Friday, February 10, 2017

Don and Vlad Share Some Traits

I'm reading Mr. Putin:  Operative in the Kremlin by Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy these days. Some of their descriptions of Putin's personality traits and operating methods are not far off the mark for Donald Trump.
In speeches and writings...Putin has set out to determine  which groups' history will be part of the inclusive Russian myth and which groups risk finding themselves outside the collective history if they do not conform or [if they] withdraw their support for his ideas or policies.  The ultimate implicit threat is the risk of groups (like opposition protesters during the 2012 presidential election campaign) finding themselves designated as "them"--chuzhiye (aliens)--rather than "us", nashi (ours).  Putin's various performance pieces as a biker, an outdoorsman, a firemen, and his meetings with workers on factory floors or in factory monotowns simultaneously embrace diffferent Russian groups and social classes as nashi and appeal directly to them for political support.
Not an exact match but both are performers and willing to exclude entire groups of citizens from the the body politic in order to achieve their goals.  I can see why our alleged president likes Putin so much.  Everything I've read so far makes me think that given Donald Trump's susceptibility to flattery,  Putin will play him like a master. 

Maybe someone at the State Department could help out here?  Oh, wait...they're all gone.

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