Trump is an actor. Trump is a con man. Trump is cruel. Trump is everything and nothing. Many simply throw up their hands and go on to the next thing in their lives. But if you are a politics junkie or an activist or someone who is materially affected by the man, you have little choice in the matter. So we slog on. We need to understand him and we need to understand how the system he is putting in place actually works. Russia is a textbook example of the Trump approach to things.

Like old movies

Remember how things would get started in old movies?

Imagine a protagonist saying we should be friends with Russia. Soon a growing chorus around the protagonist is thinking the same thing. With Trump, this was not virtual. He openly expressed the idea that things could be a lot different with Russia and Putin if he was president. If you wanted to be on Trump's good side, the obvious thing to do would be establishing a relationship with Russia.

Happening now

Had Trump been talking up China's ruler Xi Jinping, the result might have been the same. Remember that all of Trump's Russia initiatives took place before there was any real media coverage or public knowledge. Now the wheels of the media are turning and there are names you never heard of surfacing.

As the Times points out, the list of Trump folk who had contacts with Russia makes it look like a team effort.

A nothing story?

So is this a story we should be excited about? Is it more important than the underlying context of things in America which is that democracy itself is taking a hit from which it may never recover?

Some want to get rid of Trump and think we can get a special prosecutor appointed and resolve matters with a Watergate flourish. Some are apoplectic and rush to rebut the latest attack from the alt-left, as still-shellshocked democrats are now being called.

The sad or happy reality is we have a Trump presidency. When Donald Trump said nice things about Russia, his entire entourage may have figured it would please the boss to visit the nearest locale to talk to a real Russian. The Problem is that the president may end up may end up saying he has never heard of the place.