Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
The Final Solution: Why Putin Voted For Trump
chess scene from Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal
It’s easy to see why the Russians wanted Trump over Clinton
and why they went to the trouble of hacking the election. First of all in the
most obvious way Trump is willing to play ball, to treat international politics
like the famous chessboard between the Knight and Death in Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. He’ll support Assad if he thinks that's the road to defeating ISIS and will appease the Russians on the Ukraine (and eventually even the Baltic states),
if he determines it’s going to win a few other prizes. Kim Jong-un will probably also open the door since Trump is value-free and unlikely to meddle (and maybe the president-elect will even cause a new hotel to open in Pyongyang). The other reason is tangential and relates to Trump’s attitude
about human rights. For all intents and purposes, Trump is the epitome of
realpolitik. He has little use for the central underpinning of American democracy
which emphasizes dueprocess. The means
are always justified by the ends---something which flies in the face of the
Enlightenment philosophy on which American democracy rests. Remember that
Nixon was responsible for opening the door with Communist China. Hindsight is
20/20 but could we assume that Mao like Putin was looking for an alliance with
America that might be beneficial economically but would not carry with it the
baggage of human rights. Who could be more anathema to Russian autocracy, on
this issue and the issue of imperialism, than Hillary Clinton?
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.