In 1973, four bank employees were taken hostage by a couple of criminals in Stockholm, Sweden. By the time the hostages were freed, they had bonded with their captors who, during the six-day standoff with law enforcement, held their captives’ lives in their hands. Since that time, the morphing of fear into dependency and gratitude towards captors who spare hostages’ lives has been known as the Stockholm Syndrome.
Thus, the title of this piece. While Putin doesn’t literally hold Trump’s life in his hands, he holds powerful purse strings—in other words, money—which Trump apparently values as much as life itself. The man loves money. That much we know. And Trump seems to love the Russian who has taken him hostage.
What we don’t know is what Trump fears. Putin, yes. But what, specifically? And what’s the potential pay-off—or punishment—that turns the insult-spewing U.S. leader into the fawning acolyte of the Russian autocrat?
Unfortunately, the hostage-taking doesn’t end there. Cowardly, prevaricating, selfish, inarticulate, and totally lacking in class, Trump long ago made hostages of Mitch McConnell and a large swath of the GOP.
The result, of course, the last obvious victims in this round of hostage taking are the 800,000 federal workers who now stand to lose homes and health at the hands of the government they serve.
Meanwhile, Republicans are paralyzed. While 800,000 government workers get no paychecks, Republican lawmakers, having fallen under the mysterious TrumPutin spell, do nothing.
Already hostage to Trump’s gratuitous cruelty, thousands of migrants remain in limbo, unknown numbers of their children apparently lost in what passes as a “system.” Struggling, low-income families are denied the vital resources needed to sustain children’s nutrition and meet their health care needs. Law enforcement, criminal justice, air safety all are threatened. Administration “spokespersons” make fools of themselves on national TV. The administration has become a bad joke, the fevered dream of a Grade B moviemaker’s nightmare.
TrumPutin, if you’re listening, quit wasting our time and money, put a lid on the rhetoric, open up the government we’ve all paid for, and get to work. Solve problems. Don't create them.
TrumPutin, the GOP and the Stockholm Syndrome _______________________________________________________________
Thoughts for Our Time
“Conservatism discards Prescription, shrinks from Principle, disavows Progress; having rejected all respect for antiquity, it offers no redress for the present, and makes no preparation for the future.”