Where’s Joe McCarthy when we need him?
There are numerous reports from respectable publications that Trump’s inner circle has been infiltrated by supporters of Vladimir Putin:
MOSCOW—Excited by Donald Trump’s pledge to promote “easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia,” the Kremlin establishment earlier this month invited Trump adviser Carter Page to speak before graduating students of the New Economic School. Page did not disappoint. In his remarks, Page condemned current American policy for its “often-hypocritical focus on democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change.” When a Russian student asked Page whether he really believed that American society was liberal and democratic, Trump’s adviser grinned and delivered a line that might have come from Vladimir Putin himself. “I surround the word ‘liberal’ with quotes,” he said. ”I tend to agree with you that it’s not always as liberal as it may seem,” he said. “I’m with you.”
It was thus perfectly in keeping with Trump campaign’s entente with the Kremlin that last week Trump aides reportedly watered down the new Republican platform on Russia, removing language that called for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces. Page, an energy expert, has close ties to Russian business and relationships with executives at Gazprom, the giant state-run gas company. Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has worked as a lobbyist for former Ukraine’s former Russia-aligned president, Viktor Yanukovych.
Putin is arguably the most dangerous person in the world today. His willingness to conquer neighboring countries and annex territory is something we haven’t seen since the heyday of Hitler and Saddam. Wars occur when there is ambiguity as to how countries will respond to aggression. If Bush had made it 100% clear that he would have responded forcefully to Saddam’s aggression in 1990, there would have been no Gulf War in 1991. If he had made it 100% clear that he would not respond, there would have been no Gulf War in 1991. Instead, he left our response ambiguous, and Saddam guessed wrong. Bush spoke softly and carried a big stick. The rest is history.
Trump’s policy is to create ambiguity as to how the US will respond to a Russian invasion of a NATO member. Almost every day the Trump campaign comes out with another test balloon, right out of the Kremlin playbook. A month ago Trump supported Brexit. A couple days ago he suggested that he might restrict Frenchmen and Germans from visiting America. Yesterday it was a threat to withdraw from the WTO:
Donald Trump suggested on Sunday that the US could pull out of the World Trade Organisation and said the EU had been created largely to compete against the US in international trade.
In an interview with NBC, the Republican presidential candidate said the US might withdraw from the WTO if his plans to use tariffs to bring factories back from Mexico were challenged.
Mr Trump also repeated his controversial suggestion that the US might not fulfil its commitments to defend Nato allies under attack if they did not do more to boost defence spending.
When I read Ezra Klein’s piece providing 14 reasons why Trump was unfit to be President (only 14? Klein is slipping) I couldn’t help thinking about how almost all of these also applied to Hitler. Of course as usual, I am referring to Adolf Hitler, not “Hitler”, so don’t accuse me of comparing Trump to “Hitler”, the mass murderer. There were a few of the 14 that did not apply to Adolf Hitler, candidate in German democratic elections. And in those few cases, Trump actually looks worse than Hitler. For instance, Hitler was actually fairly knowledgeable about military and foreign affairs, whereas Trump seems like someone who’s never read a newspaper. Remember that Tiananmen “riot”? Because Trump is so ignorant, he must rely on his advisors, who are Putin supporters. Thus unlike Hitler, Trump is just a pawn of the Russians.
Trump and Putin, no scratch that, Trump advisors and Putin (Trump’s too dumb to have his own views) share a common interest in blowing up the western alliance, constructed over decades to prevent a repeat of WWII. They thrive on chaos. They saw how the President of Turkey gained vast new powers as a result of chaos, and hope to do the same.
People talk about how “the establishment” hates Trump. But there are other establishments, and I’m afraid “the establishment” is no match for the establishment releasing embarrassing information on Hillary right before the convention. Putin very, very much wants Trump to win, and he plays very dirty. There are even claims that Putin orchestrated terrorist attacks in Russia to gain more power. I have no idea if they are true, but it’s certainly the sort of thing he would do.
The press needs to stop asking stupid questions about whether Trump’s wife plagiarized a few lines in a speech (which helps Trump by making it seem he’s a normal candidate, and that this trivia is the sort of reason he should not be elected) and instead start asking his aides the following question:
Are you now, or have you ever been, a supporter of Vladimir Putin?
PS. If I were Hillary’s media people, I’d focus 100% of my TV ads between now and the election on the theme of Trump being Putin’s pawn. It may not be true, but just the fact that it’s possibly true provides the strongest argument against electing Trump. As I said before, a world where it might or might not be true is far more dangerous than either certainty. And that’s the world we currently live in.
PPS. In fairness to Trumpistas, if this story is true, Trump will have a right to say, “I told you so.”
PPPS. Nixon would have destroyed Trump on this Russian influence issue. C’mon Hillary, show your inner Nixon.