Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 8:07 AM

The Putin-Trump Bromance

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Listening to Republicans swoon over his leadership, you could be forgiven for thinking they wish Putin were president of the United States. Granted, this swooning probably reflects their partisan/racial hatred of Obama more than their love of Putin.

But there’s no denying a totalitarian ideation that makes far too many Republicans swoon over cocksure leaders who shoot first and ask questions later. Only this explains their election of George W. Bush and their flirtation now with Donald J. Trump.

(“ISIS Blows Hole in Putin’s Rank as Most Powerful Person Alive,” The iPINIONS Journal, November 7 2015)

Donald Trump has made no secret of his man crush on Vladimir Putin. My despairing wish to see his ego punctured is such that I hoped his crush would prove unrequited.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 8.15.19 PM

Therefore, imagine my dismay yesterday when Putin proved it’s entirely mutual. For here is how he stroked Trump’s ego … more than even Trump himself could:

There is no doubt that he is a very bright and talented man… [H]e is an absolute leader of the presidential race.

(New York Times, December 17, 2015)

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 9.22.51 AM

Frankly, only God knows what to make of this Putin-Trump bromance. The only comment I care to make comes from the seminal line in Thomas Paine’s first “American Crisis” essay, which he published on this very day in 1776:

These are the times that try men’s souls.

I must note, however, that Trump is not the first Republican leader to man crush on Putin. Remember George W. Bush’s embarrassing infatuation? Claiming he looked into Putin’s soul, Bush even insinuated their bromance was heavenly inspired … until it hellishly expired.

Hence this serious note about their ménage-à-trois bromance:

2553_600When Bush first strutted his stuff upon the presidential stage, many of us thought he was a joke. But Bush had the last laugh.

So for those of you who think Trump is a joke, I give you Masha’s timely lament … and fair warning:

When Putin came to his first term … nobody [in Russia] actually thought that this is serious. Everybody was joking about it…

Everybody [is] joking about Donald Trump now, but it’s a very short way from joke to sad reality when you have a really crazy president speaking about breaking every moral and logic norm.

(Huffington Post, December 18, 2015)

Masha, of course, is the most vocal member of the celebrated Russian rock band, Pussy Riot. Her point is that Putin is clearly having the last laugh too.

This is why once bitten, twice shy does not adequately convey the danger of thinking of Trump as just a joke.

Indeed, another more ominous analogy might be more apropos. For many have wondered how Hitler got so many ordinary Germans to become his “willing executioners.” Well, Trump is showing just how at rallies where he whips his supporters into all manner of xenophobic and racist frenzy, preying with every fulmination on their irrational fears of persecution and misguided sense of nationalism. “Never again”? I wouldn’t bet on it.

God help America.

Related commentaries:
Isis blows hole in Putin
Pussy Riot

* This commentary was originally published yesterday, Friday, at 8:20 p.m.

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