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Trump wants to bring Kremlin values to the White House


To the shock of absolutely nobody, and to the delight of MAGA wingnuts who worship Vladimir Putin, the Republicult’s presidential candidate broke his 72-hour silence about the murder of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny by puking this babble on social media:
“The sudden death of Alexei Navalny has made me more and more aware of what is happening in our Country. It is a slow, steady progression, with CROOKED, Radical Left Politicians, Prosecutors, and Judges leading us down a path to destruction. Open Borders, Rigged Elections, and Grossly Unfair Courtroom Decisions are DESTROYING AMERICA. WE ARE A NATION IN DECLINE, A FAILING NATION! MAGA2024.”
I’m sure it reads better in the original Russian.
The first six words, in particular, read as if they were personally dictated by the sneaker salesman’s murderous puppeteer. Putin’s government said that Navalny succumbed from “sudden death syndrome,” and here we have Trump parroting “sudden death.”
Not a single word of condemnation, of course. Trump is Putin’s lapdog; that’s been obvious since at least 2016, and his fealty now threatens NATO and the international order. Trump dares not defend our American values, much less question a political murder.
There once was a time when Republicans stood steadfast against Russian abuse of human rights, but that abiding party principle has gone the way of the videocassette.
Worst of all, however, Trump’s whiny Navalny message is all about himself. Did we expect anything else?
It takes a lot of toxic moxie to equate one’s legal woes with a heroic dissident’s fate, to somehow suggest that he too is a victim, to use Navalny’s death in a gulag as an excuse to rail against “Unfair Courtroom Decisions” in our courts of law, to essentially claim that he is America’s Navalny, to intimate that President Biden is no better or worse than Putin.
As Garry Kasparov, a prominent Russian dissident now living in America, remarked, “Whenever you think Trump can’t get any lower, there’s a knock on the floorboards.”
Nevertheless, as you’d expect, Trump’s agitprop is being amplified by MAGAts far and wide (“Navalny=Trump,” says wingnut activist Dinesh D’Souza). But not everyone on the right is insane. Even the Wall Street Journal thinks that kind of mantra is dangerously nuts: “Mr. Biden isn’t Vladimir Putin. Mr. Biden doesn’t invade neighbors on a false pretext, killing indiscriminately. He doesn’t make people who have fallen into disfavor fall from windows of tall buildings…If you can’t see the difference, then you have lost – or discarded – your capacity for moral reasoning.”
And conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg laments: “Condemning false moral equivalence was once central to American conservatism…The notion that Joe Biden is the moral equivalent of Vladimir Putin is a slander, not merely of Biden, but of America itself.”
Yeah, let’s talk about America. A few decades ago, George W. Bush made a lot of mistakes (most notably, invading Iraq), but I well recall what he said about American values and human rights in his second inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2005. (As a reporter, I was 10 rows below his podium.)
These speech excerpts still – or should – resonate today:
“There is only one force of history that can expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom… America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies. (Human rights) are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few: Did our generation advance the cause of freedom? And did our character bring credit to that cause?”
If Putin’s bootlicker is returned to power in America, we’ll have our answer.

Copyright 2024 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.