Kasparov on countering Trump: it’s very important to make sure that he looked like a loser

Interview for clarity, subject to minor editing and cut.


Garry Kasparov knows what it is to confront the autocratic leader. At home in Russia, this outstanding world chess champion was arrested twice for speaking out against Putin. Since 2013 he lives in new York, where he moved together with his family, and today heads the human rights Foundation (Human Rights Foundation). Recently he published his visionary book, “Winter is coming” (Winter Is Coming), in which he writes about the ascent of Putin and the transnational threat. 2 may released his new book on chess and artificial intelligence “Deep thoughts” (Deep Thinking).

As a supporter of Ronald Reagan and John McCain, Kasparov criticizes trump and his policies. During this interview we discussed Putin, trump, dossier Steele and what chess can teach policy.

Alexander Beasley: the Author Masha Gessen warns us: “Let the worst”.

Garry Kasparov:
to Listen to the quiet voice of sanity is not my strong suit, although I’m a chess player. But it is important to focus on what matters most, so as not to lose track in all this noise and chaos that effortlessly creates a trump. During the campaign, and even during the primary election the Grand old party I wrote a lot about this threat and of a well known me, the nature of his rhetoric. He used and continues to use the language of imperious leader. Everything is terrible, and only he is able to solve problems. We are surrounded by enemies, and only he can protect us. And so on. This is very similar to the setup used by Putin and other dictators in an attempt to justify their power.

The American President, there is no need to speak the language of the tyrant. But trump is still thinking about its legitimacy, and hence all this constant lies about his victory behind a clear advantage and the number of supporters. You have a totally incompetent President with dictatorial and dangerous advisers, and it is possible that he is influenced by hostile external forces.

We in Russia have given Putin a chance, and it was our last free elections. It is much better to act and then to admit that you overreacted than to do nothing as long as nothing can be done. However, the United States is not Russia, because there the institutions are much stronger. They’re just a little atrophied due to the fact that they are not actively used. It’s like the immune system, which for a long time was directly exposed and it is not able to respond to infection.

— What can the opponents of the trump?

— It is necessary to strengthen institutions, acting persistently, steadily and legally. And they should be used. If you go too far and start to act by force, it will be only in the hands of trump administration, which is already calling all the opposition paid agitators and gives them other ridiculous nicknames, taken straight from Putin’s script. When I write about it on Twitter or Facebook, I immediately get a whole bunch of answers “same Here!” from people living in other totalitarian countries, from Venezuela to Vietnam.

Riots will only scare the “moderate middle” that sooner or later you’ll need as an ally. If trump can convince these people with their lies that the opposition is run by dangerous criminals, then the President will remain with you for eight years, and after him will come the same. Stick to the facts, talk about them constantly, boldly and loudly, that his supporters saw that the king is naked.

The courts are also important, but the situation actually will change only when a significant portion of the Republicans will realize that trump is a hindrance to raise funds for the elections, and that it deprives their party’s chances for re-election. This understanding can come pretty quickly, if he fails to fulfil its numerous campaign promises. It is very important to make sure that he looked like a loser. Either the Republican party will oppose him, either he will improve and show a greater willingness to compromise. If the demagogue will claim credit for the victory, and its defeat blames enemies, turning them into scapegoats, then stop it very difficult.

Trump will continue to go beyond the limits and look for cracks in restraining his system. America in their own skin, finds out that his power is largely based on tradition and the honor system, but not on a system of laws. And the crisis will have to occur on a daily basis.

Everyone has to do what one can, not waiting until you start to act more. If you need a change, you have to take the initiative and begin to act, even on an individual basis, no matter how insignificant those actions. As the slogan of the Soviet dissidents, “do what you must, come what may.”

“Largest since the Watergate election scandal last year, and during that time he virtually disappeared from the sphere of political media, wrote this week in the pages of Mother Jones, David corn (David Corn). — The General view of American intelligence services, the Russian security services on the orders of Vladimir Putin held a massive operation to influence the 2016 elections, to help Donald Trump”.

Is a scandal, and it’s not the biggest scandal in Washington. It illustrates my argument about how trump constantly created discontent and chaos play into his hands, distracting people from more serious things, such as his conflict of interests and Russia’s intervention in the American elections. Apparently, trump doesn’t want any investigation, because even the discussion of these issues weakens its legitimacy that it so craves. Plus, he publicly urged Russia to new hacker hacks!

