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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/8/16

Donald Trump's 'man crush' on Vladimir Putin isn't only disgusting, it's a harbinger of what may come

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Donald Trump has a "man crush" on Vladimir Putin. Not only is it sickening and nauseating, it's scary. At 8:45 p.m. Wednesday night, Trump said Putin has "great control over his country" and that Putin is a "leader". Now in all politically correctness, most Republican Presidential contenders would have picked Abraham Lincoln as a leader, perhaps even Winston Churchill; but Trump had to drop the name of a true tyrant, a political criminal, and an oppressor of the masses under his subjugation.

Speaking at a Presidential forum, the Republican Presidential candidate said he will have "a very good relationship with many foreign leaders," including Putin. Trump even resorted to unabashed people-pleasing and sycophancy when he said that if Putin "says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him."

Let's consider some of the thuggish and heinous things Vladimir Putin has done in the past to make him a true neanderthal and a treacherous miscreant:

* In 1991, Putin, then deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, allegedly organized a number of scams involving meat imports into the poor, starving city. This drive is believed by many to have enabled Putin to make himself fabulously wealthy -- with reports of his wealth ranging from $40 billion to an incredible $70 billion.

* Putin's also a vindictive tyrant and if Trump thinks so highly of him, and possibly even patterns his Presidency after Putin's misdeeds and transgressions, watch out if you get on the wrong side of Trump. According to a June 17 post of Business Insider, "Mikhail Khodorkovsky was once Russia's richest man, one of the original oligarches who got seriously rich by taking over energy giant Yukos during the "Wild East" Russia of the 1990s. However, after he gave a presentation on corruption in Russia to Putin and other business leaders, the Russian state began pursuing Khodorkovsky and other Yukos employees for tax evasion. Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 and has been in prison ever since."

Vladimir Putin carrying his buddy Donald Trump
Vladimir Putin carrying his buddy Donald Trump
(Image by DonkeyHotey)
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Here's how Russian journalist Masah Gessen describes Putin's reactions to Khordokovsky's corruption presentation in an article for Vanity Fair: "The person who did comment was Putin. To those who knew Putin, it was clear from a characteristic smirk on his face that he was livid. 'Some companies, including Yukos, have extraordinary reserves,' he said. 'The question is: How did the company get them?' He shifted in his chair to raise his right shoulder in a gesture that made him seem larger. His thuggish smile made it plain that he was making a threat, not asking for information. 'And your company had its own issues with taxes. To give the Yukos leadership its due, it found a way to settle everything and take care of all its problems with the state. But maybe this is the reason there is such competition to get into the tax academy?' - Putin was accusing Khodorkovsky of having bribed tax inspectors. Between the lines, he was also threatening a takeover of Yukos."

* Since Vladimir Putin's return as Russian President, there has been a crackdown on Free Speech. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch claim changes have been made to Russia's already oppressive laws to stifle Free Speech so as to create an even more repressive and despotic atmosphere throughout Russia. Included in these new laws are sanctions for "arbitrary governmental interference with the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly", according to an April 24, 2013 online offering of CNN titled "Reports: Russia Clamping Down on Free Speech".

According to CNN's "Reports: Russia Clamping Down on Free Speech": "At least two new laws have been introduced and 11 amended in the past year, according to Amnesty International, including broad provisions that allow for "arbitrary interference" with the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.

"As a result, the space for political opposition and other forms of dissent is "rapidly shrinking," the article continues.

"'These recent legal initiatives have the declared aim of ensuring public order and the protection of the rights of citizens,' it said." the CNN online offering reports.

"'Their effect has been the opposite: prominent government critics, opposition voices, watchdogs and ordinary individual protesters (on a wide range of issues) have all seen their rights restricted over the course of the last year.'" the CNN article reads.

Donald Trump, meantime, has spoken out against the First Amendment and is an enemy of this greatest of all American amendments. According to Stephen L. Miller's article in the National Review titled "Donald Trump: Social-Justice Warrior": "Donald Trump's actions and words clearly show a disturbing pattern: Not only is he a long way from being the proud free-speech activist he claims to be, but he is in fact the most politically correct candidate running for the presidency in 2016. Trump consistently uses the threat of authority to silence those who criticize him, and such banana-republic tactics set conservatives on edge. Not being social-justice warriors by nature, conservatives don't seek out ideological opponents in the hopes of silencing them through protests, brute force, or judicial restraint. And they are wary of a social-justice god king barreling toward them from their (supposedly) right flank.

"This is happening even though these rights are explicitly guaranteed by the nation's constitution and international human rights treaties to which Russia is party, Amnesty points out," the article reads.

Did Trump get his Anti-First Amendment attitude from Putin? If elected, how far is this potential dictator going to take such actions to squash freedom of speech, especially in regard to reporters and commentators who will undoubtedly write and speak out against Trump's political decisions and actions? Of course, it's uncertain at this point, but the very thought of a U.S. President opposing free speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly is sobering and even scary.

National Review writer Stephen L. Miller sees some blood-red flags flying already, as American households witnessed in Trump's controversial and havoc- and bedlam-saturated campaign: "Trump's quips about wanting to punch protesters in the face, and his promise to pay his fans' legal fees if they rough up anti-Trump rabble-rousers, are only the beginning of the problem. Trump's real assault on free speech isn't his rhetoric at rallies but his frequent attempts to use authority to silence critics."

What will Trump do if he has Presidential power and might behind him? Sure, there are controls set in place by the Separation of Powers and their built-in set of checks and balances, but this Trump character is a stealthy and shifty manipulator. Will Congress be able to control him? Will the Supreme Court be able to bring him to justice if he commits a breach of federal law? What kind of a political landscape will we all be living under? If a neighbor hears another neighbor say something against Donald Trump and the local authorities get wind of this person's harsh words concerning President Trump, and pass this on to federal authorities, will a gestapo-like police force kick in the complainer's doors and rough him up, jail him, or possibly even worse? Trump's a big Second Amendment thumper, this is a well-known fact, but he seems to hate the First Amendment, especially when he's somehow involved disparagingly with the freedoms the First Amendment has always offered to each and every American citizen. This type of lunacy is evidence of a sick and distorted man - a man who does not want anything bad or negative printed or spoken about him. In a democracy, such a Presidential contender has no place vying for the top position in this great land.

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Samuel Vargo Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Samuel Vargo worked as a full-time reporter and editor for more than 20 years at a number of daily newspapers and business journals. He was also an adjunct English professor at colleges and universities in Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi (more...)

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