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Would a Donald Trump Presidency Be Good for Russia?

Trump's non-ideological, deal-making nature could make him an ideal partner for Putin

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

FROM THE ARCHIVES:  originally published 10 July 2015

He's brash! He's bold! He's bald! (possibly), and now the Donald, according to a new poll, is leading the Republican pack nationwide in the 2016 presidential primaries.

Mr. Trump is a man for all seasons - real estate tycoon, casino mogul, womanizing playboy, best-selling author, reality-tv star, and much, much more. Any way you cut it, the man has been wildly successful in life. "I'm really rich," said Trump when he announced his presidential bid in June of this year. Now, the man who has everything is looking to trade it all in for a little more - the leadership of the western world.  

There are many things that make Trump stand out among the rest of the mediocre, half-witted drones seeking the Republican nomination. He doesn't have to play by the same rules they do; he doesn't have to worry about maintaining a certain image; he is free to speak his mind; he has far more executive experience and life accomplishments under his belt; and, most importantly, he is a helluva lot smarter than anyone opposing him (though that's not saying much). These realities combine to nullify any negative effects that would ordinarily stem from the ostentatious billionaire's propensity for making outlandish and bombastic displays of public absurdity on a regular basis; and that is very dangerous to his opponents, as well as to the existing political establishment as a whole.

Another distinguishing characteristic about the Donald is that he harbors none of the ridiculous and hysterical Russophobia, which of course is a hallmark of every other Republican candidate. Trump has never spoken harshly about Putin; and there is good reason for this: He likes him. Or if he doesn't like him outright, at minimum, he admires and/or respects him.

If this is suprising, it shouldn't be. For a man who wrote a book entitled Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life, the big-thinking, ass-kicking Vladimir Putin is an obvious source of admiration. No national leader makes world-changing mega deals with greater frequency than Mr. Putin, and he would seem to be a natural partner for a coldly-pragmatic global dealmaker like Trump.    

One need look no further than the Donald's first post-announcement interview with Bill O'Reilly to see how he views a potential relationship with the Russian president.

O'Reilly: Putin. What do you do to Putin?

Trump: Well, Putin has no respect for our president whatsoever. He's got a tremendous popularity in Russia. They love what he's doing; they love what he represents. So we have a president who is look at him, the chemistry is so bad between those two people. I was over in Moscow two years ago, and I will tell you, you can get along with those people, and get along with them well. You can make deals with those people. Obama can't. He's not...

O'reilly: So you could make a deal with Putin to stop his expansion?

Trump: I would, I would be willing to bet I would have a great relationship with Putin. It's about leadership.

O'Reilly: Based on what?? You're two macho guys? I mean, you know, come on.

Trump: Based on - no, no, no. Based on - a feel. Ok? You know, deals are people. I make a lot of...

O'Reilly: You sound like George W. Bush. He, he looked into his soul and said he was a good guy. Come on.

Trump: Bush, Bush didn't have the IQ. Look, let me just tell you...

O'Reilly: You know what I'm picking up from this? You'd buy Putin. You'd buy him off.

Trump: I wouldn't buy him. I wouldn't buy him at all. I would be able to get along, in my opinion, with Putin. Now it's possible not; I'm not saying 100%, but I think I would have a very good relationship with Putin. And I tell you what: it's actually important for this country to do that. You can't have everybody hating you. The whole world hates us. And one of the things that I heard for years and years: Never drive Russia and China together; and Obama has done that. 

If Donald Trump - who despite his current lead in the polls, is still a longshot - manages to win the presidency, it would almost certainly spell an end to the absurd sanctioning and 'isolation' of Russia by the West. The reason? They're bad for business. First, foremost, and above all, Donald Trump is a businessman - an entirely practical negotiator and dealmaker. As president, it is entirely likely that he would scrap the insane anti-Russia policies pursued by the incompetent Obama administration and usher in a new era of mutual cooperation. Could we expect anything less from the man behind The Art of the Deal?


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