What people might want to remember today is that the US Justice Department has convicted the sitting president’s closest associates — including his attorney and his former election campaign manager — as criminals. They are sitting in prison for financial crimes. (The president’s lawyer, at least, tells us that US prison is exactly the right place for him to be — and that Donald Trump belongs there too.)
It is now dawning on more people that practically every member of the president’s cabinet is corrupted by: 1) his and his family’s administration of their own business (which seems routinely corrupt); and/or 2) the selfish world view that drives it.
In fending off the next global war, it should also be remembered that the current Republican administration’s Commerce Secretary was a major investor –and profiteer– in the principal bank that came to be favored by Russia’s friendly and well-living oligarchs. Trump & co. have never had a problem — they don’t even understand how it is a problem today — working with their wealthy Russian friends. For their part, the only global “crime” committed by these Russians has been in connecting (or selling out) to the West.
“So sue me,” shrugs Boris.
In its best manifestation, however, the US government-of-the-People not only refused to play by the so-called ‘rules’ of selfish private-interest — it enforced a rule of law restraining them from having too much power.
Making others sell out, of course, was a big goal of Western policy vis a vis the East during the entire Cold War. The problem now is this: That yesterday’s Western business deals have always been encased in the private-capitalist world of “dog eat dog” in which one survives (‘wins’) by eliminating (or buying) the competition. (For many, it was pretty much as bad as some old-time Soviet propaganda portrayed it.) In its best manifestations, however, the US government-of-the-People not only refused to play by the so-called ‘rules’ of selfish private-interest — it enforced a rule of law (including a widely accepted rule of global trade, as defined and enforced by the WTO). These rules and guidelines — and flat-out example — of that former, more noble United States were considerably more fair to all parties than the high-handed weirdness we are seeing today, what is currently being advanced by criminally culpable Republicans (and, yes, too many Democrats too).
In my mind, the American Republicans (and their presidential administrations since 1980) have only themselves to blame for our current circumstances. In this case — and especially on this occasion of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, 30 years ago — it must be remembered that, while US President Ronald Reagan (1980-1988) seemed, at least, to relate on a substantial level to the genuine Eastern reformer Mikail Gorbachev, Reagan’s successor George H.W. Bush and his administration (notably Secretary of State James Baker) did not trust Gorbachev in the way Reagan had.
It must be said that Mikail Gorbachev undertook the work of a bold political pioneer for trying to inject more democratic freedom into Moscow governance. Bush and Baker, on the other hand, pushed old Cold War, fear-based thinking upon global capitalists — resulting in decisions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to withhold vital financial resources from Mikail Gorbachev. Gorbachev’s Russian administration badly needed these funds — essentially, Western bank loans — to pay workers in the former Soviet Union, in order to keep the whole thing afloat while the Russian government let go of its satellites and made some very difficult democratic pro-Western reforms.
How can it not have been some kind of cold, steel-heartedness that lay behind the Bush-Baker economic “diplomacy,” such as it was? These US policies virtually condemned Gorbachev and his allies to their retirement dachas (or worse) while ushering into power the fake-democratic (but “pro-business”) administration of Boris Yeltsin. (Practically everyone, East and West, agrees that Yeltsin welcomed the power of alcohol over his life, and ultimately succumbed to it.)
All this to say: Today we are witnessing the chickens of the always “pro-business” Republicans coming home to roost — and, unfortunately, they are roosting in our countless homes, all around the globe. God help us all.