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Monday, June 3, 2019

Chernobyl 1.5: "What Is the Cost of Lies?": Chernobyl and Trump

Chernobyl 1.5, the finale of this crucially instructive docudrama, ended with the last words we heard from Legasov's recording: "What is the cost of lies?"

But it's a question that could be put to Donald Trump, and his constant assault on the truth from The White House.   And that makes Chernobyl not only a cautionary true story on the hazards of nuclear energy, but, just as importantly, on the dangers of suppressing the truth, whether on behalf of a misguided state such as in the Soviet Union, or unbridled personal ego as with Donald Trump.

The truth that the Soviets suppressed led to the final straw that broke the nuclear reactor and made it explode: the tips of the rods that were meant, when inserted, to be the failsafe of a nuclear explosion in fact had just the opposite effect.  They made the reactor explode.   The Soviets knew this before Chernobyl, but kept it secret out of fear of seeming ignorant or incompetent about nuclear energy.  Which was in fact exactly what they were.   And then the Soviet regime tried to stop Legasov (given an Emmy-worthy performance by Jared Harris) from letting the world know about this.  (And speaking of Emmy-worthy, the same eminently applies to the whole series - hats off to creator Craig Mazin.)

According to Gorbachev, it was Chernobyl that brought the Soviet Union down, the blatant example it gave of the arrogance and blindness of the Soviet regime.   There were many other reasons that the Soviet regime deserved to fail.  It's tragic, however, that what brought it down was the death of so many innocent people.

We here in the United States who value freedom can only hope that it takes something far less costly - either impeachment and conviction, or loss of the next Presidential election - to bring down the liar in The White House.

See also: Chernobyl 1.1: The Errors of Arrogance ... Chernobyl 1.2: The Horror Movie ... Chernobyl 1.3: The Reasons ... Chernobyl 1.4 Bio-Robots


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