This topic also makes me nervous almost every elected politician. But it’s a matter of US national security, and not just trying to relive the past. Should be a special investigation. Ignore this question — the worst of all possible options, because it encourages Putin and his ilk pushing to new activities of this kind. And this is already happening in France and in Germany.

— During our previous conversation you said: “a Person who is inconsistent in almost everything, very consistently defends Putin. And it makes me suspicious.” Now, Rex Tillerson, a major business partner of Putin, became Secretary of state.

I still want to know who has nominated Tillerson. Not familiar whether the trump of Russia? Maybe someone from the group of Kissinger, who works with both parties? Tillerson a serious person, not some lightweight or protege trump, how many of his appointees. If Tillerson really intends to serve the US and defend their interests, he will keep trump, as they will not let him push you around. But if he leaves, you get a great embarrassment after such a hard struggle for his approval.

Maybe I’m overly optimistic, and he got there just in order to push the oil deal and remove the sanctions in the interests of Putin and Exxon Mobil. If worst will come true, is circumstantial evidence that the Russian special services have discredited trump, will be very strong. And don’t forget Wilbur Ross (Wilbur Ross), whose candidacy was proposed for the post of trade Minister. He has a big deals with Putin’s oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

Politicians from the Republican party and put it above principles, when so faithfully support trump. In so doing, they prove their total lack of principles.

— What do you think about the scandalous dossier of Steele, stating that Russia is “courting, supports and helps to Trump at least the last five years”? (According to media reports, scared to death of the British author and former MI6 agent Christopher Steele (Christopher Steele) has hit on the run.)

— Even if the truth in all of this is only half, it’s still incredible incriminating evidence. Some of it is written already confirmed, and therefore this issue cannot be treated as pure slander or fabrication. Secondly, some things probably fabricated, and they can be easily refuted. The defenders trump will definitely take advantage of this fact, claiming that everything is fiction. They translate the entire conversation into what little was falsified, and try to discredit the whole material. It is a pattern all poorly trained journalistic materials in General, and therefore, the media should exercise double vigilance, checking all that applies to Trump, not to throw shadows in pursuit of sensation, discrediting himself in the eyes of the public. If the facts are relegated to the position of a biased point of view, we will find ourselves in big trouble.

— And yet it is Putin’s speech in the spirit of Borat: “I can hardly imagine that he ran to the hotel to chat with our girls with low social responsibility — although they have the best in the world.”

— Putin always liked obscene language, and in this he has much in common with trump. He’s doing this deliberately, creating the image of the tough guy and the common man.

— What about the “Muslim prohibition of” trump?

— Presidential decree trump may like or dislike from different perspectives and in different areas, but in General I treat it critically. Being an immigrant, though not a refugee, came to the US, I generally sympathize with the people who are forced to leave their native land, as did my family in 1990, when Baku pogroms against Armenians.

Every American should be concerned with what ease and haste trump has sacrificed security for the sake of quick publicity among voters. Even the biggest supporters of this ban have to think about how incompetent and inefficient this was done.

Immigration has always been one of the strengths of America, both in terms of its reputation in the world, and from a purely practical point of view of economic and cultural wealth. To be a country in which to seek the best and the most talented have always been a huge advantage. And all that detract from this “magnet of minds”, causing economic harm to the United States, including workers who benefit from startups founded by immigrants and jobs. The order of trump is of great symbolic importance, making the U.S. a less attractive place to stay. Many supporters trump will see this as a plus, not a minus, but it is ignorance and xenophobia.

When I lived in the USSR, the image of the USA as the shining city on the hill and beacon of hope for all the oppressed, for me, was quite real. I understand that many Americans, especially left-wing, I think it is sentimental and formulaic mythology. But don’t even try to talk about immigrants and refugees! Even if you’re a cynic, you can’t deny that this way is a very important element of America’s soft power as countries which envy and imitate, in spite of all its flaws.

— Trump absolutely unsubstantiated claims that three to five million people voted illegally. It delivers unprecedented attack on the independence of justice and judges, decided that his ban on entry of Muslims illegal. He was appointed attorney General, racist Jeff and Roman sessions (Jeff Sessions), prompting a flurry of criticism from pathways to peace, Coretta Scott king (Coretta Scott King) (widow of Martin Luther king — approx. TRANS.). Do you think that trump will do next?

