View From Glen Hill: Trump and Putin — working together

Of all of Trump’s many off-the-wall utterances, the ones about Putin and Russia may well present the most long-range adverse consequences for the U.S. as well as for the rest of the world if Trump were president. Among those comments are not only those reflecting admiration for Putin but also his suggestion that Putin should hang onto the Crimea and his references putting Eastern Europe up for grabs as he questions our commitment to our NATO allies.

What Trump is doing for his buddy Putin is conveying that a Russian grab for more territory is something that he, the great Artisan of the Deal, is prepared to negotiate. These remarks can embolden Putin to do what he would clearly most like to accomplish: restoring the former Soviet Union both in territory and as a nemesis of the West. The result would be to undo what President Reagan accomplished so effectively through military spending, by some estimates totaling $3 trillion, that goaded the Soviet Union into trying to match suit, ultimately bankrupting it out of existence. That was an enormous accomplishment for world peace in an age during which the thermonuclear cloud was overhanging all of us with “mutual assured destruction” the only proffered safeguard against Armageddon. That accomplishment also secured the liberation of millions enslaved behind Russia’s Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe.

Trump seems to have no appreciation for what was accomplished by President Reagan or how easy it would be to undo by cozying up to Putin and giving him any indication that the U.S. would look the other way to Russia’s full absorption of Putin’s recent territorial aggrandizements and his glaringly apparent ambition for more. Trump’s and Putin’s cozying-up conduct should scare us all: Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, hawks and doves, one-percenters and everyone else.

How anyone could offer such comfort and accommodation to a menacing foreign leader with the thermonuclear weapons to wipe out the U.S. and most of the rest of the world is impossible to fathom but fully consistent with the twisted thinking of a sociopath, as I argued in my prior columns on Trump (March 10 and July 18). I continue to encourage reading the 2009 book The Sociopath Next Door by Harvard clinical professor Martha Stout, Ph.D. and seeing whether Trump’s conduct doesn’t fit perfectly the sad picture it presents. Sociopaths can, and almost surely will, bring about enormous destruction when they attain positions of power, as the examples in Dr. Stout’s book illustrate. They need constant affirmation and adulation; they cozy up when they get it and lash out when they don’t. They’ll do whatever it takes to get that adulation, and they’ll take it from whomever will give it even if it means being a Putin fellow-traveler.

Inviting the Russians to hack U.S. computer sites is yet another illustration of how far Trump will go. None of this (including what Trump said disparaging the U.S. in his recent appearance on Russian TV) is lost on Putin, and I would fully expect that if Trump were to get elected, shortly after his inauguration Putin would occupy Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia as an opening gambit even as he solidifies his hold on the Crimea and renews his attempted takeover of Ukraine. In doing so, he would take a page from Hitler’s brazen occupation of the demilitarized Rhineland in 1936 in violation of treaty obligations but unmet by unified multinational response. Trump would then proudly and peremptorily cut a deal with Putin that Putin will go no further. As western and eastern Europe look on in fear and dismay, Trump will return triumphant with his agreement signed by Putin, much as Britain’s Neville Chamberlain did after signing his ill-fated Munich Agreement with Hitler in 1938 that gave up Czechoslovakia. Will Trump then similarly declare, with his dim knowledge of history, “peace for our time?”

Western Europeans will know they can’t rely anymore on a protective U.S. umbrella and will need to cozy up to Russia themselves, and all that President Reagan worked so brilliantly to accomplish at huge expense will go down the drain as Russian hegemony is not only restored over eastern Europe but is extended over a fearful western Europe as well. With a renewed Soviet Union on its border, China will also have to reconsider its international relationships.

For a sociopath, no one — and nothing — counts but himself. The dangers for our nation are enormous if Trump is elected, and it’s time for every voter to focus on that.  


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  • Thomas Paine Today

    “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.” [ Michael Corleone, Sun Tzu, Miccolo Machiavelli] Perhaps Donald Trump’s wisdom will soon find its place here.

    This column’s contributor, like fellow Yale Law grad Hillary Clinton, dissemble labels endlessly like napalm – from a distance and without knowing the target(s). The former labeled and abused in this column a Wilton mother seeking truth on school building health: The latter labeled and abused her husband’s trail of mistresses from Little Rock to Washington.

