It is hard to get your mind around this one. There was an opinion piece in a major Canadian newspaper by a political science professor who posited that President Donald Trump and his henchman Steve Bannon have a plan to split the world with Vladimir Putin. You would have a hard time imagining this plot. It is fanciful and requires far more co-ordination than a building project. And it deals with people who like to go their own way.
Frankly, “Making America Great Again” is stretching Trump’s showmanship to the limit. He has no idea how to do that either. For him to play in world politics with someone like Putin would be like sending him out to pinch hit in a World Series game without a bat.
And to give Steve Bannon some of the credit for this supposed plot is even sillier. Bannon is a self-centred egotist who rivals Trump in that category. He is the only Tea Party advocate we have ever heard of who has nastier things said about him by Republicans than Democrats. He is despised on both sides.
But Bannon would be the last person to plot with Putin. Hell, Bannon would have had a hard time negotiating with Adolph Hitler. They both might be anti-Semites but as a Harvard MBA, Bannon would consider fascism passé.
What is really surprising is how long the Trump-Bannon relationship has survived. Neither one of them expected Trump to win the presidency and that might be the bond. Bannon brings Trump good luck?
But the professor’s theory is that Trump’s America will help dismantle the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and encourage the break-up of the European Union. This would give Putin free reign in Eastern Europe and he could finish re-assembling the USSR to its former glory.
What is wrong with this silly scenario is that there is no logic to helping Putin rebuild if there is no balancing assembly going on in the West. Yet here is Trump insisting on a stupid wall to beggar Mexico instead of helping industrialize the country as an ally.
And the really dumb part of the entire scheme is the part about damaging the NATO alliance. Those countries are the best customers for the U.S. military-industrial complex and provide hundreds of thousands of high-wage jobs for Americans. Trump is telling America’s allies to spend more not less.
But one of the fun parts of teaching political science is that reality is something else.
Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry
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