In his book “Bad Stories” Steve Almond writes about how American believed the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and that America won. Russia didn’t feel the same way. The Russians felt that neither side won because the Cold War wasn’t over. The continuing tension between American and Russia has proven the Russians right.
The Cold War was never a conflict between capitalism and communism, as the powers that be in American and Russia would have the people believe. It was a rivalry between two empires, like the face-off between the grand imperialists England and France a few hundred years ago.
Putin is in it for the long haul. Knowing that Russia can’t challenge America economically or militarily, he’s content to sit back and watch America decline.
A friend has a brother who grew up in Sweden and visits him occasionally in Everett. On his last visit, I asked Neel what the Swedish people though of America these days. Without hesitation he replied that they thought America was in decline.
It’s pretty obvious, with the deterioration of our democratic institutions, the ever-widening wealth gap and the relentless militarization. Only the few elements that are doing well, like the military and the 1 percent and blind patriotism, would disagree.
If Putin interfered with the 2016 election to help Trump win, it wasn’t to get a good deal from President Trump; it was to help along the decline of America.