Sadly, a Happy Birthday for Vladimir

Dear President Trump,

If you want to send your BFF, Vladimir, an early birthday present (he turns 67 on October 7th), you could simply forward him the HP Highline piece by Samanth Subramanian (complete with awesome illustrations by Zach Meyer) entitled “What if the World Treated the U.S. Like a Rogue State?” You might want to include a little note with a winky smiley face, but that would be completely optional. He knows full well that you know that his 2016 assist is paying out higher dividends than he could have hoped for in his wildest dreams – you’ve done an absolutely terrific job of f*cking us and the rest of the Western world over. He must be over the top giddy right now. You should get on this quickly, though, because I’m sure hundreds of people who want to curry favor with him will be sending along this article to him in the next 24 hours.

The piece doesn’t address the impeachment business and doesn’t really touch on our internal combustion – Subramanian just focuses on how the rest of the Western world is struggling to figure out what to do with us, how to sanction us, how to control us even a tiny bit since we are threatening the apparently quite fragile world order and have done so in what is really a nanosecond. One of the saddest parts of the article is where she correctly points out that other Western countries understand that a country that would allow someone like you to be President cannot be trusted even when someone like you is not currently in office. (Note: Subramanian talks about how European countries are playing out contingencies where you are re-elected and then Pence is elected next, which was a far more sickening and terrifying scenario than a sad one.) Western leaders get that until we really work out our shit we will lurch back and forth between administrations that want to cooperate and play fairly with the rest of the world and administrations peopled by greedy assholes who are in it for themselves and use “America First” rhetoric for cover. In other words, the rest of the free world gets that we are in deep, deep trouble and getting rid of you isn’t going to be the end of it.

And Vladimir gets this too. When exactly did he start his poking and prodding? When did he start laying his Internet traps, playing on our old, sick unhealed wounds to literally divide and conquer? Surely it was years (and years) before the run up to the 2016 election. Whatever the timing, it appears he is succeeding – the article didn’t get into how you got to power and exactly which country or countries stand to benefit from us going bat-shit rogue, but pictures of Vladimir smirking might as well have been the homepage wallpaper over which the article scrolled. In cultivating the fissures and manipulating and maneuvering other politicians into place (I don’t think McConnell got the moniker “Moscow Mitch” for nothing) Vladimir made a series of high stakes gambles (no doubt with an assist from your polling data) and now he is cashing in big time. He and his peeps sussed out our weaknesses, exploited the crap out of them, installed a dashing, crashing idiot, sat back, and waited. And just in time for his 67th birthday there is a detailed article in a widely read US news outlet articulating how beautifully his scheme is working.

You’ve been played and in turn, we, and most of the rest of the world, have been screwed.

May we be safe from sick, power-crazed masterminds.
May we all be willing to look at and see the whole picture.
May we not allow you and Vladimir to permanently debilitate democracy.
May you not start a war.

Tracy Simpson

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