‘Russian Trumpism’ includes two different, even contradictory, strains, Smagin says

A painting of Trump, Putin and French far-right leader Marine Le Pen prominently displayed at a Trump party in Moscow hosted by Kremlin functionaries to celebrate his election as US president, which was facilitated by Russia's covert meddling. Russia's meddling in French elections six month later to help Le Pen backfired and she lost to Emmanuel Macron. November 2016, Moscow, Russia (Image: mogaznews.com)

A painting of Trump, Putin and French far-right leader Marine Le Pen prominently displayed at a Trump party in Moscow hosted by Kremlin functionaries to celebrate his election as US president, which was facilitated by Russia's covert meddling. Meanwhile, Russia's meddling in French elections six month later to help Le Pen backfired and she lost to Emmanuel Macron. November 2016, Moscow, Russia (Image: mogaznews.com) 

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There are two very different strains in “Russian Trumpism” today which sometimes coincide and appear to be formally the same but sometimes are based on ideas that contradict one another, according to Stanislav Smagin; and this is one of the key reasons why the phenomenon appears so inconsistent and changeable.

In a lengthy post on the APN portal today, the conservative Rostov-based commentator says that the first are the “sincere” Trumpists who were attracted to the US figure long before anyone thought he had a chance to win and the second are members of the political elite who see in the new US president someone they can take advantage of.

The first group includes Russian political analysts and commentators of the conservative-patriotic direction who were attracted to Trump from the outset because of his commitment in foreign affairs it pull back from US unilateralism and liberalism and because of his promises on domestic issues that they believed would ensure he lived up to his foreign policy promises.

A two-pound silver coin dedicated to Donald Trump minted in Russia for his inauguration. The back of the coins shows the Statue of Liberty against a background of the American flag with inscription reading, “In Trump We trust.” Note the spelling errors. (Image: Art Grani)

A two-pound silver coin dedicated to Donald Trump minted in Russia for his inauguration. The back of the coins shows the Statue of Liberty against a background of the American flag with inscription reading, “In Trump We trust.” Note the spelling errors. (Image: Art Grani)

These “Russian Trumpists,” Smagin continues, “calculated that the national-conservative domestic American perestroika Trump promised would have a positive impact internationally (and consequently also on Russia)” and lead other countries to follow the same course as Trump himself has called for.

Their views, the Rostov analyst argues, were in this respect at least quite similar to those of the European socialists ca. 1900 who “calculated that the world communist revolution must arise in the leading industrial-capitalist countries” and then spread to others even though things didn’t work out as they expected.

The other group of “Russian Trumpists,” which drew its members of the Russian ruling class and its agitprop arms, arose only near the end of the US presidential campaign and focused on the ways in which Trump would be less likely to behave as Hillary Clinton might and thus would be more willing to make deals on a pragmatic basis.

The key fact here, Smagin says, is that “the basic aspirations of [Russia’s] political beau monde were almost completely opposed to the aspirations let us say of the sincere Trumpists” because the political class wanted to interact and make deals while the sincere Trumpists wanted Russia to be left alone to its own devices.

For the “sincere Russian Trumpists,” the overly enthusiastic reaction of the latter-day Trumpists right after the election looked anything but justified because it was clearly “not the joy of ‘Hurrah, Now we are Stalin and can look forward to a new Yalta like with Roosevelt’ but rather that of ‘Hurrah, now we are not Saddam Slobodanovich Qaddafi.”

A Russian sugar manufacturer celebrated the election of Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America by putting his likeness on their products (Image: social media)

A Russian sugar manufacturer celebrated the election of Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America by putting his likeness on their products (Image: social media)

To be sure, Smagin says, both groups of Russian Trumpists understood to varying degrees that no American president is an entirely free actor but instead is part of a government and political system that imposes severe constraints on his activities; but the sincere Trumpists were less surprised by what that meant than were the official ones.

The US attack on the Shairat airbase in Syria in early April showed Trump’s “final capitulation between the liberal-globalist” elite or represented his own unpredictable approach to foreign affairs. Neither works to Russia’s advantage and both Russian Trumpists need to stop living with the illusions that he could be a puppet.

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In the wake of the Shairat attack, Smagin says, “the ‘sincere’ Trumpists” were disappointed but less in the American president than in the American system. The official “Trumpists” simply recognized that they would have to toughen their positions and interact with Trump as they would with any leader of a powerful foreign country.


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Edited by: A. N.

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Comments

  1. Avatar Mephisto says:

    Even if Russia gains no direct advantages from Trump, they have already won in their eyes. They performed a very effective subversive operation and planted this moron as POTUS. By his absolute stupidity, idiocy and incompetence, he has crippled the US and is spreading chaos, hate, divides society, isolates the US from its allies. I saw some Russian trolls commenting today that now the Americans have their “Gorbatchev” or “Yeltsin”. They see Gorbatchev as a traitor who destroyd the great CCCP empire.

  2. Avatar Murf says:

    So far Trump has not done Russia to many favors.
    He has not changed the U.S. Position on Ukraine.
    He is encouraging the increase in oil production undercutting the production cuts by OPEC and Russia.
    He is also increasing US defence spending and brow beating Europe to do the same, successfully.
    What’s more he just wrapped up an arms deal that is bigger then the entire Russian defence budget.
    It’s clear he will deal with Putin rom a position of strength.
    If Trump does get impeached, VP Pence takes over and he thinks less of Putin then McCain does.

    1. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

      Trump is STILL, it appears … trying to “sell Ukraine” to Putin …. as he told Lavrov, he doesn’t care at all for Ukraine but is aware of the critics… (so fat).

      The so-called “back channel” — to RUSSIA —- USING **RUSSIAN** COMMUNICATIONS with his SCUMBAG son-in-law …. who “FORGOT” to mention Ruski contacts … as they ALL “FORGOT” to! ;))))

      MOST of the nuke components & ICBMs …. of the Soviet Union — were Ukr. made….. Hmm….

      You do NOT hear much at all about Ukr. …. it’s **ALL** about the (ALWAYS!!)
      the BS Middle East per msm …. Hmm…. wonder why? 😉

      1. Avatar Murf says:

        Well he said he was not worried about Ukraine.
        That canbe taken 2 ways.
        1) Ukraine has recovered and doesn’t need as much monetary support.
        Military support either to be honest. Putin can’t take Ukraine now no matter how much the Trolls think he can. I don’t think even wants to with his finances so jacked up.
        2) Trump doesn’t in fact give a sh*t about Ukraine. Like I have said before McCain and the Congress do. He wanted to make military support in the form of loans congress voted 350 million in military aid for Ukraine.(to be fair he was also going to do take to other countries as well not just Ukraine)