Spilt milk — but still.
Watching “The Death of Stalin,” newly released in American theaters and banned in Russia — gripping and funny and wonderfully done — one is reminded that at the end of the day, countries are governed by people.
Petty, selfish, small, easily frightened, easily misled, quick to take offense — and all the other things people are. (In the category of “people” I reluctantly include myself.)
Most of us rise above our worst instincts most of the time and deserve a largely favorable assessment, as Trump assessed the Clintons in the two clips above.
Yet given some power or faced with stress — well, “The Death of Stalin” takes place in 1953, but sharp-eyed viewers may see some relevance to today.
Picture Trump and Mnuchin and Sara Huckabee Sanders and, now, John Bolton, in a movie of their own. Zinke riding in on his horse. Pruitt flying with 20 security guards to Morocco at taxpayer expense to help Carl Icahn make more money with liquefied natural gas (isn’t that what the EPA administrator is supposed to do)? And Pence! Shouldn’t he be in here someplace? Scaramucci? The President’s doctor? Stephen (“the President’s power will not be questioned”) Miller?
Instead of Vasily and Svetlana, you’d have Ivanka, Eric, and Donald, Jr.
If only we weren’t being forced to watch.
One might think history is all about huge institutional forces. Nations versus nations. But how much of it is just individuals feeling disrespected and lashing out to get even?
If Obama had not so publicly humiliated Trump at the White House correspondents’ dinner, would Trump even have run? If Hillary had not called out Putin as she did, would Trump have won? Would Putin have worked so hard to defeat her?
Have a great weekend.
Quote of the Day
A veteran Massachusetts politician not so long ago was horrified at the conduct of a less savvy colleague who was indicted for bribery: 'Imagine taking money from a stranger.'~Wall Street Journal, 10/14/93
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