Manchuria is in north eastern Asia and it includes areas of both Russia and China. The idea of a Manchurian Candidate is of an individual who has been elected to the leadership of America, but who is secretly an agent of Russia or China, or both. Because of the way in which Russia has done business since the 1940s, and apparently continued to do so even after the end of the Cold War, the most likely scenario for something like this ever happening is a President being very favourable to Russian interests because Russia has compromised him (has something, many things, significant things on him; so in other words, things that are a little bit more than just an unusual sex thing or racist thing or dominance thing or whatever kind of thing the Pee-tape is).
There is a person at the top in the White House today who is a bumbler, who is inept, who knows almost nothing that he is supposed to know, who is erratic, and who obviously, OBVIOUSLY, has a brain that is showing its age and has significantly impaired executive function. For those who think that last one was a step too far, let's have a reality check on someone who has cheated his way through his entire life: There is no requirement for the President to take a mental acuity test in his annual physical, and it's reported for over a month before the event that he's not going to take one. With these facts in play, if you then go out of your way to request a mental acuity test be done as your physical is under way, you discuss what options there are and choose a specific one (that's what his doctor said he did), AND you get thirty out of thirty in the test, then there is no doubt, NO DOUBT, that you have already looked at this test a dozen times and you've taken one of those study drugs to boot. As easy as the test he took is, the person we've seen over the last two or three years absolutely could not have gotten a perfect score on that test even if he'd seen it ten times before; this IS certain because memory is part of the test (in his normal state we have ample evidence that his memory is shockingly bad; more than fifty examples showing it on video; and he can't even memorize six or seven words to falsely answer the question "what is your favourite piece of scripture" so...... his memory.......). That he bragged about how much of a genius he was for acing the test, and in the process let us in on how the last half of the questions were really hard gives us an incredibly clear picture of this person's intellect. For God's sake look up the test on the Internet. Are any of those questions in the MoCA Test hard for anybody who has a healthy brain? However snarky it may seem to say so, this test is NOT hard for a ten year old, so to think that you're really smart for acing THIS test; oh boy. Just marvel at that for a moment: The current President, of the United States of America, thinks the MoCA test is hard; he said so with words coming out of his very own mouth and recorded on video; allow that to wash over you. Now because extreme pressure on a guilty person can look a bit like 'significantly impaired executive function', I guess it's possible that's what's in play, but when you add in his statement that the MoCA Test is hard, we can't really give him the benefit of that doubt. And of course 'extreme pressure on a guilty person' is not really much of a safety chute for him in any case.
A brief aside on something relevant to that last paragraph because it was interesting to learn. James Comey suggests in interviews that he thinks trump is of above average intelligence, and one of the main reasons he cited is because trump can be in a room and track conversations. This person is a career prosecutor who is supposed to be observant, and you do not need to watch trump very closely to realize that he only pretends to track conversations; because almost every time he opens his mouth in those situations to add something, he says things that clearly demonstrate, CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE, that he absolutely is NOT tracking any conversations; he's catching some of the words, maybe even all of them, but the things he adds clearly show that he's not following the conversations; not following them at all (unless they are simple hollow conversations absent any policy content; every simpleton can follow "Dick and Jane" interactions). Everybody has blind spots, and I suppose it's possible that in a quasi-Stockholm syndromish way Comey doesn't want to feel foolish for being batted around by someone who is, shall we say, far less; so he can probably be excused for having such an obvious misconception. I'm in the camp that sees clear non-political reasoning behind the decisions he took that helped trump and hurt Clinton in the 2016 election, so I'm not predisposed against him. In the action he took just before the election; a judgement call on the ground to release information when you know for certain the thing is about to be leaked (and already had been to non-journalist big mouths - Rudy) is not a thing you can criticize him for (even if he won't own up to that being part of his calculation because he believes it casts the FBI in a less than stellar light).
But let's "forget" about trump for now and have a brief interlude on what it would be like if a real life Manchurian Candidate controlled by a foreign adversary were installed in the White House at the top. What are some of the things a real Manchurian Candidate might do if he managed to get himself into the White House; you know, the full on agent kind and not just the compromised kind:
1. A Manchurian Candidate might appoint people to run government departments who have a long history of fighting and criticizing the government department they're about to run (not merely change, tear down). Putting America last.
