Personalities I’d prefer not to pay attention to

Imperialism

Russia


Fig. 1. Historic Russian empire, from the New York Times, possibly March 6, 2014, fair use.[1]

I try to avoid focusing on personalities. Sometimes, as with Donald Trump, that’s impossible. Yevgeny Prigozhin, too, compelled my attention with his brazen mutiny.

And so, I mostly have not paid much attention to Alexey Navalny. I understand he was no friend to Ukraine. But I would be taking this too far to let his death pass without notice.

Julia Ioffe, “The Tragedy of Navalny,” Puck, February 19, 2024, https://puck.news/the-tragedy-of-navalny/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump


Fig. 2. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, via Mediaite,[2] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[3]

Were you expecting anything else?

[Donald] Trump, who has a long history of praising [Vladimir] Putin, went days without publicly mentioning [Alexey] Navalny and spoke for about an hour and a half at a campaign rally in Michigan over the weekend without weighing in on he opposition leader’s death. When asked in the hours after news of Navalny’s death broke if Trump had a response, his campaign pointed CNN to a post by Trump on Truth Social that bashed [Joe] Biden and claimed, “America is no longer respected,” but did not mention Navalny or Putin.

The first time Trump mentioned Navalny’s name in the wake of his death was when he shared a piece by the tippinsights editorial board on Sunday with the headline “Biden:Trump::Putin:Navalny,” that baselessly claimed there are “some parallels between how the Biden administration is targeting the former president of the United States and how President Putin went after his arch-nemesis.” . . .

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” former Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney — a leading critic of the former president — said Sunday she believes “the issue this election cycle is making sure that the Putin-wing of the Republican Party does not take over the West Wing of the White House.”[4]

Peter Baker, “Poll Ranks Biden as 14th-Best President, With Trump Last,” New York Times, February 18, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/18/us/politics/biden-trump-presidential-rankings.html

Kate Sullivan, “Trump avoids condemning Russia for Navalny’s death,” Cable News Network, February 19, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/02/19/politics/trump-navalny-death-response/index.html


Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden


Fig. 3. Joe Biden and Pope Francis, unknown photographer, April 29, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Joe Biden apparently earns credit in presidential rankings for evicting Donald Trump, named the worst president in U.S. history, from the White House.[5]

Indeed, Mr. [Joe] Biden may owe his place in the top third in part to Mr. [Donald] Trump. Although he has claims to a historical legacy by managing the end of the Covid pandemic; rebuilding the nation’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure; and leading an international coalition against Russian aggression, Mr. Biden’s signature accomplishment, according to the historians, was evicting Mr. Trump from the Oval Office.[6]

So what happens if Biden loses this November? Where will he rank then?

Walker Bragman, “Analysis: The Age of Biden,” Opt-Out, February 17, 2024, https://www.optout.news/newsletters/biden-and-the-media

Peter Baker, “Poll Ranks Biden as 14th-Best President, With Trump Last,” New York Times, February 18, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/18/us/politics/biden-trump-presidential-rankings.html


  1. [1]New York Times, “Ukraine Crisis in Maps,” n.d., http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/02/27/world/europe/ukraine-divisions-crimea.html
  2. [2]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/
  3. [3]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-04-04/donald-trump-alleged-hush-money-investigation-indictment-arraignment
  4. [4]Kate Sullivan, “Trump avoids condemning Russia for Navalny’s death,” Cable News Network, February 19, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/02/19/politics/trump-navalny-death-response/index.html
  5. [5]Peter Baker, “Poll Ranks Biden as 14th-Best President, With Trump Last,” New York Times, February 18, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/18/us/politics/biden-trump-presidential-rankings.html
  6. [6]Peter Baker, “Poll Ranks Biden as 14th-Best President, With Trump Last,” New York Times, February 18, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/18/us/politics/biden-trump-presidential-rankings.html

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