— He wants to be loved. He wants to please his constituents. He will continue to advertise all that helped him win the election, not paying attention to how destructive and unrealistic his promises. It is a ridiculous wall, the repeal of Obamacare, the attacks on immigrants. It is important to give him a more intelligent and worthy ideas and not just condemn it.

But honestly, the confusion in America is not my biggest concern. In the US, even on presidential powers imposed significant restrictions. I’m more worried about the rest of the world, because when trampled around trump, America very quickly may not seem what it is. If he will continue to utter high-sounding phrases like “America first”, the regional powers such as Russia, China and Iran, take a chance and expand their influence, including by military means. The European Union could fall apart, and the extreme right will achieve great success throughout Europe.

— What is the worst scenario in the country?

— Trump finds reason to assign emergency powers persecutes a free press and political opposition, acting upon the very real dictatorial scenario. This will lead to a constitutional crisis.

“Maybe we should seek support and participation by Silicon valley? She has tremendous power. What is it in the current political mess?” These questions you asked me at the end of November. Since the most notable contribution of Silicon valley was cringing in trump Tower.

Many of them just want to play gods in their Silicon valley as if Washington does not matter. And suddenly they have to choose which side to take, to make statements, to act. And they don’t know what to do. Maybe they try to give advice that is incredibly ignorant of the administration and to influence it, or stay outside and use the pressure? Trump President, and even if you don’t like his platform, it is unlikely that you will dream about his complete failure, because he will carry away with him and all of us. If required by buyers and users, Silicon valley will react. But I doubt that there should be a search for leaders.

— View your recording on Twitter. Could you comment on their very dramatic statement about political discrimination?

The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.

— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) 13 Dec 2016.

Garry Kasparov ✔
The meaning of modern propaganda is not only to misinform, or to push some agenda. The whole point is to Deplete your critical thinking, to destroy the truth.

— I still regularly meet with mention of this tweet. The fight against the propaganda and misinformation is something new for most Americans, but I and other Russians are familiar. We see that dystopian novels are increasingly in the U.S. best-sellers because people are trying to educate themselves, and I try to help them. A lot of this I have included in my book “Winter is coming”; but even I could not foresee the emergence of trump!

Modern dictatorships have become much more sophisticated in achieving their goals. They learned that with the constant bombardment of your senses overloaded. You begin to doubt, to shrug, to turn off the radio and TV. It makes you more vulnerable. Instead of trying to push one lie, one fake, they push their tens and hundreds. And they have a very good chance in the fight with a single truth. They win when you say, “How can you be sure what happened actually?”

— What do you think about calls to impeach Trump?

It is too early. It is necessary to collect the evidence, follow the money, find out where a conflict of interest, which has a Russian connection, family transactions, and so on. A scream of impeachment whenever trump wrote on Twitter something that may seem illegal or unconstitutional is not a strategy.

“Chess is the most brutal of all sports. There is no sport more competitive and tougher than chess. The only goal in chess is to prove their superiority over the enemy. And the most important superiority, the most absolute is the superiority of mind.” You said it in 1989. As chess has prepared you for politics?

— I used to joke that chess is a lousy preparation for politics in Putin’s Russia, as in chess has strict rules and uncertain results, and the election of Putin is just the opposite. But as far as personal development, chess has developed my ability to plan, make connections, identify weak areas, to see the whole picture.

— You still play chess to relax. What can we learn from chess to combat transom?

The first lesson is that you don’t have to play desperately if you have the situation is worse, but still pretty solid. If you are staying in a weaker position, start to desperately lash out at the enemy, it will only hasten your defeat. A strong and persistent defense may demoralize the attacker, to make him lose confidence. When this happens, the situation is reversed. Keep fighting, hold on tight, keep the fighting spirit. Public protests are useful in all three cases.

— To be a dissident and an opponent of Putin is dangerous. Your colleague-Democrat Vladimir Kara-Murza today fighting for his life in Russia. There are suspicions that he was poisoned by someone from Putin’s inner circle or among its allies. As you rest and relax?

— I try to follow the sense of duty, and then accept the consequences as they come. With this choice we have to live — and no protective gear will not give way out of this situation. Some of the values I put above personal safety, and so you have to live in such a reality.

I have four children, two of them from previous marriages. It gives me great pleasure to spend time with them. I feel fine, when there is an opportunity to focus on family matters. This is a big plus for my life today in new York.

I was always a great pleasure to absorb information. The world is very much to learn, much to learn. The world is changing. I’m always looking for an opportunity to learn something new and share it with those I love and care about.