Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, December 18, 2015


The American right wing infatuation with Vladimir Putin is both revealing and disturbing.

Putin is a poor leader.  He benefited from high gas prices earlier in the century, but as oil prices have fallen, his economy has cratered.  The other reason that the economy tanked was international sanctions over his adventure in Ukraine.  In other words, circumstances beyond his control benefited his country, whereas his actions have hurt his country.  His Syrian expedition originally targeted our allies and only switched to ISIL after they blew up a Russian airliner.

But Putin has mastered optics in the creation of his cult of personality.  And the Republicans are currently entirely about optics.  Certainly, Donald Trump is entirely image and devoid of thoughtful policy thinking.  But they all talk tough.  They all swagger.

And like Putin, they are likely to make our country incontrovertibly weaker.

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