It's Putin the new Stalin or the new Hitler? This Russia expert says Putin is actually the new Nixon.
Don't get me wrong, I'll support any effort to start World War 3 with Russia, if only because war is good for the economy, and even better for bringing the Second Coming of Christ (Matthew 24:6-7). It's nothing personal, Putin. If there was any other nation that was powerful enough and foreign enough to start a war with, I'd be all for nuking them instead.
Maybe next we'll see Putin shut down Russia amazingly potent teen porn industry. I can't even count how many hours of productivity my friend has lost to that cesspool of moral degeneracy.
Pando Daily:To understand Putin’s moves in Ukraine from a domestic standpoint, go back to the start of Putin’s return to the Kremlin, announced in late 2011, effective early 2012. His return to the presidency from his prime minister’s perch has been nothing at all like Putin’s first eight years in the Kremlin. His base is vastly different now than 1999-2008. Then, his base was primarily Russia’s urban liberals and bourgeois elites. Putin lost them in 2011; his base is now Russia’s Silent Majority.
Putin’s politics have changed accordingly.
The important thing to remember is this: Russia’s liberal intelligentsia and its big city yuppie class is small in numbers, outsized in influence and importance…. and hated by the rest of Russia.
What this means politically is eleven time zones of untapped resentment, surrounding an island of wealth and liberal elitism—Moscow.
...to a political animal like Putin, this huge pool of human resentment and nostalgia is a potential power base: Russia’s Silent Majority. Although Putin has thrown them plenty of bones over the years, the Kremlin never fashioned an entire politics around the Silent Majority, in part because it never had to.
It’s hard to know when Putin decided to run a Nixon strategy and appeal to Red State Russia but I’m pretty sure he was as shocked as anyone by the scale and rage in those first anti-Putin protests in December 2011.
This is a long background way of getting to the point that I want to make about understanding Putin by way of “all politics is local.” Putin lost the crucial big city yuppie class. They’re gone for good. There are a lot of ways an autocrat in a nominally democratic country can respond to that. Putin has chosen a new politics appealing to the Russian Silent Majority, and that means appealing to their resentments, heating up the culture wars between liberal Moscow and the slower, fearful masses in the rest of those eleven time zones. To exploit the huge differences between the Moscow liberals and yuppies opposed to Putin, and the rest of the country that resents them.
The Silent Majority has waited at least two decades for payback, and now it’s on, and it’s not pretty. It’s why Putin targeted Pussy Riot. We Westerners loved them; they were heroes to us, brave punk rock babes fighting the Man and getting jailed for being punk. In our world, that’s cool. But in Russia, Pussy Riot was completely despised by nearly everyone, across class and regional lines. One poll after they were jailed showed only 6 percent of Russians supported Pussy Riot; the poll could not find a single respondent who said they respected the jailed band members.
By exploiting Russian disgust for Pussy Riot and equating the opposition movement with Pussy Riot, Putin was able to conflate the liberal opposition with a decadent, alien art troupe whose purpose seemed to be to humiliate Russia and mock their culture. Nixon couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect symbol of his opponents.
The Nixon Strategy also explains why, after all these years, Putin suddenly targeted Russia’s gays for a vicious culture war campaign. In the Russian Red States, the violent, cruel state-managed homophobia — in which a leading TV anchor told his audience that gays’ hearts and organs should be burned and buried deep underground — was red meat, an acknowledgment at last that Russia’s Silent Majority matters. And the more Moscow yuppies and Westerners berated Russia for attacking gays, the more the Silent Majority identified with the Kremlin.
And that brings me to Putin and Ukraine. It goes without saying that Putin didn’t plan this crisis to happen — he already had his man in power in Kyiv. But Putin did exploit the situation, turning a major humiliating defeat in February into a massive political victory within Russia by doing what the Silent Majority would’ve wanted Putin to do: Redress grievances, air out resentments nonstop against the West and against west Ukraine fascists, and screw whatever the West thinks.
What he’s doing is shoring up his new political base while tightening the screws on whatever remained of liberal freedom in Russia, taking control of the Internet, seizing control of the handful of opposition online media sites, and ramping up the culture war against liberals, gays, the decadent West… The fact that we, the US and EU and a few billionaires, funded violent regime change groups in bed with west Ukraine fascists and Russophobes has only made Putin’s domestic job easier. You can see it in the aftermath of the Odessa fire massacre that killed over 40 pro-Russian separatists: It shut up even Navalny.
The liberal-yuppie elites’ momentum is over. Putin’s popularity among the rest of the country has never been higher.
So if Putin is neither the defiant counterweight hero or the neo-Stalinist imperialist, but rather playing a Russian version of vicious Nixon politics, what should the West do?
That’s easy: Stay the Hell out of Russia’s way for awhile, its version of Nixon politics is just beginning, and it’s going to get uglier. Russia has a history of turning inward in ways that will strike us as feral and alien, something the abandoned Silent Majority will welcome, but no one else will. (Our sanctions only helped speed up that process of inward isolationism.)
"Feral and Alien" sounds like "Gog and Magog" to me! Isolationism won't bring on the Second Coming, only war can. Nothing personal, Putin.