What Could Trump Do for Putin?

What could Trump actually do for Putin, if he wanted to do the fellow a solid?

1. The absolute #1 favor would be stop or at least curb fracking in the US. In order for Russian economy to do well, the oil price needs to stand at $105-110 per barrel. The absolute disaster point for Russia is if it drops to under $30.

The current price is $65. It’s bad but not the end of everything that Putin cares about. The only thing right now that can bring it lower is the US fracking.

2. The second best thing Trump could do for Putin is to say something to the effect that “it’s time to accept that the Crimea is part of Russia.” And please don’t think this is minor. This single statement would cause enormous upheaval and a lot of really bad shit happening. And unlike curbing fracking, this is not unrealistic.

Of course, it would be an absolute dream come true for Putin if Trump asked him to sit down and divide spheres of influence in the world between the two of them but that’s a total pipe dream, so it’s ridiculous even to discuss.

3. What else? Well, it would give some fleeting pleasure to Putin if Trump got himself impeached. But the practical value of that would be nil.

Trump would please Putin if he performed some public act of contrition, recognizing the [completely imaginary] harm that the US has done to Russia. But yet again, anybody who knows anything about Trump can see that this is not happening.

4. Create some massive instability in the US. Something like a major economic collapse, starving crowds roaming the streets, etc. Again, zero practical value for Putin but it wouldn’t be unpleasant for him to watch.

I can’t think of anything else because the previous administrations have already given him everything else.

This is where you look if you want to find out whether he’s trying to repay some debt he consciously contracted.

The Means

Maybe I should stop checking email in addition to avoiding all TV and newspaper news. Because I need to be able to register to vote before I start detesting Democrats to the point where I’ll spend 20 more years without voting.

I just got a DNC email saying “I’m a Parkland student survivor. . . It’s time to elect Democrats.”

I hope that, as they say in 3rd world commercials, no children were harmed in the testing of this product, and no actual students were used in this process but still, it’s very off-putting.

Time and Status

In the 19th century, when the new class of bourgeoisie arose in response to the industrial revolution, one of the main markers of belonging to this prestigious new class was having free time. New and conspicuous ways of enjoying that free time were devised, giving birth to tourism, consumption of long novels, etc.

Today, it’s all been reversed. The mark of one’s prestigious status as a participant in the liquid economy who is in demand and won’t be discarded by liquid capital is having no free time, being too busy to take vacations, and being higely overscheduled. It’s all silly, though, because the capital doesn’t care about our performative business.

The New Book

The new book already has a title. It’s Nationalism Without Borders. I think it’s a good project for me because I’m insanely excited about it.

It’s funny how when you have a new project, everything you read seems to speak to your subject. And when this happens, it’s a sign that you chose the right project because you don’t have to make yourself work on it. You work on it no matter what you do because it’s always on your mind.

The Real Blow

And by the way, Trump has delivered a non-blustery yet very painful blow to Russia. He raised the metallurgy tariffs. Russia is the fifth largest importer into the US in this category and it stands to lose up to one billion a year as a result of this measure. This is a blow that this moribund industry in Russia might not survive.

Finally, the fellow stopped the aggressive bluster, and now he’s an evildoer for not blustering.

I can’t believe that a year after the inauguration I find myself in a situation where I have to defend Trump in the face of an opposition that proved more ignorant and unreasonable than he is.

Exactly Right

On the news, “No response from Trump to these incredibly new revelations about Russia’s nuclear weapons! When is he going to start acting like a Commander in Chief??”

Not only are “the incredibly new revelations” almost eleven years old, the very best response to this pathetic trolling that Putin engaged in is complete silence and a refusal to take him seriously. It’s definitely a lot better than Obama’s constant expressions of grave concern that led absolutely nowhere.

I so hope Trump isn’t influenced by all this truly crazy and irresponsible press coverage and doesn’t change course on this issue. Because either by instinct or by design, he’s doing exactly what he should right now.