WASHINGTON — Imagine a political thriller in which the Republican candidate for president of the United States is in cahoots with a Russian dictator. Sound preposterous?
Oh wait! It’s really happening.
Donald Trump says he admires Vladimir Putin’s leadership. Trump must not know that Putin rigged the Olympic Games, doping Russian athletes so they’d win medals in Sochi in 2014.
Trump must not know Putin was a KGB leader who ordered state police to trample human rights.
Trump must not know that Putin critics have been killed and locked up in prison.
Trump must not know that hundreds of billions of dollars have disappeared from the coffers of Russia, one of the most corrupt countries on earth.
Or maybe Trump does possess all that common knowledge and doesn’t care.
Trump had the Republican platform changed so that it no longer admonishes Russia to not take over neighboring Ukraine by force. Trump apparently did not understand that Russia already took Crimea.
Trump moved the Miss Universe pageant to Russia.
Trump has tried for years to make money by building hotels and golf courses and resorts in Russia. He deplored Hillary Clinton’s “terrible relations” with Russia.
Trump wants to get rid of NATO or weaken it so it is no longer the countervailing force against Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. Funny. That’s Putin’s goal too.
After United States intelligence groups all but proved Russia hacked into Democratic National Committee computers, Trump urged the Russians to keep spying on his opponent and disclose her emails. He’s charming when being sarcastic.
Trump boasted for years that he had a “good relationship” with Putin and that they were very nice to each other. Apparently, they met in the green room waiting to be interviewed on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” But now Trump says he never had a relationship with Putin, never met the man. Although he also said, “It depends what you mean by relationship.”
When a veteran gave Trump his Purple Heart, which is awarded for being injured or killed in battle, Trump gleefully took it, played with it and said, “I always wanted a Purple Heart,” before pocketing it, noting that was the easy way to get one. Note: Nobody awarded the Purple Heart or given one on behalf of a fallen relative wanted it.
After Trump insulted the Gold Star father and mother who spoke at the Democratic convention about their Muslim son who died in battle for America, he refused to apologize. He doubled down and insisted he, too, had sacrificed in creating his multibillion-dollar business. All those late nights! Trump also happily benefited from money intended for 9/11 victims.
When Trump learned it would be unconstitutional to ban Muslims from the United States because of their religion, he said he’d do it anyway. He shrugged when he was told it would be physically impossible to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Something should be done with all that wasted concrete from his defunct Atlantic City casinos.
When Trump was asked about multiple sexual harassment charges leading to the resignation of his friend Roger Ailes from Fox News, Trump said that if his daughter were subjected to such a thing, he would hope she would change her career or leave the company. That’s right. The millions of women who have been harassed or assaulted by job superiors should have ignored the economic consequences and used their trust funds to move on.
President Barack Obama took the unprecedented step of saying that Trump is not fit to hold the office of president. Obama wasn’t talking about his differences with Trump on issues. He was talking about Trump’s thin skin, lack of common decency and poor judgment. Of course, somebody could take away Trump’s smartphone.
People who still fervently support Trump either don’t understand his pathological personal problems and innate insecurity, are willingly ignoring the values that made and keep this country great, or admire his top priority: “Trump first, last and always.”
A vote for Trump in November would give the world’s most powerful job to a petty man without respect for the Constitution. It would reward a blow-hard who has suggested it might be necessary to use nuclear weapons.
Few Germans in the turbulent post-war 1930s comprehended the consequences of putting Adolf Hitler in power.
Trump supporters have no excuse.
Putin has his fingers crossed.
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Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at [email protected]