Just a quickie for today, this will give everybody some time to catch up with Lyttenburgh’s brilliant multi-part essay on “Futurology”, which we continue tomorrow.
Anyhow, the Russophile blogosphere is busy reevaluating its position toward American President Donald Trump. Many Russophile bloggers and commenters rooted for Trump — not because they thought he was a great guy, but because they hoped that a Trump presidency would improve relations between the U.S. and Russia. Hey, people are scared of an imminent nuclear war. Why? Because people are cowards and afraid to die looking like crispy pork rinds.
Even people who aren’t afraid to die, were sorely disillusioned when Trump launched an array of tomahawk cruise missiles into the sovereign state of Syria. People groaned, “Here we go again…” with the illegal wars, invasions and attempts at regime change.
Ordinary Americans, most of whom know nothing or care nothing about Russia — and that’s okay, they have their own lives — voted for Trump out of economic and political reasons. Trump ran on a platform of “America First” and “Let’s Make America Great Again“. He promised to extract America from its web of foreign entanglements (about which President George Washington warned, but nobody listened) and focus on domestic issues such as jobs, health care, education, and the usual bread and butter issues which American families care about.
Instead — surprise surprise! as Private Pyle would say. While Gomer hitches his belt and prepares to march off to the Eastern Front — because Trump found himself just as unable to face down the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC), as former Norse Potus Wotan was able to un-carve those fatal Runes from his staff. Each Rune representing a treaty or obligation with the Forces of Darkness. One Rune for that promise he made to the dragon Fafner: You build me Valhalla and I give you my sister. Another Rune for the treaty with the gold-mining dwarves, those little guys always extract their pound of flesh. Another Rune for Boeing… and don’t forget Westinghouse…
But all of that is America’s problem. Except that America’s problem is the world’s problem. What with America being the 600-pound gorilla of the world. And yes, now that a White Man is back in the White House, it’s okay to make those monkey and ape jokes again, without sounding racist — the lifting of the tabu — thank goodness!
What Do Russian Readers Think?
Anyhow, I saw this informal survey in the online VZGLIAD newspaper, whose readers are mostly Russians. This is not a sociologically scientific survey, and I am pretty sure that results would have been different if the survey had been in one of the Oppositionist papers, since they tend to follow the American Party Line. But be that as it may…
VGLIAD asked its readers: “Did your attitude towards President Trump change after the rocket strike against Syria?”
A total of 12,792 readers responded to the survey, of which:
- 74.7% said “Yes, my attitude (towards Trump) worsened
- 3.0% said, “Yes, my attitude (towards Trump) improved
- 22.3% said, “No, my attitude didn’t change”
Next, I did a rough analysis of the comments to the article. As of this moment there are about 100 comments. Not every comment represents a unique individual, some people post multiple comments on the thread. Not having time to factor in that distinction, I quickly eyeballed all the comments. There are roughly 10 “outliers” — 4 comments taking the opportunity to poke at Putin/Medvedev. Another 6 which are not relevant to the topic, or which are just flaming another commenter.
All of the other comments I would categorize as “anti-Trump” and/or “anti-America”. The latter theme, not in the sense that they dislike Americans themselves (although one commenter came close when he posted that “the only good pindos is a dead pindos“), but in the sense that America is an oligarchy ruled by a “deep state”. Although they don’t necessarily use that term. In the sense that it doesn’t really matter which “talking head” the public elects to office, because nothing will really change behind the scenes.
Along these lines, all of the commenters whose opinion of Trump didn’t change, state, in effect, that they always had a bad opinion of Trump and/or the American political system. Roughly 15 commenters do admit that they had harbored some illusions about Trump, and that these hopes were dashed by recent events.
I end this piece with a smattering of comments from the Russian readers, along with a translation into English. I picked comments which I figured were the best written or most representative of the point of view.
