Trump’s ride to perdition

A couple of days ago, I used logic to arrive at a right conclusion about Trump’s plans for the Ukraine.

I’d feel smug about that tour de force of deductive reasoning, but for one thing: my effort was superfluous. Had I done the research properly, I could have relied not on speculation but on facts, for they were in the public domain. But let’s take things in turn.

I’ve long been convinced that Trump and Putin have been in cahoots practically since the start of Putin’s tenure and long before Trump’s. The other day, I touched on that conviction in passing: “The two men did enjoy a relationship, some (most?) of which was concealed from prying eyes”.

The subject came up because Trump had boasted that, if he were in the White House, he’d stop the war within 24 hours. I wondered what trick he might have up his sleeve and concluded that:

“I can only think of one such: a threat to cut off all American supplies, including armaments. That would leave the Ukraine on her own and eventually disarmed in the face of a Russian onslaught. Zelensky would either have to sign Trump’s peace treaty or commit his people to decades of hopeless guerrilla warfare.”

I should have done more reading before writing. For last week Trump spelled it all out in so many words. When talk show host Hugh Hewitt asked him if the US should be sending warplanes to the Ukraine, Donald came out fighting for his friend Vlad.

“I don’t think they should be sending very much, they should be negotiating peace,” he said. The war, he added, was “not going to stop” if the US continued to “just load something up”. In case you aren’t fluent in Trumpist, peace in this context means Ukrainian capitulation.

Americans, Trump added elsewhere, are “suckers” for assuming the heaviest burden of arming the Ukraine against Putin, whom Trump used to describe as a “genius”, the latest time a year ago.

In the past, he also stated his faith in his friend Vlad’s veracity, whom he trusted much more than America’s own intelligence services. Last week he reconfirmed that pecking order.

Using his own social platform, Trump wrote: “Remember in Helsinki when a 3rd rate reporter asked me, essentially, who I trusted more, President Putin of Russia, or our ‘Intelligence’ lowlifes… Who would you choose, Putin or these Misfits?” He clearly considered that question to be rhetorical.

To use the popular American phrase, Trump may be dumb, but he ain’t stupid. He knows he has got in trouble throughout his political life for his never-ending show of support for Russia’s fascist regime and Putin personally. At one point during his presidency he came precious close to impeachment for arbitrarily holding up $400 million in arms supplies for the Ukraine that had already been approved by Congress.

An investigation at the time failed to corroborate any criminal links between Trump and Putin, and in his own book Donald was out of the woods. His whole life taught him to believe that anything that’s legal is also moral, so there.

Yet, in spite of being supported by an army of zealots who adore him with nothing short of erotic passion, Trump didn’t get re-elected, and his links with Putin had to be a factor in that fiasco. He knows that and, if he doesn’t, his advisers certainly know it.

So why is he flogging that horse with renewed vigour at the start of his new presidential bid? The answer is simple: the horse is far from dead. On the contrary, Trump and his team evidently see his links with Putin as a vote getter.

For, after Republicans regained control (however tenuous) of the House of Representatives, their hard core of aforementioned Trump zealots have been gnawing away at support for the Ukraine.

Using Tucker Carlson of Fox News as their PR mouthpiece, those so-called conservatives are busily trying to win Putin’s war for him. Nauseatingly, they try to pass that devil’s work for their love of peace, aversion to bloodshed and fear of nuclear war. At the same time, they keep tugging at the financial strings of the Americans’ hearts.

The first stratagem was exemplified last week in Trump’s campaign e-mail: “Joe Biden is doing what he said ten months ago would cause World War III, sending American tanks into Ukraine… Such a tragic waste of human life, when you look at all that’s happening there. Those cities are obliterated. First, come the nukes. Then, come the tanks.”

If I read that text correctly, and one never knows with Trump, he means that before American tanks have reached the Ukraine, his friend Vlad will launch a preemptive nuclear strike. In any case, hiding behind Trump’s typically clumsy prose is that first stratagem I mentioned.

The second one has come across in the House, where the new Speaker Kevin McCarthy warned there would be no “blank cheque” for the Ukraine. That wasn’t strong enough for another Trump acolyte, the conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene. She promised that “not another penny” would go to “the neo-Nazis in Ukraine”.

This propaganda, which is suspiciously consonant with the torrent of lies rushing out of Russia, is working. If a year ago a Pew poll showed that only nine per cent of Republicans felt the US was providing too much aid to the Ukraine, now that proportion has grown to 40 per cent.

If Trump knows anything, it’s how to do sums. Hence he is whipping up his troops to a frenzy, realising that, if the current tendency continues, he’ll have a lock on the Republican nomination. For once, his loyalty to Putin may make political sense.

As the well-nigh unanimous congressional support for the Ukraine begins to erode, I pray for that beleaguered, blood-soaked country. That means I also pray for the defeat of Putin’s American poodle, Donald Trump.

That’s why, whenever I’m asked who I think should be the next US president, my reply never varies: Whoever is standing against Trump. Should he win his party’s nomination, I’ll even root for the Democrats, for the first time ever.

Since Trump’s domestic policies are more sound than any Democrat’s, another Democratic term would be bad news for America’s next four years. However, a new Trump tenure may well adumbrate the triumph of evil in the world. An easy choice, as far as I’m concerned.   

6 thoughts on “Trump’s ride to perdition”

  1. Would you have cared about the Ukraine and disliked Putin so much (fully justified and laudable) as to make these same attitudes in others the litmus test of their decency, if it were not so personal for you, a Russian-hating Russian by birth having been persecuted and having escaped the most murderous organization in history, the KGB)? After all, one rarely reads of any other contemporary non Russian caused genocide or ethnic mistreatment in your pages, e.g. the Uighurs, the Sudanese, probably not less deserving of aid from a Christian perspective than the Ukrainians?

    1. From a Christian perspective, yes. From a geopolitical perspective, no. And I don’t hate Russians (some of my best friends… and all that). I hate Russian fascism, and that’s all they’ve had for over a century now.

    1. I presume Alexander is simply providing commentary within his area of expertise, particularly as a native Russian speaker, rather than implying by omission vindication of evil-doers in other parts of the world.

  2. To be fair, support for Trump and his domestic policies hits much closer to home than foreign policy. My home heating bill has more than tripled since 2021. Natural gas, a generation ago seen as our energy solution, is now considered evil, thus the shameful increase in cost. Similar stories for the cost of both electricity (though not evil) and gasoline. Combine that with the cost of groceries, and most people can’t see past their wallet when it comes to the world’s problems. (Maybe it *is* about the economy, stupid?) Of course, that doesn’t mean they’ll vote out the current crop of nefarious leaders. There are many people who have been brainwashed to approve the higher cost of everything as an overall good, a step on the stairway to saving “our planet”.

    1. I can’t blame such people for worrying more about their bills than the Ukraine. But I can blame Trump et al. for promoting the cause of evil. Instead he should be telling people that their situation will become even harder if Putin’s aggression forces America to go to war, not just send armament supplies.

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