2. A Manchurian Candidate might appoint staff around him in mid-level and senior roles who are malcontents with a level of competence and experience that is nowhere near the requirement for the roles they have.
3. A Manchurian Candidate might delay or abandon the appointment of ambassadors around the world in key strategic regions. Putting America last.
4. Of the ambassadors they appoint, they would probably put in a liberal helping of buffoons, know-nothings and conspiracy theorists to dilute America's reach through Soft Power around the world.
5. A Manchurian Candidate might pare back the State Department so that it cannot perform its function; perhaps cutting the department's budget back by about twenty percent so that it's not that obvious. Putting America last again.
6. A Manchurian Candidate might choose to force out liaison officers and analysts in key globally strategic roles and then not replace them.
7. A Manchurian Candidate might choose to undermine the authority of the Secretary of State on a regular basis so that even if the person in the role wanted to do the job in the way it's supposed to be done (a very big assumption indeed in such a circumstance), it wouldn't be possible. Putting America last again.
8. A Manchurian Candidate might have discussions with key US Attorneys around the country to gauge, many things, and after playing nice and showing the love, fire them a few weeks later in amongst, say, thirty or fifty others so it looks as though you're not specifically targeting that or those key US Attorneys.
9. A Manchurian Candidate absolutely would build up the military because it's the obvious move to point at and say, "see, how could I possibly be", and also because it allows the potential for a bit of ramping up tensions theatre. When you already spend more on defense than the next five or ten countries combined - whatever the number is these days - spending more on the military is utterly irrelevant to anybody except defense contractors.
10. A Manchurian Candidate's reactions to crisis, be it internal (to the administration) or external would be all over the shop, because compared to what they're doing everything else doesn't seem that serious to them, and sometimes you just can't get your faked affect right.
11. A Manchurian Candidate might become increasingly more frenetic every time a major news story or criminal investigation hits too close to the facts.
12. A Manchurian Candidate absolutely would breach all the norms that are not covered by laws or regulations. This one should probably be at the very top because this is the primary white-anting of the system that makes the governing of a country on into the future more difficult, whether any of the other stuff succeeds or not.
13. A Manchurian Candidate would look the happiest they could be, bubbling over with excitement and wanting to break dance, when in the company of those he (or she) was acting on behalf of (such photos would be weird if they existed; do they exist; yes, cheeky question; mid-2017 in the Oval Office with Lavrov and Kislyak, god, just look at him; it may seem snarky to say so, but it is absolutely the truth to say that the only time we've seen him look happier was in that photo with Stormy Daniels/Stephanie Clifford; have you ever seen a person more "blissed out" than in that photo; it is hard to say such a thing about him, but he IS glowing).
14. A Manchurian Candidate would never, NEVER, say anything bad about his dear leader(s), unless.....
15. If a Manchurian Candidate were being investigated by law enforcement or Congress and he learned that a less than rosy report was about to come out about his ties to Russia or China, then it is absolutely, positively, 100% certain, that a Manchurian Candidate would start to make some aggressive noises towards Russia or China or whomever the masters were, and he would start a campaign of repeating endlessly that "I'm the toughest person on Russia in the history of the universe"; and he would even call out his masters by name, for the first time, IF, he were a Manchurian Candidate. It is said other places in this article that some things are certain, and maybe even above all others this is as certain as anything gets in this universe, IF IF IF. It's done this blatantly because it's not meant to fool clever people, it's only meant to fool the dummies.
16. A Manchurian Candidate might behave like a buffoon himself on the international stage, and when added to everything else (especially the ridiculously low staffing levels in critical roles), it dramatically reduces America's reach through Soft Power around the world even more; leaving the way open for China or Russia to move in and take up the slack. Putting America last, again.
17. A Manchurian Candidate might abdicate leadership in Hard Power around the world thereby allowing either China or Russia to fill this role in key regions. Putting America last, again.
18. A Manchurian Candidate might try to further destabilise geopolitics by having schoolyard spats with friends and foes alike; not stable measured language but cursing, childish, misogynistic and racist language; and giving them the finger one day and acting like best buds the next; you know, like the drunk guy down at the end of the bar.
19. A Manchurian Candidate may decide to ignore attacks on America, especially one that was designed to degrade the democratic system of the country; and we can turn that 'may decide to' into an 'absolutely would' if it were being done by one of his masters.
