Trump Thinks Putin’s Attack on ‘Western-Style Liberalism’ Was About California

  
Via:  john-russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  15 comments

Trump Thinks Putin’s Attack on ‘Western-Style Liberalism’ Was About California

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Trump Thinks Putin’s Attack on ‘Western-Style Liberalism’ Was About California


In an interview with the Financial Times before the G-20 summit, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin elucidated his oft-stated belief that Western-style liberalism has failed, leaving Putin-style authoritarianism as the only alternative. “The liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. The migrants can kill, plunder, and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants must be protected,” Putin said. “The liberal idea has become obsolete.”

During a press conference at the G-20, a reporter asked President Trump about Putin’s comments that western-style liberalism is obsolete. Trump had absolutely no idea what the entire debate referred to:


Well, he may feel that way. He says what’s going on. I guess you look at what’s happening in Los Angeles, where it’s so sad to look, and what’s happening in San Francisco, and a couple other cities which are run by an extraordinary group of liberal people, I don’t know what they’re thinking but he does see things that are happening in the United States that would probably preclude him from saying how wonderful it is. At the same time, he congratulated me as every other leader of every other country did for what we’ve done economically … [briefly touts economy]
I don’t know what they’re thinking because when you look at Los Angeles, when you look at San Francisco, when you look at some of the other cities, and not a lot, not a lot, but you don’t want it to spread, and at a certain point, maybe, the federal government has to get involved. We can’t continue to let that happen to our cities.

Let’s discuss.

Putin was expressing a broadly fashionable argument that he has promoted for years, and that has recently taken hold among reactionaries in several Western countries, including the United States. Their critique is not of liberalism in the sense of the American center-left tradition identified with the Democratic party, but the longer historical tradition of liberalism that emerged from the theories of John Locke, John Stuart Mill, and other traditional philosophers whose beliefs created the foundation for democratic government. Most graduates of an elite college who took any humanities courses would have some rough familiarity with their work, which is a cornerstone of what’s called a “liberal education.” The “West,” of course, refers to Europe and the United States, where liberal ideas first took hold.

Trump did not recognize this debate at all. Instead, he concluded that “the west” means California, and “liberalism” means the Democratic Party.

Believing Putin had criticized life in California rather than America’s philosophy of government, Trump explained that, yes, Putin is correct that things are terrible in cities in California (“he does see things that are happening in the United States that would probably preclude him from saying how wonderful it is.”) But, Trump added, this is the fault of the Democrats, not him. He then assured reporters he’s not offended, because Putin has congratulated him on the overall state of the American economy.

Trump’s riff encapsulates the comic and sinister aspects of his political rise. As demographic change has made the U.S. population more progressive, Republicans have embraced more authoritarian methods to preserve their minority rule. Just this week, Florida Republicans imposed a poll tax to prevent enfranchised former prisoners from exercising their right to vote.

Trump himself is an instinctive authoritarian. He demands subservience, identifies himself completely with the state, denies the right of journalists to criticize him, believes he has the right to start or stop any prosecution at his discretion, refuses to acknowledge Congress’s right to conduct any oversight of his administration, and praises foreign dictators for their strength. Bonding with Putin, Trump joked at their shared disdain for independent media. “Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it?” Trump said. “You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.”

A handful of conservative intellectuals have found this frontal attack on liberal democracy so repulsive they have defected from the Republican party. A larger number have simply ignored it. Recently, a sect of conservatives have sought to form an intellectual justification for the party’s growing illiberalism. This core of Trumpy intellectuals is waging a frontal assault on the value of liberalism, joining an effort made by other loyalists, like Steve Bannon, to create a trans-national front of white Christian illiberal populism.

But Trump, rather than being grateful for their efforts to create a rationale for his authoritarianism, is completely ignorant of them. His contempt for democratic norms is sub-ideological, a pure product of his narcissistic fear of disobedience and innate belief in natural hierarchy. He hates democracy deep in his soul, but does not understand why.

Putin, who does not have to worry about political opposition, has nonetheless invested time and resources into promoting philosophical alternatives to liberalism. Trump, who does have to worry about opposition, has not bothered to familiarize himself even with the basic terms of the debate. This is one reason Trump poses less danger to his country than Putin to his own. All he is able to take away from this great debate about the future of Western liberalism, a tradition developed over centuries and purchased with blood, is that Putin finds life in California less appealing than life in Russia

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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

Trump thinks Putin was talking about California Democrats ...

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-trump-putin-liberal-democracy-california...

1 day ago · That’s because Trump clearly thought the strongman was dissing California Democrats, not liberal democracy. ... Putin wasn’t talking about Nancy Pelosi when he dinged “Western liberalism ...

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

Putin was actually saying that western liberal democracy, in other words the dominant political ideology post WW2 in Europe and the US and many other parts of the world, needs to be replaced by right wing ethnically based nationalism led by "strongmen" such as himself. 

Trump is so stupid he thought Putin was talking about Nancy Pelosi. 

