Survey: Is Putin Being Used as a Nail in Trump's Coffin?

Trump's idea to seek normalized relations with Russia seems alarming to many

Donald Trump's presidential campaign has gotten into deep trouble over Putin. It started off last year when his comments about Putin and Russia began making news.

On September 16, 2015, The Hill ran the headline, "Trump: 'I would get along with Putin.'" The article quoted Trump saying "I would talk to him, I would get along with him…. I may be wrong, in which case I'd probably have to take a different path."

To me this sounds like an intention to approach relations with an open mind. And if evidence arises that "getting along" is not a good idea, he would be ready to change course. What's wrong with that? It's a policy I'd admire if Hillary Clinton embraced it too.

It seems like a fresh approach to US-Russia relations. They've lamentably sunk to the bottom, largely based on malicious allegations and conclusions for which no one has ever offered reliable evidence.

I won't recount here all the specious accusations, but I've observed a common pattern to them. The allegations generally rely upon a premise about Putin. That premise in turn relies upon the conclusion for the premise to be believed. It's trick reasoning. But most people are falling for the trick. This has been going on for years.

Trump's goal of improving international relations doesn't involve just Russia. He said, "I would get along with a lot of the world leaders that this country is not getting along with." On other occasions he specifically called out China, too. But oddly it has been his reference to Putin and Russia that uniquely has captured the headlines.

The Trump-Putin story really exploded in July. That's when information leaked out showing that the Democratic National Committee had apparently rigged the presidential primary process to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

But instead of media attention focusing on the rigging, the big story turned out to be the as-yet-unsupported allegation that Russia was behind the leaked information. Doesn't this sound like the old "blame the messenger" ploy? This was another trick that worked.

Now things have deteriorated to the extent that Trump is accused of being Putin's puppet. A scary August 8 Daily Kos headline asserted, "Putin's Puppet Donald Trump, Deranged, Impulsive, Narcissistic and Angry, Seeks Nuclear Codes."

The Trump-Putin news has frankly degenerated into a scandal-sheet story that's being promoted by America's most respected news outlets. In July the New York Times asked, "Is Trump Obsessed with Putin and Russia?"

Some outlets even offer innuendo-laced validation that Trump is under Putin's thumb. The Hill ran an August 15 story: "Ivanka Trump vacationing with Putin’s rumored girlfriend." The Blaze reported, "Internet Explodes after Ivanka Trump Posts Vacation Pic with Vladimir Putin's Reported Girlfriend."

How is Trump combating the disingenuous tar-and-feathering he's taking over the Putin issue? Astonishingly, he's not. At least he's not doing anything that effectively protects him from the malicious attacks.

Ironically, that mode of inaction is something that Trump and Putin really do have in common. Putin hasn't protected his reputation either. Yet the impact of these formidable assaults on the truth continues unabatedly.

Putin has never figured out a way to effectively combat the abject defamation he's been subjected to since he first became president. I have personal knowledge that he was offered skilled help in turning things around. But he didn't accept the help. 

The result? In the US Putin is now generally regarded as a ruthless dictator who poses a threat to the world at large. That's why those who impute a close Trump-Putin association are succeeding so well at misleading the public.

The specious stories reinforce preexisting beliefs, although those beliefs typically have no factual basis. The cumulative result is to confound and confuse America's presidential election discourse.

What can and what should Trump be doing to respond to the trumped-up charges that he is Putin's lackey? That he's being used by Putin to weaken America?

His campaign seems clueless on what can be done.

What do you think about this?

What kind of actions should Trump's campaign be taking? What might have a realistic chance of disrupting the widespread suspicions and beliefs that are thwarting an honest and democratic election process?

Please post your ideas below.

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