OPED: An open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin

Gloria Johnson
Tribune News Service

Dear President Putin:

There is no doubt that you control American politics and, in fact, you are now in control of the White House and the present and future state of democracy in the United States. That you have done this without firing a shot or shedding one ounce of blood of your kinsmen or ours proves that you deserve a place of highest notoriety on the world stage. Your achievement in bringing the most powerful nation to heel means that you, at least for a time, have assumed the role of the most powerful man on earth.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks to the media after his talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Putin's residence in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has arrived in Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin expected to focus on the unresolved conflict in Ukraine and the civil war in Syria. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

Books will be written, Russian children will sing songs, and Nov. 8 will become Vladimir Putin Day.

And while it may be true that Russia's military is far inferior to that of the U.S., it doesn't matter. You've introduced a whole new strategy of engagement — cunning.

And your choice for American president, Donald Trump, couldn't have been better. He is lacking in intelligence, quirky tending toward crazy, and one whose thirst for fame made him the best accomplice for your master plan. It wasn't so much that you manhandled Trump; he was as easily seduced as Adam by Eve.

You knew, Vladimir, but others in this country did not, that on Nov. 8, 2016, the U.S. elected two presidents.

And you must be gloating as the U.S. has seen the unraveling of what used to be commonly shared values in favor of baser urges: despising people of color, white against everyone else, for example. And I'm sure you're expecting the future to include Trump's already rabid base becoming even more aggressive as the Russian investigation reveals more.

"We are under siege," Donald Trump said this month at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington. Assuming that "we" is Trump, his administration and his supporters, "under siege" almost sounds like a call to arms.

American against American.

Of course, any dethroning depends on a front line that paves the way for what's to come. And there are so many willing accomplices woven into the fabric of your brilliant coup that dissecting all of it will be akin to breaking an enemy code.

As for the Republican Party: Having long flirted with an exclusionist mentality, they have now created the perfect bigot and will forever be known as the party that gave America Donald Trump, and not in a good way.

A question for you: Was recruitment of the first-string squad based on the strength of the player or the weakness?

There are two things that might happen now:

Even more sanctions will be imposed on your country. Someone accustomed to his people starving, however, can dismiss that with the wave of a hand.

Or, like a cat that tires of batting around a dead mouse, you could realize the ultimate victory and expose the role the U.S president played in the conspiracy, proving that you've had the upper hand all along. And you have.

In the words of Genghis Khan: "It is not so much that I succeed but that others must fail." Sooner or later, you'll turn on him.

As you have backed U.S. leadership into a corner, the highest administration officials have lawyered up, thus further isolating government from the people. Not that much information has been forthcoming, but with the White House in lockdown — now functioning as a satellite Russian Embassy — and the left-wing-liberal-mainstream-media offering up fake news, citizens of this country can't get any information that is on the record.

So, Vladimir, we turn to you for answers. When the story unravels in the future, you must tell us about the crucial moment in the earliest days of Donald Trump's campaign when the first words were spoken, the first glances were exchanged between your minions and his; the moment a community of scoundrels joined hands to destabilize the greatest country on earth.

For now, the question to you is, what's next? You have the microphone and we are riveted.

— Gloria Johns is a freelance writer living in San Angelo, Texas.