A Trump presidency is favored by the Kremlin, because based on how Trump is attacking issues (that is, taking a more isolationist position) he is weakening U.S. influence in Europe, and the world in general. This leaves a path for a heightened Russian influence, even though technically the Russian argument is that it allows for a multipolar world. The problem with the argument of a multipolar world in today’s context is that, with weaker coalitions and broken treaties, the West is not really becoming multi powered as the President claims. Rather, as he would hope, it is becoming weaker and the weaker it becomes, the harder it is for the West to control Russia or to influence nations commonly allied with Russia.
The most surprising part of this article, however, is the last paragraph:
It is hard to imagine “candidate Putin” would not be re-elected in 2018 as he remains very popular at home. But Putin’s popularity – unlike Donald Trump’s – is not built upon charisma. “Putin’s succession is more procedural and legalistic than charismatic,” says Baunov. “It is not a popularity contest. Putin legitimizes himself. That’s why we still have elections.”
This is highly significant because charisma is a key factor in totalitarian dictatorships. While Trump is popular because he is charismatic, if he wins the election, then he is technically legitimized as well, because it is actually the people’s decision to elect him. On the other hand, if Putin wins again, it will be due more to a third factor than legitimate elections. Putin has long been recognized to run an authoritarian-esque government. Everything is centralized around him, elections included. Legitimacy is just a sham.
Though, if Trump gets elected, legitimacy in our system may be seen as a sham too.
In reality, a Trump-like character as president is made possible by of the very nature of our democracy. Every election can’t produce two favored candidates. The lesser of two evils is just the worst case scenario of this system.