Russian Mafia Links to Don Corleone Trump

Don Corleone Trump

Stuart Lyle

What if Russian interference in the US elections really is not as cunning and sophisticated as it has been portrayed in the media?  And all the Facebook advertising and black ops were just blundering attempts to further the success of now-entrenched Russian kleptocracy?  That’s the thesis behind Masha Gessen’s recent article in The New Yorker:

The story is not that Putin is masterminding a vast and brilliant attack on Western democracy. The story, it appears, is that the Russian Mafia state is cultivating profit-yielding relationships with the aspiring Mafia boss of the U.S. and his band of crooks, subverting democratic institutions in the process.

Gessen pooh-poohs the idea that there is any grand strategy behind what the Russians have been doing.  She points to Bálint Magyar’s work on the advent of a “Mafia State” in Hungary under ostensibly democratically elected Victor Orbán.  His book, Post-Communist Mafia State is published by the Central European University – the school that Orbán has worked successfully to drive out of Hungary.

Gessen’s main point is that if you are looking for the standard political logic behind Russian interference, you are wasting your time.  The only logic that fits is mafia logic: if it is profitable and enhances the status of the boss, then it is worth it, whether or not it is something good for the state.

It is a grim view of Russian from an insider.  And a sobering view of the current White House occupant as someone who jealously covets the loyal machinery that his Russian counterpart commands.  And not just Russian, but strongmen the world over, including criminals like Duarte in the Philippines and Kim Jong Un in North Korea.

3 thoughts on “Russian Mafia Links to Don Corleone Trump

  1. Social media are awash in all kinds of mis- and dis-information seeking to further political ideologies. This has been going on for a long, long time and Mark Zuckerberg appears to be conveniently “helpless” to crack down on it, despite making occasional noises to that effect. It would take a small army of computer forensics detectives to pin down the geographical origin points of these social media posts. Personally, I am not concerned with what this or that foreign government or foreign private individuals posted trying to influence our 2016 elections. We need look no farther than the Electoral College to find what’s responsible for Trump’s very unexpected (including by himself, apparently!) victory at the ballot box. You see, some folks get to cast more than one vote, in essence, a vote-and-a-fraction if you will. As I understand it, the Electoral College was established to try to give the small farmers in the “younger” territories of the nation (out west) a chance to counter the power of the “elites”–the bankers and the businessmen–concentrated on the eastern seaboard. (Let us not forget that the leading lights of the nascent USA were the large landowners in places like Virginia and Maryland, their fields tended by slave labor. Brilliant intellects, but they were no friends of the common folk.) So I maintain that we are saddled with Donald J. Trump because the votes of yahoos in states like Montana, Wyoming and Idaho OUTWEIGHED the popular vote which favored Madam Clinton. Trump required no assistance from Russia or any other foreign entity. Come on, prove me wrong, somebody!

    • You’re not wrong about the significance of the antiquated EC, Greg. But democratic republics are operating in an environment rife with opportunity for misinformation influence.

      Given the outcome of the 2000 US election, where ~ 800 votes (and a hasty USSC decision) delivered the eventual Oval Office proposal — and tragic motivated reasoning bipartisan Congressional support of same — less than two years later for an invasion of Iraq, and siphoning of 2016 Hilary votes by non-conservatives, who either wasted ballots on Green Pary candidates or stayed home in a fit of Bernie-got-fucked-by-the-DNC-and-now-I’ll-show-them! pique greatly accelerated by social media manipulators, many of them operating (with intrusive foreign governmental sanction) from pc’s located outside CONUS, and the effects of both of the above exponentially exacerbated by all that has occurred with information media over the prior going-on-four decades …

      … I can’t discount the potential of on-going harm to the US elections process — and the concommitant threat posed to the liberal democracy project — resulting from extremely marginal “third party” Presidential candidacies, and/or cyber malice from any number of sources.

      • First, I state for the record that I voted for Jill Stein. That did not prevent Clinton from winning my state. As long as we remain mired in the mindset that we “have to” vote for one of the main parties, there will be no real movement toward change. Here’s something missing thus far from this discussion: voter suppression. Do we really live in a “democratic republic” if local officials can get away with disqualifying tens of thousands of potential voters for such “chickenshit” (as we would have said in the Army back in the day) reasons as a minor typographical error in how a name is entered on the rolls? Or a criminal conviction from years before, regardless of a person living a “straight” life in the intervening years? Other issues: 1.) States that use a “winner takes all” approach to awarding Electoral College votes, rather than doing it proportional to the actual votes cast [make no mistake, though: I want the EC abolished, not reformed]; 2.) the use of Super Delegates to rig the nominating process within a party. This last issue is one for the Democratic Party to clean up internally. I have no say in the matter.

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