Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Russia Is Gripped By President-elect Trump

Olga Zeveleva, Politico: Trump fever grips Russia

Watching the US elections in Moscow.

MOSCOW — As exit polls from the American presidential elections rolled in, I was making my way from London to a snow-covered Moscow to visit my grandmother. What I saw when I got there surprised me: Russia was gripped by election fever. The U.S. was entering a new era, and Moscow wanted to go along for the ride.

For three days I watched as state television covered the intricacies of the U.S. election as if the rest of the world was on hold. I talked to students who could not concentrate on anything but Donald Trump. Professors told me it had become impossible to teach their classes. Family members, not usually so opinionated, suddenly started using words like “racism” and “sexism.”

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WNU Editor: I can attest to this "Trump fever" in Russia. Once in a while I am a guest on a Russian radio station in Moscow where I talk about Canada- U.S. trends and news. On election night I went out, got back home, saw what was happening in the election, made a post on the election for this blog, and went to bed at around 1:00 AM. I got a call at 4:00 AM from the radio station's producer in Moscow if I wanted to go on the air ASAP to discuss what happened. I expected a short ten minute discussion .... and that's about it. I was wrong .... the station was deluged with phone calls, everyone was talking about the election, and I in turn found myself on the air for about 4 to 5 hours. The same the next day .... the same the next day after that. This is in sharp contrast from earlier this year, where little if anything was known about Donald Trump ... .and when I wanted to discuss the reason why Donald Trump was successful in winning the Republican primary .... this same Moscow radio station producer did not care. The times have certainly changed. I expect this "love affair" with President-elect Donald Trump will fade with time .... but for the moment he is in the limelight in the Russian public's eye.


Anonymous said...

They love their puppet.

B.Poster said...

If this is really the position of the Russians towards Mr. Trump, this is ridiculous!! Americans went gaga over the election of Barack Obama and many are still gaga over him even if they don't agree with all of his policies. This appears to go even beyond that.

If Donald Trump or any who voted for him think he can magically improve relations with Russia, they may be disappointed. So far the onus has always been on things like "America must do this." America must not do that" etc. For fruitful relations to be forged, compromises will need to be made on both sides.

Getting so excited over the leader of another country seems hardly a worthy pursuit for a country with the power and influence that Russia has. Furthermore the power of POTUS is extremely limited in the American political system. As such, he is not going to be able to improve relations with Russia all by himself.

With that said improved relations with Russia should be America's top foreign policy goal and it seems clear that the Russians preferred my Trump while abhorring Hillary. As such, this alone would have been reason enough to vote for Mr. Trump. At least wit him as POTUS along with a few advisors the Russians trust gives us a chance to improve relations. Nevertheless it may not work out and Americans need to be prepared to be disappointed and at that time appropriate measures, perhaps beginning now, will need to be taken to deploy our military forces properly to serve as a useful deterrent against Russia so they won't consider attacking us. This along with a few very obvious foreign policy changes such as lifting US sanctions against Russia should be helpful. while the western Europeans would not be expected to follow suit, this would be in our interests.

Again, it seems hardly becoming for a major world power like Russia to be so focused on the outcome of a presidential election in America. After all Russia was the most powerful military force in the world before Mr. Trump became POTUS elect and is still the most powerful country after his election. Now if someone is approved by the leaders of a country such as Russia this may afford an opportunity to forge constructive relations with them which would be a good thing.