    The former labeled a couple of Wilton senior citizens’ volunteer hours with vision for sensible Town of Wilton and BOE accountability. The latter labeled 1/2 the USA as deplorables, again napalming from a distance.

    COMMON SENSE finds such local and national contributions an outrage, but not particularly out of character for each. In my century, Yale’s reputation was neutral to favorable – by my o’ my how these two septuagenarians…ok, the lady is six months shy…are shaming themselves and their university.

    • Resi Dent

      TPT, how could you leave out the other Yale Law grad, Former President Bill “The Zipper” Clinton? Your ‘common sense’ might include asking why these grads have zero respect, in fact are abusive, to much younger females?

  • Detlef Fuhrmann

    I wonder if Trump uses out of state license plates, like this author….

  • Kevin Hickey

    Viilage Idiot—-Wikipedia

    The village idiot in strict terms is a person locally known for ignorance or stupidity,[1] but is also a common term for a stereotypically silly or nonsensical person. The term is also used as a stereotype of the mentally disabled.[2] It has also been applied as an epithet for an unrealistically optimistic or naive individual.[3] In urban vocabulary, the word includes anyone with low tolerance or high resistance to change (in technology, culture, etc.)

    The village idiot was long considered an acceptable social role, a unique individual who was dependent yet contributed to the social fabric of his community.[4] As early as Byzantine times, the “village idiot” was treated as an acceptable form of disabled individual compatible with then-prevailing normative conceptions of social order. The concept of a “village savant” or “village genius” is closely related, often tied to the concept of pre-industrial anti-intellectualism, as both figures are subjects of both pity and derision.[5] The social roles of the two are combined and applied, especially in the sociopolitical context, in the European medieval/Renaissance court jester.

    • Resi Dent

      A narcissist, a sociopath and the village idiot go into a bar. The barman says, “What can I get for you Bob?”

  • Aletheologist

    Excuse me, was it not Hillary who hit the ‘reset’ button while chiding Republicans for living with a ‘cold war mentality?’

    • Resi Dent

      Yes, but such facts don’t matter to this paper and column evidently. Did you know that the “red reset button” was a freeby Hillary got when she bought her basement desktop PC (server) at Staples? These Clintons and their ilk love to sit around afterwards all giddy like, “huh huh huh, nobody in the USA will have any frick’n idea I gave Putin & Co. a button we got down at Staples for using our Clinton Global Initiative credit card on the basement server!”

  • Thomas Paine Today

    NYTimes are following Common Sense or The Bulletin! This ideologue columnist & Hillary destroy truth-tellers as ‘pathological’ and sociopaths.

    OCT 2: “But privately, she embraced the Clinton campaign’s aggressive strategy of counterattack: Women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Mr. Clinton would become targets of digging and discrediting — tactics that women’s rights advocates frequently denounce.

    The campaign hired a private investigator with a bare-knuckles reputation who embarked on a mission, as he put it in a memo, to impugn Ms. Flowers’s “character and veracity until she is destroyed beyond all recognition.”

    In a pattern that would later be repeated with other women, the investigator’s staff scoured Arkansas and beyond, collecting disparaging accounts from ex-boyfriends, employers and others who claimed to know Ms. Flowers, accounts that the campaign then disseminated to the news media.

    By the time Mr. Clinton finally admitted to “sexual relations” with Ms. Flowers, years later, Clinton aides had used stories collected by the private investigator to brand her as a “bimbo” and a “pathological liar.”

    • Resi Dent

      Appears this View columnist and probably Hillary have “dysrationalia” as NY Times described in Sept. A person with a high I.Q. is about as likely to suffer from dysrationalia as a person with a low I.Q. In a 2008 study, Prof Stanovich gave subjects a test and found that those with a high I.Q. were, if anything, MORE PRONE TO THE CONJUNCTIVE FALLACY – the FAILURE to consider alternate explanations!!!

      Prof Stanovich and colleagues have introduced the concept of the rationality quotient, or R.Q. If an I.Q. test measures something like raw intellectual horsepower (abstract reasoning and verbal ability), a test of R.Q. would measure the propensity for reflective thought — stepping back from your own thinking and correcting its faulty tendencies.

      View from Glen Hill has no R.Q. value, as it regularly FAILS to consider alternate explanations and therefore creates and perpetuates falsehoods among what’s later found to be truths.

      • Aletheologist

        Interesting take.

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