20. A Manchurian Candidate might withdraw from one of the largest trade agreements in history in a move that was enormously beneficial to China or Russia and puts America last, again (the 'putting America last' is the relevant dynamic in this point, not whether it's China or Russia).
21. A Manchurian Candidate absolutely would have better relationships and more respect for leaders in less democratic countries; given the nature of what they are and their brief, I guess my kind of people would be the view.
22. A Manchurian Candidate absolutely would have a high staff turnover lest people notice a more complete picture; well, until he settles on "the people he can trust", whatever the hell that means.
23. A Manchurian Candidate would have an unusually large number of people in his orbit who had strong ties with shady Russian or Chinese government figures.
24. A Manchurian Candidate would, if we looked closely enough, have a number of odd occurrences like secret meetings with those who have strong ties to the Russian or Chinese governments, and, I don't know, a Russian or Chinese Oligarch with strong ties to the Russian or Chinese President landing his private jet at the same backwoods middle of nowhere airport you happen to be at in the middle of a hectic Presidential campaign; you are rarely in the same city for more than two or three hours in such a campaign so the chance of coincidence number "736"...... And if you learn about two or three such occurrences then you know, KNOW, that there was almost certainly ten or fifteen, or more, IF they were a Manchurian Candidate.
25. A Manchurian Candidate would have an ongoing stream of private and/or unreported discussions with his Russian master; oh I beg your pardon we're trying to keep up a veneer here so that should read his Russian and/or Chinese masters; IF he were a Manchurian Candidate. And of course would the ones we learn about be the only ones that occurred, and what transpires in the conversations we don't learn about, again, IF IF IF.
26. A Manchurian Candidate absolutely would only admit to any wrongdoing inside a Rolling Disclosure regime of revelation (but with a liberal helping of denial around the edges to sow the confusion). For those who don't know, Rolling Disclosure is this: Part of a news story is confirmed as certain and the perpetrator admits to what is being reported and if prompted offers, "that's all there is, that's the whole story". Then another part of the story is revealed that shows they were lying and because it is now confirmed they own up to that part of it, and again they offer, "that's all there is, that's the whole story". Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat; sometimes this can go on for a long time. It doesn't always come across as ridiculous and obvious like that example, but sometimes it does.
27. A Manchurian Candidate might muddy the waters and make himself sound like a bumbling wannabe by saying that he knows the President of Russia or China one year then saying he doesn't and then saying he does and then saying he doesn't; in the dozen or so years leading up to his election; so that if it's ever brought up.......
28. A Manchurian Candidate who is losing his faculties a little might try to exonerate himself in any investigation by relying on commencement dates of activities to influence elections happening, "before I even decided to run for President" (that reasoning doesn't really follow, hence 'losing his faculties'). So for random example he might suggest that because he says he didn't decide to run for President until 2015, that a campaign of influence starting in 2014 therefore couldn't have anything to do with him; but what if his Twitter finger runneth over in 2014 when he not only suggests he will run for President but also has his slogan in place; and what if late in 2013 was one of those happenings where he said he met the Russian President, and then he didn't meet him, and then he did, and then oh yeah, he really didn't. A Manchurian Candidate who is losing his faculties OR trying to sow more confusion inside Right wing reasoning processes absolutely would do things like this (Republican voters, including politicians and commentators, are so lost on the matter of what constitutes reason at the moment).
29. A Manchurian Candidate who had children would have children who went to a finishing school, or went through things that had the same effect on them; fake affect, fake sincerity, practised (affect, responses, demeanour, smiles), tightly controlled animation (because it is fake and practised); empty is what they would be. Bear in mind that such people are not to be pitied because by the time they get to their mid-twenties they've perpetrated "a hundred" shxtty things against others, and haven't been an innocent for a very long time.
30. I said above that the white-anting of the office and system through flouting norms that are not legislated would be at the top of the list, and if that were at the top of the list, then number two or number three on the list of important things that a Manchurian Candidate would absolutely do, is trying to start trade wars with friends whilst saying the action is targeted at adversaries. In this world today everybody knows that once you start down such a path everybody feels compelled to keep their puffy chest out, so these things get out of control very easily; not to put too fine a point on it but if trade wars ramp up between America and other major western powers, just who do you suppose is the primary beneficiary of that, AGAIN.
31. A Manchurian Candidate would put America last, and he would do so as he was constantly screaming patriotism and America First at the top of his lungs, and THAT, is absolutely what a Manchurian Candidate would do.
