You may have lost interest in our petty and tiresome presidential campaign long ago, but in Russia they seem to be paying attention. If statements from certain parties are to be believed, we are living a replay of the Cuban missile crisis, minus the PSAs urging you to tune to 640 or 1240 on the AM radio dial should A-bombs start falling.
Listen to Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a veteran Russian lawmaker: “Relations between Russia and the United States can’t get any worse. The only way they can get worse is if a war starts. Americans voting for president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary, it’s war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere.”
The remarks were made to a Reuters reporter, who threw in this caveat: “Many Russians regard Zhirinovsky as a clownish figure who makes outspoken statements to grab attention but he is also widely viewed as a faithful servant of Kremlin policy, sometimes used to float radical opinions to test public reaction.”
Clown or not, Zhirinovsky may be speaking for better-known Vladimir who is a major player on the world stage. He’s worth a listen, even as the U.S. media yawn: “[Trump] won’t care about Syria, Libya and Iraq and why on earth should America interfere in these countries? And Ukraine. Who needs Ukraine? Trump will have a brilliant chance to make relations more peaceful. … He’s the one who could do this.”
Zhirinovsky is an unabashed fan of Trump and claims to have once met him. He calls Clinton “an evil mother-in-law” and says he doesn’t think a woman should be elected U.S. president. “Most Americans should choose Trump because men have been leading for millions of years. You can’t take the risk of having one of the richest, most powerful countries led by a woman president.”
Hey, what about Germany’s Angela Merkel? (Oh, wait … bad example.)
Envisioning liberal heads exploding, Reuters notes that Zhirinovsky “likes to shock liberal public opinion and he has frequently heaped scorn on the West, which he and other Russian nationalists regard as decadent, hypocritical and corrupted by political correctness. His combative style, reminiscent of Trump’s, ensures him plenty of television airtime and millions of votes in Russian elections, often from the kind of blue-collar workers who are the bedrock of the U.S. Republican candidate’s support.”
Is the point of this story to influence the election? To support Trump? Or to discredit him and tie him to the Russians? All that really makes no difference. Similarly, stories about Putin ordering Russian students to return to the homeland from abroad and involving 40 million citizens in defense drills have gotten no traction on these shores.
This orange cat doesn’t know much, but he knows this: If you told a hard-core Hillary fan that their vote would bring the destruction of all humanity, they’d proudly vote for her anyway.