You haven’t seen Donald Trump’s tax returns, but you’ve seen the Democratic National Committee’s emails. There may be a connection: Mr. Trump is not as rich and independent as he says, and his business empire has partly been financed in recent decades by Russian interests that perhaps now favor his rise to the White House.
No, that doesn’t make Mr. Trump the “Siberian candidate.” If he were, he would disguise the fact. His campaign manager wouldn’t be a longtime adviser to Vladimir Putin’s recently deposed pet Ukrainian strongman. His foreign-policy adviser wouldn’t be a Gazprom intimate. His staff wouldn’t conspicuously have rewritten the GOP platform in a way that pleases Moscow on Ukraine. Donald Trump Jr. wouldn’t have bragged in a 2008 promotion to investors that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”
The truth is, Mr. Putin is as much or more an “asset” to Mr. Trump as the other way round. It pays Mr. Trump to be associated with the world’s flashiest tough guy. Plenty of Americans want the same in their leader.
Mr. Trump is a classic demagogue. He has made his way by breast-beating about American dilemmas as if he discovered them. We won’t enforce our immigration law but won’t change it either. NATO’s role is uncertain and America shoulders a disproportionate burden. Trade raises our standard of living but costs some Americans their jobs (as all competition does). This editorial page has warned for 30 years about too big to fail. If it were as easy to solve these dilemmas as Mr. Trump pretends, they would have been solved by now.Read the rest of Holman Jenkins's op-ed HERE.
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