Something that has not been discussed about Trump’s comments that the U.S., like Russia, kills people is his perspective on human relations and the right of those with power to kill others. If we understand Trump’s thoughts on killing in light of the many other things he has said about human life and others, his comments should not come as a surprise.
Trump has called for the killing of innocent African Americans even after they were exonerated for a crime they didn’t comment. He has called for the killing of families of terrorists. He has suggested that he would bomb the hell out of Iran and other Middle Eastern nations. He advocates for torture and denigrates entire nations. He even suggested it would be all right to kill Hillary Clinton. You can Google all of these and more if you don’t believe it. Thus, the fact that Putin is a killer, that the U.S. in fact, has indiscriminately killed others, is not a problem for Trump. It simply reflects the legitimacy of power and the right of those who have it to control, denigrate, harm, and even kill others. This is Trump’s mantra.
For Trump, such killing is not only legitimate but it is obvious, and the fact that it might surprise and even appall others is beyond his comprehension. For him that is what power does and should do, so it should not come as a surprise to us that Trump not only recognizes and honors Putin’s, his own, and others’ right to destroy lives but that he also is willing to act on this perceived right without any consideration of the consequences. We see it in his willingness to put lives in jeopardy by
• ending environmental regulations (and people will die as our water and air become more polluted);
• denying climate change (and the irreversible repercussions of that);
• banning innocent people from entering the country (and being sent back to countries where they will be killed, many of them because of their service to the U.S.); and
• even eliminating financial regulations, which will jeopardize the financial well being of the less well off, which in turn has grave health effects (just look at the correlation between financial crises and opioid use in rural America).
And there are many more examples. Even in his bombastic and malicious comments about anyone and everyone who disagrees with him there will be the propensity for his legions to retaliate (hate crimes are increasing) against those others, both individuals and groups, and for Trump that is quite all right because those people’s “so-called” human existence is not important to him. He would rather see those people dead than questioning and challenging him.
So we should not be surprised when Trump equates us with Russia and identifies Putin as a great leader. That is what he aspires to.