The Useful Idiot

“But your new shoes are worn at the heels and
Your suntan does rapidly peel and
Your wise men don’t know how it feels
To be thick as a brick..” — Ian Anderson

There have been suspicions of Russian assets within the United States since the Bolsheviks took over in Russia. Ed Harris’ character in A Beautiful Mind even says that Joseph McCarthy is an idiot, but it doesn’t make him wrong. Of course, the questions are how one becomes an asset, how are they used, and do they even know they are one?

Obviously, one man comes to mind when you tell this tale. Obviously, there are any number of scenarios that could play out for any reason. The two most common theories moving forward is that he lost financial leverage and is now owned by Russian interests. A man that files for bankruptcy multiple times obviously could get overextended and become a pawn in someone’s scheme.

What’s more likely is that he’s just a useful idiot. People that make their careers in intelligence and espionage have long been able to use someone that just doesn’t know any better for their own purposes. Either way, it is always enlightening to take a look back and determine how we got here in the first place.

Tucker Carlson asked a seemingly innocent question on his program when he asked why we are not on Russia’s side. We can examine that on a number of levels, but we should probably start with the facts on the ground. You have a sovereign nation that is being surrounded by a would be aggressor. The Russian tactics here are not subtle. They amount to the bully standing a few feet away from his next victim, pounding his fist into his hand. Maybe Ukraine has some lunch money they could fork over.

Yet, Carlson called the Ukraine president a dictator. Who knows? I suppose anything is possible. It is impossible to look at this specific situation and come to that conclusion honestly. Maybe Carlson is referring to something else and just asserting this without showing his work. That’s always possible I suppose. However, the simplest explanation is usually the most plausible one.

Conservatives used to be anti-Russia. You could set your watch to their rhetoric on the subject. You could not be a Republican of any renown and be pro-Russia. They would have drummed you out of the party. That has all turned on its ear and it started with Trump’s love affair with Vladimir Putin and his double speak about how tough he was on Russia. Now, Carlson is joining in the fun.

Carlson’s denials are lukewarm at best. It is fair to ask whether we should care about Russia or Ukraine but that would be the argument of an isolationist. Such an argument would demand we pull out of all of our foreign ports of call. Obviously, we would protect our soldiers in the short term and maybe even save a few dollars here and there in the process.

Most people are a little more nuanced than that. They recognize that our presence in some parts of the world are necessary to keep the peace and balance of power in check. From there, it is fair to argue that some of those are more necessary than others. It is fair to suggest that adding another location on the map is beyond what we should be doing right now.

However, you don’t root for Darth Vader and the emperor. You don’t root for the Klingons. You don’t watch an old war movie and root for the Germans. When someone does that they are either evil themselves, emotionally or mentally unbalanced, or they are an idiot. You could even say they are thick as a brick.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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