Donald Trump’s Putin Crush, by Tom Friedman  – The New York Times

“When it comes to rebutting Donald Trump’s idiotic observation that Vladimir Putin is a strong leader — “far more than our president has been a leader” — it is hard to top the assessment of Russian-born Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion, which The Times’s Andrew Higgins quoted in his story from Moscow: “Vladimir Putin is a strong leader in the same way that arsenic is a strong drink. Praising a brutal K.G.B. dictator, especially as preferable to a democratically elected U.S. president, whether you like Obama or hate him, is despicable and dangerous.”

Indeed, Kasparov’s point cuts to the core of what is so scary about a Trump presidency: Trump is what The Economist has called “the leading exponent of ‘post-truth’ politics — a reliance on assertions that ‘feel true’ but have no basis in fact,” and, sadly, “his brazenness is not punished, but taken as evidence of his willingness to stand up to elite power.” When politics becomes “like pro-wrestling,” society pays a huge cost, The Economist added, because any complex explanation of any problem is dismissed as experts just trying “to bamboozle everyone else.” ”

Source: Donald Trump’s Putin Crush – The New York Times

Here is one of my favorite of many excellent comments at the NYT:

Barry Schreibman

Cazenovia, New York 2 hours ago

“Thank you Tom Friedman for a very important column. We can always rely on Mr. Friedman to get it right. There are two points, however, to which I would have given more emphasis. 1) The thing that is especially horrifying about Trump’s idiotic Putin comments is the extent to which Putin has blood on his hands: the extent to which he is a killer. A man who order hits on journalists, dissidents, and a mass murderer of Chechens … it’s a long list. He kills like Stalin killed. 2) Trump’s uncritical support of Putin is likely more than merely affinity (although the affinity is bad enough). But I think it’s more than that. I think it is based on financial dependence. There is evidence that, following his serial bankruptcies in the 1990’s, conventional financing sources collectively turned their back on Trump and that, as a result, he turned increasingly to Russian sources to finance his projects. There is no Russian financing that is independent of Putin because there is no wealth in Russia, public or private, that does not depend on his favor. This is something the Times’ Paul Krugman has suggested. I wish able reporters like Friedman as well as investigative journalists would dig deeper into this.”

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About David Lindsay Jr

David Lindsay is the author of "The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth- Century Vietnam," that covers a bloody civil war from 1770 to 1802. Find more about it at TheTaySonRebellion.com, also known as, DavidLindsayJr.com. David Lindsay is currently writing about Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction., as well as singing and performing a "folk concert" on Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction. He can be reached at daljr37(at)gmail.com.
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