 
 
 
lady in black
3  lady in black    2 weeks ago

He is a clueless POS and people will defend this.

 
 
 
MrFrost
4  MrFrost    2 weeks ago

512

 
 
 
MrFrost
5  MrFrost    2 weeks ago
Well, he may feel that way. He says what’s going on. I guess you look at what’s happening in Los Angeles, where it’s so sad to look, and what’s happening in San Francisco, and a couple other cities which are run by an extraordinary group of liberal people, I don’t know what they’re thinking but he does see things that are happening in the United States that would probably preclude him from saying how wonderful it is. At the same time, he congratulated me as every other leader of every other country did for what we’ve done economically … [briefly touts economy]
I don’t know what they’re thinking because when you look at Los Angeles, when you look at San Francisco, when you look at some of the other cities, and not a lot, not a lot, but you don’t want it to spread, and at a certain point, maybe, the federal government has to get involved. We can’t continue to let that happen to our cities.

"Yes, waiter? I'll have the word salad with a side order of narcissism and lies. To drink I would like a martini made with trump vodka." 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6  Nerm_L    2 weeks ago

Yes, Putin was referring to European liberalism (which definitely is not progressive).  That's a continuation of the century long conflict between European democratic socialism and Russian communist socialism.  It's a fight between socialists.

Trump chose not to play the news reporters' silly games.  Since the United States is not socialist, why should the President step into an argument between socialists?  Of course, past Presidents were either too ignorant to understand what the argument is about or were proponents of global socialism (globalism).  Maybe Trump is smarter than partisan liberals and socialists want to acknowledge.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
6.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Nerm_L @6    2 weeks ago

I am surprised you actually had the balls to post such a silly defense of Trump. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  JohnRussell @6.1    2 weeks ago
I am surprised you actually had the balls to post such a silly defense of Trump.

Pointing out the stupidity of professional pundits and news reporters isn't the same thing as defending Trump.  In this case Trump didn't do something stupid so the pundits and reporters are on their own.

 
 
 
MrFrost
6.2  MrFrost  replied to  Nerm_L @6    2 weeks ago
Since the United States is not socialist, why should the President step into an argument between socialists?

Trump is a socialist, he uses it all the time which strikes me as odd because of his constant rants about socialism. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6.2.1  Nerm_L  replied to  MrFrost @6.2    2 weeks ago
Trump is a socialist, he uses it all the time which strikes me as odd because of his constant rants about socialism. 

Isn't Trump a Nazi?  Or is that Fascist?  Apparently Trump is all things.  Does that make Trump a god? 

 
 
 
livefreeordie
7  livefreeordie    2 weeks ago

The left appears committed to losing to President Trump. For that I thank you

Their near unanimous position is that anyone who can get to our border and enter illegally is entitled to citizenship, free education, free healthcare, free abortions, and guaranteed a good paying job.   Oh yes, at last the entire world shall have the utopia the left has long dreamed of, best of all it will somehow be paid for by the rich.  The fact that the math cannot work is not a concern. After all Elizabeth Warren has plans for everything

“MSNBC commentator Claire McCaskill said it best in the post-debate analysis: “I’m just telling you: ‘Open borders’ is not the way we beat Donald Trump.” Take it from the woman who is the former senator from Missouri for good reason.

But the Democratic candidates weren’t listening to her. They were busily taking their cues from Bernie Sanders, the socialist oracle from Vermont, and from Elizabeth Warren, the socialist feminist from Massachusetts. More free stuff. More abortion. More free abortion. And finally more free abortion for illegal aliens.

When, on the second night, they all raised their hands in support of free health care for illegal immigrants, they were virtually conceding defeat 16 months early.

Almost unanimously, the candidates said that anyone who gets into our country illegally should be handed an official apology; a path to citizenship; and an IOU good for free health care, a free college education, and a good-paying job.”

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/07/01/no_debate_america_last_dems_will_lose_to_trump__140679.html

So thank you Democrats and all you dedicated “progressives”.  You are making President Trump’s re-election more certain with each new day of seeing who can be the one furthest to the left, pushed by their base.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
7.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  livefreeordie @7    2 weeks ago

Your comment is completely off topic. Consider this a warning. 

 
 
 
livefreeordie
7.1.1  livefreeordie  replied to  JohnRussell @7.1    2 weeks ago

It’s not at all off topic. Putin criticized leftist ideology in the West. Trump agreed, and I agree that not only is it destructive, it will pretty much guarantee Trump’s re-election.  

 
 
 
MrFrost
7.2  MrFrost  replied to  livefreeordie @7    2 weeks ago
So thank you Democrats and all you dedicated “progressives”. 

Fortunately, all of you regressive's are being left behind. 

 
 
 
livefreeordie
7.2.1  livefreeordie  replied to  MrFrost @7.2    2 weeks ago

Laughable. Like a good Marxist statist you detest individualism, morality, and anything that stands in the way of Marxist statist control and abolition of moral standards that hold society together.

so when people like yourself call us regressive, it’s a badge of honor 

 
 
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