To the editor:

Putin has won Cold War II, already. And we have lost.

Opportunistically applying the all-too-Russian techniques of deception, disinformation, bribery, graft and naked corruption to our political system, he achieved the amazing feat of the enfeebling and disabling his chief adversary, the United States, at practically no cost, and set this bulwark of Western constitutional government on the road of ultimate dismemberment, ultimately turning it into a mirror of his own failed state, more particularly Russia circa 1993, when the vultures (soon-to-be-oligarchs) were flocking over the carcass of the Soviet Union.

No doubt, he was bemused by how successful he had been in turning America totally inside out: where truckers and factory workers listen in thrall every day to private school frat boy pundits telling them about “Real America.” Or about how easy it is to launder a few million dollars of “free speech” into campaign slush funds.

(Fun fact: Russia’s entire GDP is the same size as that of Texas!)

However, it’s the point above, dismemberment, which I wish to talk about here. Phase II of this campaign involved privatizing, or, more precisely, profitizing this country’s major civil enterprises (known only in Foxland as “The Administrative State”); the post office, Department of Education (bought by Betsy DeVos), Social Security and pension systems, public health systems like Medicare and Medicaid, even the National Weather Service.

These entities, which we the people, the citizens of the United States, had always jointly owned, were already in danger of being transformed, that is to say, sold off for a pittance, to a group of oligarchs in waiting, or rather, cronies.

Two obvious candidates: DeVos for Department of Education, and AccuWeather’s founder Barry Myers, who was picked to run NOAA. Perhaps the post office to a combined FedEx/UPS?

And the Federal Bureau of Prisons? Sold and profitized – administered by Stephen Miller, and facilities run by no less than Betsy’s brother Erik Prince of Blackwater (now Academi) fame. Huge new profit center! Permanent detention camps for Democrat traitors!

Wilbur Ross, Mnuchin and Mulvaney had conspired to divvy up the rest? Unknown.

One thing Putin didn’t need to implement: “The Ministry of Truth,” to manage the public sentiment. We’ve had already had one since 1996, and it’s been going full steam since. It’s always good to have Rupert doing your bidding, spreading your dezinformatsiya. You couldn’t possibly do better.

The central point is, our new “owners” now enjoy guaranteed profits at taxpayer expense, with little if any accountability. We have no recourse, or any say at all. The glue of civil government has now fractured permanently, leaving the nation even more fragmented than it was before.

This possibility alone explained the fanatical fervor of the president’s defenders. They wanted in on the kill.

Have another shot of vodka. You’re going to need it, badly.

Lawrence B. Nile

Newburyport

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