Opinion Politics Opinion: Trump’s praise of Putin is another nail in his campaign’s coffin By Lillie Hooper Posted on October 26, 2016 5 min read 1 0 557 Photo courtesy of Global Panorama via Flickr It’s hard to believe Donald Trump is capable of admiring someone other than himself. It’s even harder to believe one of the people he’s most publicly and recently given a big thumbs up to is Vladimir Putin, Russian president and Kremlin frontman. Putin has a remarkably high approval rating at 83 percent, according to a March Washington Post article. At the same time, the percent of Russians who believe their country was headed in the right direction was at 45 percent in January. Even in Western polls, where Russians theoretically would be less afraid to share a dissenting view, they demonstrate overwhelming support for Putin. In fact, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center, even though 73 percent of Russians say their economy is in bad shape, Putin’s approval rating for the economy is at 70 percent. What the what? Of course Trump would admire someone who is incredibly well received by his constituents even while the country is in recession and the rainy day fund is flying out of the reserves faster than a toupee in a hurricane. Putin appears to be on Russia’s pedestal like Trump wishes to be for America. Trump’s admiration of Putin is greatly concerning and is worth taking into major consideration as Americans prepare to head to the polls Nov. 8. “If (Putin) says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him … now, it’s a very different system, and I don’t happen to like the system,” Trump said at the Commander-In-Chief Forum with NBC’s Matt Lauer. But certainly he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader. We have a divided country.” First of all, Trump is both responsible for and taking advantage of most of the division in our country. By no means is it all his fault, but he is capitalizing and exacerbating the partisanship. Second of all, love or hate President Obama, but having a candidate compliment the leader of easily the biggest rival and perhaps even threat to the United States is flat out bizarre. There is a big difference between seeking to improve Russia-U.S. relations and being chummy with Putin. There’s evidence that it isn’t a one-sided bromance between Trump and Putin. The U.S. government has officially accused Russia of hacking the Democratic National Convention and tampering with the election. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed such claims as “ridiculous” and called it “flattering” that the U.S would think Russia would tamper with the election. There are reasons Putin would care, though. Michael McFaul points these out in his August article for the Washington Post. It’s a good read, but he most notably discusses Trump’s isolationist policies and his disinterest in human rights and the promotion of democracy leave a lot of room for Putin to take on that part of world leadership. More and more reasons to fear Trump and his possible presidency keep cropping up, and it is doubtful that he will go away after November. If Trump is elected, his ties to Putin and his support for the Kremlin will continue to raise red flags.