Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


If you're going to make America great again, you're not going to impress everyone.

It's a good thing, though, to impress someone who's made Russia great again.

This is the conclusion some might reach on hearing leading Republican candidate Donald Trump offering his slightly peacock-amamie views on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Asked by Mika Brzezinski whether he appreciated the admiration offered to him by Russian president Vladimir Putin -- who called him "talented" "bright" and, oh, "talented" -- Trump offered: "When people call you brilliant, it's always good. Especially when the person heads up Russia."

You see, part of being a leader is loving it when people call you brilliant. Especially if those people might not be the most decent, upstanding or even brilliant sorts themselves.

Yes, even if they happen to be former KGB types. (But what if Fox host Megyn Kelly called him brilliant?)

When Joe Scarborough mentioned that Putin has been accused of, for example, killing journalists, Trump patiently explained the essences of leadership.

He said: "He's running his country, and at least he's a leader. You know, unlike what we have in this country."

That's the thing with being a leader. Sometimes there is collateral damage. Sometimes, too, you have to use lateral thinking to remove those who might damage you.

It's all in a day's work. This leadership thing isn't easy. It's hard making people grateful for having you around. Sometimes, you just have to get rid of some people who aren't showing their gratitude as much as they should.

Every fine corporation does it. It's called politics.

Trump wasn't done explaining a logic that might even be fleshed out in his next book, entitled (in my head) Fairness Is What I Say It Is.

"I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe. There's a lot of stupidity going on right now, Joe. A lot of killing and a lot of stupidity," he said.

A lot of that stupidity is killing, too.

As Brzezinski stared straight ahead, wondering perhaps if she would ever be able to taste breakfast again, Scarborough asked: "You obviously condemn Vladimir Putin killing journalists and political opponents, right?"

America's next great leader didn't hesitate to offer his stern condemnation: "Oh, sure."

It's hard for me to be entirely objective. After all, some members of my family were murdered in Stalinist labor camps and my parents, both survivors of those camps, never got over the experience.

Still, there's something bracing in the notion that to be a great leader it's always good to fill your head with the (apparent) respect of fellow great leaders.

We can only look forward to these two great icons one day looking each other in the eyes and getting a sense of each other's souls.

I wonder what, if anything, they'll see.