Trump And Putin-- An Authoritarian Love Fest! We're NOT SURPRISED!

So Vladimir Putin said some nice things about Donald Trump the other day. He hasn't said anything that anyone else wouldn't say about Trump: brilliant, flamboyant, lively, colorful--- Say what you want about the Donald, but those adjectives are all true. Whether you believe in his policies or not, Trump is smart, quick witted and knows how to appeal to a crowd. He acknowledged the compliments today, another smart move, calling it a "great honor".

It's no surprise the two men admire each other and it's not because of their backgrounds. Trump grew up in a rich household and went to private schools, while Putin came from more humble beginnings, as the son of a factory worker and Navy man. Trump embodies almost everything about capitalism, while Putin worked his way up the ranks through the Soviet State apparatus. So what makes these two engage in such a love fest?

One word: Authoritarianism.

Both love the idea of strong, centralized leadership (as long as the leader is them, of course). There's been a lot of bad press on Putin recently in the U.S. and most of its undeserved. The ex-KGB agent, Putin, is no choir boy to be sure, but he is not the next coming of Stalin, as some reporters might have you believe.

Understand that after the Soviet Union fell, there was a crazy cash and resource grab that drunken Boris Yeltsin let happen and the U.S. government encouraged. Corruption was rampant and had it gone completely unchecked, the world might've seen the collapse of the Soviet Union followed by the collapse of several nation-states, including Russia. This not something we want to have happen when there are nuclear silos aimed at the U.S. all over it.

Putin rose to power to stop the tide of corruption and to a large extent, he did. Now, does that mean he created a perfect Republic, free from corruption, tyranny and micro-aggressions? Hardly. Putin cobbled together the Russian state so it would function again. It was more about self-preservation than anything else. I mean, if you were in his situation, would you rather live in the current Russia or a version of Russia where the leader is beholden to American interests and crony capitalists run amok. But to put the oligarchs in their place, Putin used some strong arm tactics. There was probably no other way to do it. And with the U.S. rolling NATO and missile defense systems up to their doorstep, it was time to get Russia's shit together sooner rather than later.

Trump, on the other hand, comes to his authoritarian position from the opposite way. The U.S. is hardly an economic basketcase (yet), but we have overextended ourselves in the Middle East and abroad in general. While Putin's authoritarianism was mostly to hold onto what he had, Trump's authoritarianism would actually do the opposite. It would probably spread the War on the Terror, destroy civil liberties and further destabilize the economy. Ironically, Putin's Russia stays further away from the Soviet-style foreign policy, while the current U.S. policy drifts ever closer. That's the folly of Empire.

In Russia, authoritarianism was actually a step up from the chaos and corruption of the Yeltsin years. In the U.S., we need a return to the 90's policies and further back even. We need more freedom, not less. And while Trump does make a few good points regarding minding our own business, he (like many of the arrogant political elites) thinks he can temporarily grab some extra power to solve things and be done.

Unfortunately, power doesn't work that way. Only George Washington gave up power. The United States desperately needs fewer laws, fewer policies and fewer to no entangling alliances abroad. Hopefully, Trump might figure that out if he becomes president. After all, I hear from a reliable source that he's a brilliant guy.