I’m focusing here on only one of Donald Trump’s role models: Vladimir Putin. It has been exquisitely clear from Trump’s own words how much he admires Putin and his political strategies.
He has mentioned other authoritarian leaders he admires, but I want to narrow your focus for a reason: Putin is the quintessential master of Authoritarianism. I want you to see how vital it is we look closely at him specifically to understand exactly what Authoritarianism is, what Trump says he admires.
The definition of Authoritarianism is: To advocate and enforce strict obedience to authority at the expense of individual freedom. It is essentially the direct opposite of Democracy. Authoritarianism is Trump’s philosophical concept of acceptable political reality.
I select Putin while here avoiding the obvious Authoritarianism of China’s and North Korea’s leaders to keep this commentary simple. Simple, not simplistic. I am prompted to do so because I’ve been reading a very important book detailing exactly how Putin got in power.
The book is called: “Putin’s People.” Its researcher and writer is a woman named Catherine Belton. She is an investigative reporter for Reuters news agency. She has also reported on Russia for The Moscow Times and Business Week. The book describes in specific detail exactly how Putin obtained full Authoritarian control of Russia.
How Putin obtained political dominance in Russia is a template for how Trump continues to maintain his dominance over the Republican party. It is done in two stages:
First, an Authoritarian consciously uses lies as his primary political tool.
Second, this is accompanied simultaneously by secrertly organizing and marshalling like-minded political allies. This is done by offering them the means to acquire large shares of their country’s asserts and money. You do not discover among Authoritarians any real motivation to help any citizens of the country. They do not claim that they be required to utilize truth to achieve that goal.
By avoiding truth, they bypass any need to deal with the messy concept of Democracy. They may wield the word Democracy, but they do not have to worry about actually living it. They simply support a Dictatorship.
Today’s Republicans openly supporting Trump, while silently admitting he lies, are a quintessential example of Authoritarianism. They are intellectual cowards. They refuse to deal with the issue of truth versus lies because it is a strategy that is effective when targeting Trump’s paranoid ideological supporters.
Trump’s ideological supporters are their real targets to acquire and keep their political jobs as Republicans. They probably care less what eventually happens to Trump. They are using him as their short-term leverage to obtain the votes of his deluded followers.
“Wait!” you may say. “You are making claims not with proven facts, but by bare-facedly stating them as facts.”
“Well,” I say. “You are exactly right. I am doing that.
“You can’t do that!.”
“Yes I can,” I say.
“Why?” you say.
“Because,” I answer, “I am writing a political column that I do not say is objective reporting, but clearly and admittedly expressing my opinion, which is protected by law.”
“That sounds like a trick,” you say.
“No, it’s not,” I say, “because I’m admitting it is my writer’s trick to get you thinking. Mr. Trump doesn’t admit his lying is a trick. I do. That’s the difference.”
“What happened to Ms. Belton’s book about Putin, then?”
“Glad you asked. I was wondering how I could get back to that point. Now that we are actually again back to it, let me suggest you read Ms. Belton’s book, “Putin’s People.” Then you’ll understand.”
“I don’t have time to do that. I’m too busy trying desperately to make enough money to gain some control over my life in expensive America,” you say.
“Indeed,” I say, “I believe you have hit the nail right on the head.”