George Graham

The Price of Liberty

When I see Trump and Putin together, my blood runs cold. The impossible becomes plausible.  Unthinkable horrors flood my imagination.

What if…

It seems most Americans accept democracy as a right guaranteed by some supernatural power. After all, doesn’t the Declaration of Independence say life liberty and the pursuit of happiness are “unalienable” gifts from our Creator?

But democracy is fragile – and rare.

Throughout the world, dictatorships, large and small, are far more common.

Two of the world’s superpowers are dictatorships.  China is a Communist autocracy and Russia is a kleptocracy.

The world’s democracies huddle together under the protection of organizations like NATO. Rip those organizations apart and the individual democracies become vulnerable.

The Baltic states, for example, would be quickly gobbled up by neighboring Russia.- just like the Crimea.

So what does that have to do with the mighty United States?

Think about it. What do Trump and Putin talk about?

You know, of course, that the Russians are America’s longtime adversaries, that they constantly spy on us, contaminate our social media and meddle in our electoral process.

But do you know how Putin came to power? Do you realize how easy it was for him to seize and loot his country after the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Are you aware of Putin’s criminal activities throughout the world – including a crowded roster of assassinations?

So why is Trump so eager to form an alliance with Putin? Why is he tearing NATO apart? Why is he attacking the world’s democracies and praising dictators?

Now consider Trump’s track record. Have you read abut his sleazy financial deals and his reported links to the Mafia and the international  mob?

Do you know how he and his family game the system to line their pockets now that he is president?

Do you remember his “joke” about becoming president for life like China’s Xi Jinping?

Why am I not laughing?

As I consider the current assault on domestic liberties, the stacking of the Supreme Court, the degradation of the FBI and the relentless sabotage of the criminal justice system, I fear there must be some kind of devil’s bargain between the far right and Putin’s international mob.

And Thomas Jefferson’s warning echoes in my head:

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Putin’s power grab

How Xi Jinping operates

How Krugman sees Trump

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for