There’s some things in this world you just can’t explain


I’m fascinated with all the op-eds penned by Ivy League scholars and foreign policy analysts insisting that there will be no war in Ukraine because Vladimir Putin “would have to be crazy to invade.”

Ummhmm. And your point is?

Come on, he IS crazy, Poindexter. Going against your own self-interest is what crazy people do. And this is a lesson not just for Russia, but worldwide: We’ve got to stop treating crazy people like they’re normal.

Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland

Really, how much more evidence do you need? Putin is a guy who still goes around poisoning people with umbrella tips. Not normal behavior. Not unless you’re John Le Carré.

So do you think he’s going to sit around with a profit and loss statement calculating risks and rewards of starting World War III?

He’s the kid you knew in high school who would pull into the passing lane and drive into the face of oncoming traffic at 110 miles an hour just to see how it would go. Sure, you would have to be crazy to do that, and he WAS crazy. No pricey psychoanalyst necessary.

The only difference between Vladimir Putin and the guy in high school is that the P-dog runs a country of 144 million people that happens to have a large arsenal of nuclear weapons.

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So why would he invade a neighboring country when everything is telling him it would turn into a suicidal slog? As that great foreign policy analyst Charlie Daniels said, “There’s some things in this world you just can’t explain.”

But if we’re smart, and we are not, we can use the example of Vladimir Putin as it applies to other areas of life. Specifically, all the eggheads and policy wonks have to stop acting as if people who are clearly insane can be reasoned with.

Storming the U.S. Capitol was crazy. But it didn’t stop them. Spending your time on the San Francisco school board in the middle of a pandemic renaming public school buildings is crazy, but it didn’t stop them either. If Lincoln and Washington aren’t good enough for you, who do you name your schools after, Betty White?

This country is filled with people, millions of them, who believe in QAnon. Millions more think we shouldn’t have police departments. The 2016 election was six years ago, but when things get slow, people stoke their own outrage by recalling Hillary Clinton, whom they trot out as often as baby boomers reach for the Beatles’ “White Album.”

There was a story in the newspapers this week about how to cheat at Wordle. The trick is to go to the Merriam-Webster website and eyeball the words that are trending. For example, on a recent day when the Wordle answer was “dodge,” four of the top-ten trending words ended in o-d-g-e.

But that wasn’t what got my attention. More fascinating was that two of the other top-ten trending words on the MW website were “habeas corpus” and “bill of attainder.”

What? Who sits around at 9:30 at night looking up Latin legal terms? Is this the loon right or loon left? I honestly have no idea. But it’s not people playing Wordle, I do know that.

So what does this mean for American policy? It means you have to meet people where they are. You have to fight crazy with crazy.

Tell them Build Back Better includes funding for prisons to house Hillary Clinton and Mike Pence. Expand voting rights by telling us everyone who casts a ballot gets a free gun. Attach a rider to climate change legislation making Velveeta the official national cheese.

Truth? Who cares about that? Truth is so 1992.

You want to win in this country, you gotta do two things: You gotta lie and you gotta be nuts. Maybe we could even invade Ukraine before Putin does. Perfect.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: Putin’s craziness a reminder that success in America comes from crazy


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