it is just different, very different. Russia and Russians have a very different outlook on life, politics and a whole lot more. Russians are very quick to anger and they do not trust easily but once they do, they will trust you with every fiber of their being. If you betray that trust, they will never willingly trust you ever again. It was once pointed out that Russians don’t typically smile while walking down the street or in the stores etc. Well, that is generally correct. Only their closest friends will see them happy and smile and enjoying life because they don’t trust anyone else.
Back to Rex. Rex has seen all this first hand and his dealings with Russia put him in a unique position. He knows how they think and how they feel. He admitted that is was entirely possible that Russia was behind the hacking. He felt positive they attempted to influence the election. He understands the Russians are using the Syrian crisis for their own ambitions and more. In other words, I was impressed by his level of understanding that even Obama’s administration, Bush’s administration, (All of them) and Clinton’s administration didn’t have.
While the issues of moving away from fossil fuels are important and dealing with climate change becoming paramount are all critical points. Dealing with the ongoing geopolitical situation and navigating the strategic realignment are also important and in that regard at least, I feel very confident the Rex Tillerson can do the job.