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The medieval way of doing business — commercial or political — may have relied on a kind of personality that we today call “authoritarian” or “autocratic” and possessed of some predictable characteristics especially when found demonstrably bullying and strutting. By contrast, the America mid-west ethic favors hard work, humility, and a quiet if firm demeanor.

Putin’s lines of power — Putin-Assad-Khamenei — and of influence — Putin-Orban, Putin-Erdogan – leverage the affinity between authoritarian leaders, who, not so surprisingly, aggrandize themselves at great cost to the finances and freedoms of their constituents.

From Washington’s standpoint, both Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump present “strong personalities”, but Trump’s earlier association with Paul Manafort, a major political consultant to the world’s dictators, and Sergei Millian, a Russian businessman — http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/russia-trump-political-conflict-zone/story?id=42263092 (“Trump, Millian” is also an easy look-up online) — signals the idea that a kind of authority may present to the public, in old socialist language, “the masses”, a public reality that masks off personal interests.

Not too long ago, the Russian state could have been described as “post-Soviet” and on its way toward democracy as known in the open societies of the west. Putin’s more evident narrative starts out that way, and in fact with the endorsement of a powerful Russian billionaire — Berezovsky. The west was back then quick to forgive and get in, but adjustments by Putin over time — this December will mark the 25th anniversary since the dissolving of the Soviet Union — have transformed the state into a familiar authoritarian system, this time ultra-nationalist and imperial in its actions and intents. Trump, hardly alone in this, may have been inveigled in the earlier “glasnost” state of affairs — the same in which the “Uranium One” deal developed — but even so soon after so much east-west cooperation, today is very different as regards Moscow’s resurgent anti-western stance and Trump’s entanglements.

The piece looks a little off-hand as to how Americans prefer themselves as personalities and, by extension, what may have been preferred in those most divisive and raucous of election seasons.  If there had been a Harry Truman in the mix (or if ever there was)  — someone who shouldered responsibility quietly and returned to a modest life — he would have been steamrolled and buried beneath the machinery of Big Politics (say, whatever happened to Rubio?).

An Aside on the Coming Election

Syndicate Red Brown Green has made a loud appearance in this election round, and BackChannels interprets the color code this way:

Brown – New Nationalists – Trump – Representative Portion of Loud Republican Moral Authoritarianism

RedGreen – Old Comrades and Neo-Islamists – Clinton’s Party and Its Portion of the Fascists on the Far Left

The extreme divisions in America’s body politic serves Moscow, and BackChannels wonders to what extent over time (decades) and today KGB-style FSB “Active Measures” (Wikipedia) have contributed to the nation’s very own mud fest of an election season.  As regards that suspicion, let it include the cultivation of the Far Left on campus and in the think-tanks across decades, as the Wikipedia page referenced asserts the following: “According to Stanislav Lunev, GRU alone spent more than $1 billion for the peace movements against Vietnam War, which was a “hugely successful campaign and well worth the cost”.[3] Lunev claimed that “the GRU and the KGB helped to fund just about every antiwar movement and organization in America and abroad”.[3]”