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The Atomic Silverbacks of World Wrestling.

March 19, 2017

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

The Atomic Silverbacks of World Wrestling.

Most Americans don’t know the difference between Communism and Socialism, much less the difference between Marxism, Leninism or Stalinism.  I doubt they know the difference between colonialism and imperialism.  Most think that capitalism and democracy are one and the same system.  How about Nazism, fascism and totalitarianism?  They don’t understand the difference between any of these ideologies philosophically, rhetorically or in practice. For them it’s a simple binary choice—capitalism/democracy, good: all else, bad—when in reality any system or it’s leaders are often a mix of various shades of many isms. But here’s what no one dares whisper: The “isms” don’t matter when you surrender your rights to your leaders. At that point it’s pretty much all the same outcome.

So let’s take a look at a few current world leaders to see if there are any similarities and whether that seems to make a difference.

Kim Jong Un:

Nationalist, authoritarian, narcissist, braggart, Fascist, Stalinist, Imperialist wannabe, known liar, ethically bankrupt, crazy hair, unpredictable. His people trust him because he expounds the greatness of North Korea and promises to protect them against American aggression.

Donald Trump:

Nationalist, authoritarian, narcissist, braggart, Fascist, closet Stalinist, Imperialist, known liar, ethically bankrupt, crazy hair, unpredictable. He promises his supporters that he will protect them and make America great again.

Vladamir Putin:

Nationalist, authoritarian, narcissist, braggart, Fascist, Stalinist, Imperialist, known liar, ethically bankrupt, no hair just crazy scary, very predictable in the broad sense of his goals, unpredictable in the specific tactics. He promises to restore Russian greatness by reclaiming previously Russian territories.

These three leaders are now parading around the world stage like WWF combatants taunting their challengers. It’s a mix of unstable and insecure personalities and resolute, confirmed killers, a lethal concoction of blowhards that could easily lead to war. Historically the patterns are always the same. Here’s how it happens:

  1. A charismatic figure assumes a leadership position.
  2. By virtue of that position he/she commands the military.
  3. Media is managed with false narratives, propaganda controlled by the leader.
  4. Dissent is neutralized by a variety of means, some lethal.
  5. Extreme measures are enacted for security and safety. New laws are created.
  6. Human rights are denied.  Torture is accepted.
  7. Minorities are targeted for persecution.
  8. Transfer of wealth is initiated to advantage the privileged.
  9. Public assets are privatized.
  10. Social policies that benefit the underclass are eliminated.
  11. The military is expanded.
  12. The economy tanks.
  13. War is declared.

Like festooned wrestling musclemen, silverback gorillas in costume parading their aggressive behavior, theses leaders pound their chests with ferocious taunts at the edge of their territory, defying anyone to misinterpret their intent as anything less than aggression.

North Korea, on the verge of economic collapse diverting it’s dwindling economic resources to an ever increasing military program to develop nuclear arms, Kim Jong Un manages his captive populace outwardly with unsubstantiated propaganda and  secretly with discreet, violent means, squashing dissent through imprisonment and assassination.  He has fashioned an enemy of the United States and now at the height of his popularity,  he will need a war to restore his shrinking bank account.  As Tillerman, having shed his press entourage, travels to China seeking to leverage China’s dependency on US debt into a cooperative arrangement on North Korean sanctions, the possibility of crazy Kim becoming more desperate looms large.  Furthermore Kim has his honor at stake.  He’s made claims and promises he has to back up.  With a million troops placed on the border of the demilitarized zone with South Korea (also counting a million opposing troops) this could very well be the biggest land war in history. With each passing day Kim demonstrates more aggression, ramping up his nuclear ambitions with more tests of atomic weapons and ICBM launches.

Meanwhile, the Russian people love and trust Vladimir Putin,  Like Trump to his supporters, Putin has promised to restore Russian pride, making Russia great again.   Actions such as attempts to regain territories once under Russian control like Crimea and the Ukraine have already demonstrated his intentions.  Putin’s military support for Syria has little regard for civilian casualties and has caused a flood of immigrants to destabilize European nations and scare American voters into some bad choices favorable to Russian intentions.  Now Putin seeks to further antagonize the United States through cyber-warfare hacks on our election, scandalous leaks regarding Trump’s visit to Moscow, dangerous military flyovers of US naval vessels, a Russian spy ship off the Connecticut coast and ballistic missile testing contrary to our treaty with them. He’s a shirtless cowboy confidently riding into Dodge City to face a witless sheriff and his clown posse that he installed there.  I suppose you have to be that devious to be that brilliant.  No wonder Trump admires him so.

But far and away, Americans are the most delusional.  Faced with massive evidence to the contrary, they continue to support their cowboy presidents—movie stars and the super-rich.  We just keep electing them, thinking they can lead us out of the mess created by the previous cowboy president or movie-star leader. Texas has given us no short supply.  LBJ got his war and the economy soared.  Nixon was no cowboy, but he knew he couldn’t pull out of Vietnam without severe economic consequences.  When he was eventually forced out, we sunk into the Carter years. Reagan followed and was the epitome of a cowboy superstar, with movie credentials, a sweat soaked Stetson and a real horse to back him up.  In the shadow of Vietnam, he waged a different kind of clandestine war in Latin America. Ollie North took the fall and Reagan reaped the glory.

Reagan was followed by two multimillionaire Texan cowboys, often seen publicly in their Stetsons, each of whom got their wars.  But it took a “gosh-shucks” hatless president sandwiched in between them to temporarily rescue the economy while trysting in the oval office. Lacking viable economic policy, the two Bushes needed a war to boost the economy in that “tried and true” old style way. Both failed.

Lacking both cowboy credentials and a proper Stetson, Trump must rely on the famous Trump myth, largely propagated by the success of his reality TV show, “The Apprentice.”  Viewers believe the tough-talking Trump, the guy who makes hard-edged decisions to chastise and rebuke misbehaving and underperforming employees, ultimately firing them, to be the tough guy they need to perform all those cowboy functions required for an American identity.  One of the most infamous and out of control “apprentices” was Omarosa, a villain to be sure.  Now a Whitehouse staffer in Trump’s transition team Omarosa is up to her old tricks, intimidating a Whitehouse reporter with threats to release a dossier they keep on her.

Meanwhile as Trump fails to deliver on each or any of his promises, he will soon need a big win to renew his flagging support.  While he seems to have no limit on victims to attack, (after 16 primary candidates, Hillary Clinton. the Pope, John McCain, the entire press and media, all women, every minority, Muslims, the disabled, veterans, Barack Obama, Federal Judges, every US security agency, Mexico, Canada, Britain and Germany,) Nato and the EU one would think there was pretty much no place left to go to look for more victims, but his willingness to behave foolishly knows no limits and he continues his attacks unabated.  Eventually, when the economy sinks and all his polices have failed to be enacted, he will run out of executive orders for departments to close, employees to fire, and social programs to end. He will need to escalate his attacks and that will coincide with the need to stimulate the economy through external means.  Attacking individual personalities will no longer suffice. That leaves war as the best solution and he won’t have to look far to find agreeable opponents.  Putin has set him up for failure and Kim is too blinded by his own light to fear the dangers of challenging a fool to an atomic bar fight.

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