32. Oh yeah I almost forgot; a Manchurian Candidate would, absolutely, positively and without any doubt, be one of the richest people in the country, OR, would have three or four (with hard to see financial interests) behind him propping him up, or both.
33. A Manchurian Candidate would constantly hammer law enforcement and the media with conspiracy theories of how they're out to get purest, lily white, little old innocent me, so that when they come after you with legitimate evidence-rich incidents of wrongdoing or illegal behaviour (some of which you've been doing for decades; lily white, huh), you can then claim it as part of the conspiracy against you, a partisan witch hunt; and if you've managed to drive up a cult of personality around you, then as long as you're not filmed doing it, you truly could shoot someone on a New York City street and get away with it.
34. A Manchurian Candidate would absolutely sow chaos and confusion as his best friends. These are the two most valuable tools, IF IF IF.
35. Lastly and most importantly, a Manchurian Candidate absolutely would look like an erratic inept bumbler so that the last thing you imagine as possible, is that they are a Manchurian Candidate. Like, for random example (one of many), he might organise an event that is all about an ostentatious display of the flag and patriotism, he organises himself in the centre with lots of space around him so that he's the centre of attention, and then it's obvious he doesn't know all the words to the national anthem, and almost none of God Bless America; bumbling things like that. Just like the previous two and a about a dozen others on this list, this one is certain; it's all about the confusion.
36. IF IF IF, he were a Manchurian Candidate.
37. After all, it is the most obvious of principles that very few would realize until after it is stated (because everybody is used to the James Bond and Jason Bourne ideal), and then it is as obvious as a hand in front of the face, to everybody: the best spies are the people you would never suspect.
38. How many deep state spies would a Manchurian Candidate say there are in the State Department; is it 81 or 205, 65 perhaps, or maybe only "57 (varieties)"; how many partisan Democrats are there in the Mueller probe; has that number changed too? There would be a playbook to run for a Manchurian Candidate, and all of these points would absolutely be in that playbook. This list could have been quite a bit bigger, but as I say a little later on, thirty-something seems plenty to make the point.
The button hole for all of this is that it is far, far, more likely that it is simply a combination of narcissism, paranoia, the need to hide evidence of lifelong criminal conduct, and the "idiot son" incompetence he has displayed since his earliest days in business. But the counter for this button hole is that everybody who thinks they knew him before 2016 swear up and down that he wasn't this inept bumbler before then. The counter to the counter of course is that when you're hiding away in your ivory tower and only ever talking to people on your own terms (talking yourself up as you're complimenting the person you're talking to), it is ridiculously easy to hide who and what you really are; and for those in that group who say they knew him better and insist he really wasn't like this; well, most of those ones are either narcissists or more than half way there as well, and such people don't exactly pay attention to others now do they, especially when they are being complimented.
Surely it can't be a Manchurian Candidate situation because these sorts of things don't happen in real life, only in the movies. BUT, if it did turn out to be the case, and with all of this as obvious as the nose on your face (and it absolutely would be viewed as such because those who like to lynch don't nuance their way into 20-20 hindsight, they just go straight for "it was obvious"), then the Republican Party would, at the very least, be out of power "everywhere" for twenty years; Ohio, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, maybe even South Carolina; they'd all flip solid blue for twenty years; maybe even at the State level after about two gubernatorials.
Of course it's ridiculous to think that we could possibly have something like a Manchurian Candidate in real life. These sorts of things don't happen in real life. But whether all of this be narcissism bound up with lifelong white collar criminal behaviour and an unprecedented level of incompetence in the job, or it be a Manchurian Candidate situation or something in that vein, the result is the same: a person in the White House who has committed a fax roll of impeachable offenses that the Republicans don't want to do anything about; and they're just allowing him to run wild.
The tried and true, and obvious, statement that people roll out at this point, is that if any Democrat had done all of this, so not just Obama or Clinton, then Republicans would have started impeachment proceedings fifty times over. And isn't it surreal that you can say fifty times in this case and for it to not be hyperbole. trump has literally, literally used literally, done way more, way, more, than fifty things that would have caused Republicans to start impeachment proceedings against him if he were a Democrat. That this is absolutely the case, and it is............. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!