Gennady Chepur: Ухудшилось. Я разочарован. Он мне казался более умным. [My opinion of him worsened. I am disillusioned. I thought he was smarter than that.]
Vova N: У меня мнение о Трампе не изменилось, по мне так любой ихний президент это просто говорящая голова, там хоть обезьяну избери (я не про Обаму) политика ни как не изменится. [My opinion of Trump didn’t change. To me any of their presidents is simply a talking head, they might as well elect a monkey (and that’s not a racist jab at Obama) since their policies never change.]
Marat Baisarov: Нет, не изменилось. Моё отношение к Америке и её Президентам, не изменилось. Потому, что “там” ни чего не поменялось. [No, my opinion didn’t change. My opinion of America and their Presidents did not change. Because nothing over there changed.]
Elena Nefukova: Нет, не изменилось. Он не друг, не союзник и даже не партнер. Он президент другой страны и будет делать, как посчитает, лучше для своей страны. Собственно, как и любой другой нормальный руководитель государства. Как это будет выглядеть на практике – жизнь покажет. [No, my opinion didn’t change. Trump is not an ally and not even a partner. He is the President of a different country, and he is going to do what he thinks is best for his country. Just like any other normal leader of a state. How this turns out in practice — remains to be seen.]
Alexei Ratiov: Были сомнения – хочет ли он улучшения отношений или нет. Выяснилось, что нет – не хочет. [I had my doubts, if he truly wanted better relations, or not. Well, it’s been clarified, that he doesn’t.]
Femi Compit: Помните, “Что он Гекубе, что ему Гекуба?” Так что, что Трамп мне, что Трампу я!” Вы уж извините, мне президент трамп по барабану! А вот отношение к президенту РФ неуклонно и, думаю, уже непоправимо, идёт вниз, вниз, вниз! [Remember the quote: What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba? In other words, what is Trump to me, or I to Trump? Pardon me, but why are you harping on Trump and trying to cram him down my throat? The fact is, my opinion about the President of the Russian Federation is steadily and, I believe, already past the point of no return, going down, down, down!]
Soviet Man: Всякий олигархат – зло. Веры буржуйским капиталистам нет, и нашим хрустобулам тоже – продадут и мать родную. [Every oligarchy is evil. I have no faith in any of the bourgeois capitalists, nor in our own kulaks — they would sell their own mother.]
Andrei Kuznetsov: Не нужно так трагично реагировать. Если Пентагон заявил, что заранее проинформировал нас о том, что будет обстрел конкретной цели, а также уверил, что сделал все, чтобы не причинить ущерба российским и сирийским военным, то то, что случилось можно назвать не военная, а PR акция. Для внутреннего потребления. Насколько я понимаю – мы как раз выгодоприобретатели от этой акции. [No point in reacting with such pathos. Since the Pentagon said it had earlier informed us that a particular target would be shot up, and also assured us, that it would do everything possible to ensure that no Russian nor Syrian soldiers would be harmed — then the event should be considered a PR action rather than a military action. Just for internal consumption. From what I understand, we are actually the beneficiaries of this action.]
Olga Ulyanova: Изменилось. В худшую сторону. Хотя я ранее и не питала особых надежд на его отношение к России. Но мне показалось – ПОКАЗАЛОСЬ – что он будет проводить более самостоятельную политику и думать своей головой. Ан нет …. Все его эпатажи предвыборных времен – просто игра… [My opinion changed. For the worse. Even though I didn’t harbor any particular hopes about his attitude towards Russia. But it seemed to me — IT SEEMED — that he was going to conduct a more independent policy and think with his own head. But no… All of these outrageous events of the pre-election period– were simply a game.]
Tatiana Shevchenko: Погибли сирийские мирные жители. В количестве 20 человек. Чьи-то мужья-жены-дети…. Конечно, ухудшилось! [Innocent Syrian civilians perished. Around 20 people. Somebody’s husbands, wives, children. Naturally my opinion worsened!]