In a completely different period of life, when I was a young man and lived in Leningrad, my friends (and colleagues semistatic) together with me were astonished to hear the rare visitors from America, our semi-underground literary club — the poets-experimenters, and writers of avant-garde artists from California and new York — criticism of Ronald Reagan, and even in the most harsh terms! Despite our lack of knowledge of the English language, we understand the essence of their angry speeches, but we just couldn’t believe my ears: Reagan! Our Reagan! Our only hope! How they dare to oppose him, to say such unfair and hurtful words about this great man, who has vowed to destroy us, malicious Soviet Union, and send us on the slag heaps of history! We fervently believed that he would be able to do that is to destroy, once and forever, the indestructible, the Soviet Union, hated our homeland, the only country in the world that we knew!
We tried to explain to our guests not to understand that it is not our business, and for us it does not matter in the least what Reagan did to the American economy or with those (well, with these, as they are called; well, you just said that word) controllers of the air traffic service, well, you know. The American economy is able to confront Reagan. All these problems can wait, and now he must fulfill given us a solemn promise! We tried to tell them: don’t touch our Reagan! Let it be! Do not attempt to replace it, please! Let him first destroy us!
In the ensuing silence, filled with sadness, we looked through the dark window of the attic roof dilapidated, uninhabited and destined for scrapping the house which we used for their impromptu meetings, and it is located was next to an incredibly ugly building of the headquarters of the Leningrad KGB.
There in the distance, in the eternal winter of our smoldering on a slow fire alarms were frozen river, and the blurred outlines seven major tightening of its bridges. Its opposite shore is the endless number of magnificent architectural monuments — were invisible and only discernible in the twilight of the impending snowstorm. Indifferent to everything the night had spread its wings over 11 endless time zones of the Soviet Union. It was our world. The future was incomprehensible for us, as our past will soon become strangely unknown to those of us who are still after this long period of time in human life. We longed to be destroyed. Our guests from another planet were looking at us with slight regret.
It was all a very long time. Trillions of cubic meters of water has flowed under all the bridges of our lives.
I recently remembered this episode from the distant past, and it seemed that it happened without any apparent reason — at this time I am closely acquainted with the materials of one independent Russian news site, and half listened to a frantic expert, speaking on television in support of trump. He tried to list all that makes Donald trump look like Reagan — they were both outsiders in Washington, they are both straightforward and Frank, both Democrats who became Republicans, were both television stars before diving into the world of politics, both opponents of abortion and active supporters of the tax cuts, both of them arrogant political establishment at first did not seen as serious candidates, both of them charismatic, focused, like a laser beam in terms of strengthening border security, both want to make America great again… Both were largely ignorant not very curiosity, and believed in social Darwinism in its most cruel form, and they caused damage to America’s image in the world — all this I yawn, added to what has already been said.
Although, to be honest, one of them, in fact, played an important role in ridding the world of the Soviet disaster; he managed much to scare the old men of the Politburo as its dangerous and reckless to bluff about space, its imaginary zero-sum game called “chicken” in its geopolitical scenario, and so he lured the Soviet leaders in the past and completely unaffordable arms race. At the moment for some indirect Association, I imagined what would happen if by a strange quirk of history the President at the time, when I was a young boy in Leningrad, were not Reagan and trump. It was quite a wild guess — some kind of farce in the style of dystopia.
Let’s start with the fact that trump, most likely, would not promise to destroy us, that is the Soviet Union. Rather, he is constantly called to Brezhnev and Andropov strong leaders who would honor their intelligence and their brutal determination upon the slightest manifestation of ideological dissent. On rarely organize press conferences he would say about 99-percent approval rating Brezhnev and Andropov among Soviet citizens.
“And you think we are so innocent?” — he asked sarcastically, objecting to Tom Brokaw (Tom Brokaw) or Dan Ratner (Dan Rather). “You think we never invaded other countries and occupied their countries even larger than Afghanistan, and did not shoot down any passenger Airliners? Do you think that we don’t have thousands of political prisoners in… that you just said that word… in the Gulag? I beg of you. And look, it seems to me that when Andropov calls me brilliant, I can take it as a compliment, okay?”
I quietly laughed, and my cat sleeping on my Desk next to my computer, opened his green eyes and for a moment focused on me, thereby demonstrating his surprise. She was right. Too late for a laugh. Do not Wake sleeping cats.