Thread: USA viewed as 'client state' under political and economic control of Russia.

Already it's exhibiting characteristics of a "post-socialist' / "2nd world" country.

Some characteristics of the worst-off of them? Let a Southeast Asia wonk note some similarities! [1/20]
1. "State Capture:" consolidation of one-party rule under a pretense of multiparty democracy.

(Russian interference on behalf of Trump, Repub gerrymandering, voter 'fraud' laws to suppress Dem turnout.)
[2/20]
2. Complete repudiation of prior political regime.

(Trump's zeal to undo all Obama administration achievements i.e Iran Deal, Affordable Care Act) [3/20]
3. Regulatory capture: appointed state regulators are frequently the biggest crooks in the area they exercise oversight for, or... quickly become so.

(#ScottPruitt, #RyanZinke, #BetsyDevos, etc.) [4/20]
4. Elite of ruling party flout existing transparency mechanisms/norms, and actively work to suppress them.

(Consistent failure of Trump to file income tax returns. Kushner's repeated omissions on security clearance. Pruitt's secret meetings with industry reps.) [5/20]
5. Resurgence and (political exploitation) of religious conservatism

(Anti-Muslim hysteria, '#MuslimBan' push to criminalize abortion) [6/20]
6. Appointment of family as top political aides / successors.

(Jared, Ivanka. This would have sunk Trump if announced in 2015.) [7/20]
7. Erasure of divisions between personal wealth and political motive.

(#Emoluments: Mar-a-Lago as 'Winter White House', Trump's continued promotion of his properties) [8/20]
8. Powerful economic interests / oligarchs directly write and submit laws that benefit their interests.

(#NRA 'dark money' Treasury Department decision) [9/20]
9. Deference/obedience of judicial appointees to appointing official(s).

(SCOTUS nominee #Kavanaugh certainly had a talk similar to the 'I want loyalty' Comey discussion.) [10/20]
10. Paper / Media 'Of Record' is State owned/run and unabashedly supportive of the ruling party.

(Fox News - not owned by Trump but by comrades. Ailes was campaign advisor.) [11/20]
11. Rumors are 'flipped' by State Media into news stories, which are then used as objective facts to smear/suppress opponents.

(Fox News) [12/20]
12. Executive openly abuses women, appoints abusers to power, rolls back socialist-era goals/laws on gender equality. Oligarchs threaten female stars / celebrities into coercive relationships.

(Roger Ailes, Cohen's hush money payments.) [13/20]
13. Ruling elite is insulated from public by bodyguards, state security, wealth

(Bogus 'Civility' debate, Scott Pruitt's 1st class plane trips) [14/20]
Next up: Thought you were outraged? They're just getting started. [15/20]
14: 'Asset stripping': expropriation / sale of natural resources / land at bargain prices to cronies

(Dana Rohrabacher has suggested returning Alaska to Russia. After Helsinki, are you surprised anymore?) [16/20]

15. Use of elections as a means to draw out and suppress political opposition.

(Let's see what happens to figurehead .@Ocasio2018. Fingers crossed.) [17/20]
16. "Absolute power, absolute control." Power (as exercised) is not derived from the will of the people manifested in elected officials: it reverts direction and flows upward to consolidate with Executive Branch/leader. [18/20]
17. Exaltation of military prowess, exercise of military power to distract population as well as accomplish elite goals.

(Iran war? Russia would like that.) [19/20]
18. Relegation of minority group / non majority ethnicity as scapegoat for social issues. (Manufactured migrant crisis when illegal migration is at historic low (Happening now and will accelerate. I should have started with this.)) [20/20]
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