Newsweek

Putin, Russia and the Return of Cold War Liberals

Accusations that Russia assisted Trump’s presidential campaign have liberals turning back into hawks.
Trump's hostility toward NATO and antipathy to America's traditional European alliances has global leaders worried.
02_30_ColdWar_02 Source: Darko Vojinovic/AP

In the days and weeks before Donald John Trump was sworn in as the 45th president, there was a lot of attention focused on a 55-year-old film, The Manchurian Candidate. Given Russian interference in the U.S. election, naturally gravitated to the 1962 Frank Sinatra film about a Soviet-Chinese plot to install a puppet in the Oval Office. (Everyone ignored the much-maligned Jonathan Demme 2004 remake.) In January, The New York Times asked if Trump was a modern Manchurian candidate. In December, Saturday Night Live spoofed a shirtless Vladimir Putin telling Trump: “We think you’re the best candidate, the smartest candidate, the Manchurian candidate.” (“I don’t know what that means, but it sounds tremendous,” Alec Baldwin replied in perfect Trump form.)

The film was an exemplary example of what historians call Cold War liberalism, a post–World War II belief in liberal policies at home

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Newsweek

Newsweek13 min readPolitics
Will Donald Trump’s Booming Economy Go Bust?
The stock market is booming, unemployment is at its lowest since 1969, and consumer confidence is high. “The economy is soooo good,” President Trump claimed. So why are his approval ratings in the toilet? Here’s what lies beneath the numbers.
Newsweek12 min read
Sebastian Kurz Remaking Europe's Future From Dark Past
Young Austrians see themselves in their 32-year-old chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, a conservative populist with big ambitions. In championing him, they also flirt with the country’s dangerous past.
Newsweek2 min read
Photographer Eva Sereny Captured Sets Of Iconic Films
Sereny was one of the only female set photographers in the ’70s, and worked with every major director, from Bernardo Bertolucci to Steven Spielberg.