Posts Tagged ‘lithuania’
The above wall, this photo taken by the Associated Press’ Mindaugas Kulbis, has gone viral. This is a fantastic image that gets right down to the fundamental similarities between Russia’s actual and America’s potential leaders. Timothy Snyder’s NYR Daily post of last month goes into detail about this odd couple, and what attracts them to each other.
It is not hard to see why Trump might choose Putin as his fantasy friend. Putin is the real world version of the person Trump pretends to be on television. Trump’s financial success (such as it is) has been as a New York real estate speculator, a world of private deal-making that can seem rough and tough—until you compare it to the Russia of the 1990s that ultimately produced the Putin regime. Trump presents himself as the maker of a financial empire who is willing to break all the rules, whereas that is what Putin in fact is. Thus far Trump can only verbally abuse his opponents at rallies, whereas Putin’s opponents are assassinated. Thus far Trump can only have his campaign manager rough up journalists he doesn’t like. In Russia some of the best journalists are in fact murdered.
President Putin, who is an intelligent and penetrating judge of men, especially men with masculinity issues, has quickly drawn the correct conclusion. In the past he has done well for himself by recruiting among politicians who exhibit greater vanity than decency, such as Silvio Berlusconi and Gerhard Schröder. The premise of Russian foreign policy to the West is that the rule of law is one big joke; the practice of Russian foreign policy is to find prominent people in the West who agree. Moscow has found such people throughout Europe; until the rise of Trump the idea of an American who would volunteer to be a Kremlin client would have seemed unlikely. Trump represents an unprecedented standard of American servility, and should therefore be cultivated as a future Russian client.
(Needling at least one homophobe is, I think, a bonus.)
Restaurant owner Dominykas Ceckauskas said Saturday the presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee and the Russian president both have huge egos “and they seem to get along pretty well.”
He said the image is “an ironic view of what can be expected.”
Local artist Mindaugas Bonanu created the wheat paste poster for the eatery in the capital Vilnius on Friday. It’s on the outside of the Keule Ruke restaurant— Lithuanian for “Smoking Pig” — along with the text “Make Everything Great Again” — a play on Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”
Ceckauskas said the poster was a nod to a 1979 photograph of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing East German ally Erich Honecker on the mouth — once a customary greeting between Socialist leaders. The iconic shot was later painted on the Berlin Wall.
The only downside that I can see is that, if Trump actually does get elected, Lithuania could be in for hard times. Offending two narcissists is risky enough when only one actually could have power over your country.