Note well in this: This is not the product of any particular research, it's just that I remember the confirmed reporting since he was elected; all of this is out in the open and available to read for anybody in hundreds of other news stories. Yes I know, not so easy to remember it all when you're being hit by avalanche after avalanche. It's all there and all confirmed; you just have to look it up and read it. I stopped at about thirty qualifiers. Thirty seems enough to make the point.
Yes it's a 2000-1 shot that he's the full on agent kind of Manchurian Candidate, but it's probably only a 4-1 shot that he's the compromised kind (and the odds are getting shorter every few months); and if he's either, the Republicans in Congress will have destroyed themselves. Yes it's pretty certain he's an inept bumbler, but that's a hell of a gamble for them to take when the people around him during the campaign had so many ties to Russia, when one of his sons actually said (about ten years ago) that "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets", another son said they have "all the money they need for their golf courses out of Russia" (was that five years ago), and when he obviously loves Putin and refuses to do or say anything against Putin's interests; it's an especially big risk for Republicans to take when you can be both the compromised kind and an inept bumbler at the same time. When the case is this obvious (obvious if it turns out to be the case), then whether we're talking about "Raymond Shaw" or a "useful idiot", those who like to lynch will treat you as if you knowingly supported "Raymond Shaw". Just to put a fine point on this: if he is being as he is towards Russia because he's received hundreds of millions of dollars to prop him up over the last dozen years (as his sons have confirmed) then that IS, IS, IS, the other type of full on agent kind of Manchurian Candidate. That is not merely the compromised kind, that IS the full on agent kind who is being paid for services. So maybe on reflection it's not actually a 2000-1 shot after all. Maybe, with the confirmation we've had from his sons about money coming from Russia, it's closer to a 4-1 shot that he is either the compromised kind or the full on agent kind???? You can still be an inept bumbler AND be that sort of full on agent kind of Manchurian Candidate; after all, it's not as if he's doing all of this stuff in a wily way.
He's such a bumbler and he does everything adversarially, by the seat of his pants, and without knowing what he needs to know (which is why he fails more than he succeeds), for example: In the way that they did the healthcare legislation and the tax cuts, it would have been smooth sailing and they absolutely would have gotten them both done in the first few months without trump, but he killed one of them and made the easiest thing they had to do (in the way that they did it this time; no Democratic votes required), a hard slog that took almost a year. In true "dumbest person in the room style", trump constantly sabotages every big thing his side wants to do, others then come in and clean up after him, and then they do that dance a couple more times, making everything so much harder than what it needs to be; and when a thing is finally accomplished trump takes credit for all of it; and of course when a thing doesn't happen due to all of his bumbling and ignorant accidental sabotage, it's everybody else's fault. This is how he's lived his entire life and we know this because he has done it out in the open for all to see. That he has managed to stay rich across his life of "idiot son" incompetence is one of the true miracles of good luck we occasionally see in this civilization; that he got out of the casino business with his shirt still on, for example, is one of the luckiest financial escapes in history (there really are people like Grimes in this world and there really are people like Homer Simpson). Most people couldn't see it before, but then you had to go and run for President and they sure as hell can see it now: In almost every meeting room you've ever been in you have been one of the dumbest people in the room. For the last two or three years you have been the definite article "the" dumbest person in the room, in every meeting room you've been in; and even your supporters in those rooms now know this is the case; they weren't sure two years ago but they know it now. Look around you trump. Everyone in that room knows, KNOWS, that you're the dumbest person in the room; in every meeting room you go into.
I dare say that it's only the stupidest kids in class who would actually punch their teachers, and I believe you still brag about being the stupidest kid in class to this day whilst pretending that you're not really bragging about it. You were a seven year old and you punched your teacher because you thought you knew more about music than a music teacher; sound familiar to anybody ("I know more than the generals" because I watch TV). Forget about how much of a lost cause scumbag you need to be to do such a thing when you're seven years old, and just marvel at the depth of stupidity that story illustrates; double down on the stupidity because trump is the one telling the story about how stupid he actually is, and he's proud of it (again, whilst pretending that he's not). Try to imagine just how stupid you need to be to tell that story thinking that people will think well of you after hearing it (trump NEVER tells a story unless he thinks it's going to make him look great); like I said earlier, WOW!!!! I guess you thought you were Mozart; do you, play a musical instrument; have you ever learned; do you even know what any of the symbols are called let alone what they signify. From seven years old to seventy and you're still the dumbest kid in class that everybody laughs at behind your back; I guess there's no cure for stupidity if you think you already know everything.