Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Russians taking us over was once a college joke





     Growing up in the 1970s, I often heard Ohioans mutter darkly about the Russians "taking us over." Which, even as a green Buckeye bean, struck me as insane. The United States was so big and powerful. What were the Russians going to do, occupy us?
     A reminder that Donald Trump didn't invent projecting your own flaws onto others. We feared and hated the Soviets as aggressors, even though we were the ones who tried to strangle them in the cradle. How many Americans know that, in late 1918, U.S. Army Gen. John J. Pershing invaded Siberia with 5,000 American soldiers? A daft attempt to overthrow the Russian Revolution. Of course they'd be suspicious of us after that. We were indeed out to get them, and had already tried once.
     How our country, so fearful of Russia, could turn around in 2016 and unilaterally surrender to Moscow, is a mystery. How could it elect this panting fanboy of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin? Then nod grinning as people do in nightmares, as he staffs his Cabinet with Russian flunkies like Putin pal, wearer of the Russian "Order of Friendship" and our next secretary of state, apparently, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson.      

     This is the stuff of jokes, of bad undergraduate humor. Junior year of college I wrote a brief graphic novel for the school humor magazine called "Let's Capitulate to the Russians," illustrated by future New Yorker cartoonist Robert Leighton.
     In it, the United States preemptively surrenders to the Reds. Suddenly the culture that can't produce a toaster that anyone would buy except at the point of a bayonet finds itself masters of what was once America. 


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4 comments:

  1. Interesting about the Siberian expedition but there's no use panicking at this point.

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  2. In an effort to bolster your assertion that "the American people don't care," I resort to a rough statistical analysis of the recent election: a little over 1/2 of the electorate voted; of those a little less than 1/2 of those voted thoughtlessly (my unverified opinion of course) for a completely unqualified candidate. So by my figures, 3/4 of the population of the United States didn't care enough to weigh the issues, to consider the qualifications, and to go out and cast a thoughtful vote. I figure if Russia did take over and someone missed it on the 10 O'Clock news, he/she wouldn't even notice. Oh! Sorry, I guess that's my elitism talking. We don't need no stinking qualifications here in the good old US of A. If God didn't want the country to be run (or run down) by a self proclaimed ego mad idiot, He would have let us know by now. If I were Donald Trump, I would stay inside on inauguration day, should there be angry black clouds brewing up a thunder storm.

    john

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  3. My paternal great uncle was in the 339th infantry regiment during World War I. As my fervent anti-Communist grandfather would proudly say, his brother fought the Bolsheviks. The chances of Russia being able to take over the United States in any economic sense is virtually nil. Their CEOs are notorious for stealing anything not nailed down for themselves, which makes it difficult to impossible for a company to grow or provide return on capital to investors. At least for now The United States maintains some semblance of rule of law. Corrupt people like Conrad Black, Jeff Skilling, and Jordan Belfort get convicted and serve time. At worse Russia may exert a yuge influence on Trump's foreign policy.

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  4. The precedent for Trump IMO is Jesse Ventura in Minnesota and Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. Both supremely unqualified entertainers who were elected solely because they were entertaining. Apparently the electorate wants amusement value, not competence, from its officials.

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