Since Donald Trump became President, it seems the Republican party has decided that it’s good practice to favor our adversaries over the Democrats or even America’s highest intelligence and officials; Not to mention our allies on the world stage.
Today, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has shared a video as he accused the FBI of spying on the 2016 Trump campaign, contradicting Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, which found the exact opposite.
Now Kevin McCarthy and McConnell have inspired Russian hashtags on Twitter: #KremlinKevin and #MoscowMitch. However, it’s not only these two who seem to have forgotten which country they serve.
Among the Fox News crowd, host Tucker Carlson went so far as to openly root for Russia over embattled Ukraine although later claimed it was a “joke.” Carlson also questioned if Russia’s meddling in our elections had any negative effect on America. (see video below)
It seems the Fox News crowd and Trump supporters, in general, think foreign election meddling is great, as long as it helps their party. Also, it seems Republicans are so out of touch with reality that they forgot why cozying up to Putin is incredibly stupid.
Here are a few reminders of why Republicans must wake up about Russia, in no order of importance:
The Russian government strictly monitors guns.
Now, this should not be the top reason by any stretch, but it might matter to Republican voters. Only recently in 2014 were Russian citizens allowed to carry guns in public, except while hunting and at sporting events. You can forget about your high-powered assault rifles altogether, Republicans.
In cases of self-defense, it’s illegal to use firearms against “women, disabled persons, and minors, unless they attacked you with a group and arms,” according to Business Insider.
Further, guns are not allowed at “rallies, meetings, demonstrations, recreational activities, and religious ceremonies,” according to Arguments and Facts.
Republicans who favor the Russian-style government should know they would never get away stockpiling assault weapons or military-grade weaponry. In this one respect, Russia might make more sense than America currently does, but not to the NRA-enabling GOP, which might be a little too connected with the Russians anyway.
NPR reported in September that NRA was considered a “foreign asset” to Russia ahead of 2016, according to a Senate report.
Putin believes the West has “outlived its purpose.”
In an interview with the Financial Times, Putin “pronounced dead the West’s governing creed since the end of World War II. The ideology of liberal democracy, he said, “has outlived its purpose.”
Republicans should know that, rather than being a good ally like those at NATO, Putin has publicly stated he’s ready for war with the West –That means nuclear war if it’s anything like the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
From Reuters in February 2019:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is militarily ready for a Cuban Missile-style crisis if the United States wanted one and threatened to place hypersonic nuclear missiles on ships or submarines near U.S. territorial waters.”
Before this in October 2018, ABC News reported:
“Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that America’s global dominance is coming to an end, with the U.S. itself accelerating that process with a string of mistakes’ typical of an empire.'”
“It’s a typical mistake of an empire,” Putin said. “An empire always thinks that it can allow itself to make some little mistakes, take some extra costs, because its power is such that they don’t mean anything. But the quantity of those costs, those mistakes inevitably grows. “And the moment comes when it can’t handle them, neither in the security sphere or the economic sphere.”
Does this sound like a man that Trump should be treating Putin like one of his best friends in the world?
Russia’s economy is smaller than Italy’s.
Today, The New York Times posted an article about Russia’s strangely inflated influence in the world, given its horrible economy at the moment. In “Russia Is a Mess. Why Is Putin Such a Formidable Adversary?”Andrew Higgins expounds on the “sputtering” economy where young people are “frustrated.”
“Russia’s economy is dwarfed by that of America’s, which is more than ten times bigger in dollar terms; it is too small to make even a list of the top 10, and it grew by around just 1 percent this year. Nor does Russia pack much cultural punch beyond its borders, despite excelling in classical music, ballet, and many other arts. South Korea, thanks to K-pop and its movies, has more reach,” wrote Higgins.
Republicans seem to prioritize the economy above all else. They should know that the Russian system is certainly not thriving, except perhaps in generating fake news and divisive disinformation campaigns.
From the Times:
“Vladislav Surkov, a longtime Kremlin adviser, wrote in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, a Moscow newspaper, earlier this year, Russia “is playing with the West’s minds.”
Farewell to credible elections
Putin, a former KGB spy, was never elected. He took power on Dec. 31, 1999, when the first democratically elected President, Boris N. Yeltsin, handed him power after he shockingly resigned.
Today, Putin receives international criticism for “stealing” the Russian elections. Now in his fourth term, journalists all over the world question how that can be legitimate, which goes a long way to explain why journalists are held in such low regard by people like Trump and Putin.
The Guardian reported on the last “election” in 2018.
“The answer is that Russia’s is an election in name only. In truth, it is a sham and a smokescreen, designed to confer democratic respectability on to a corrupt oligarchy. For Russians accustomed to unaccountable rule from on high, this is nothing new. More surprising is the supine acquiescence, bordering on complicity, of western democracies.”
Putin will win on Mar. 18 because the system he created, politely known as “managed democracy”, removes all elements of surprise. His most credible challenger, Alexei Navalny (who in any case did not expect to win), has been banned from participation on specious legal grounds. Last month Navalny was arrested while urging an election boycott.”
Of course, given the Republican’s love of Fox News today, they might find the following passage darkly appealing, but they shouldn’t –not unless they want to move to Russia.
“Putin’s control of Russia’s television outlets and other media means political opponents are virtually invisible unless they are in court on a charge. By contrast, his own public appearances receive fawning blanket coverage.”
A corrupt oligarchy won’t help Republicans.
In 2015, former President Carter said that the U.S. is now an “oligarchy” with “unlimited political ‘bribery.'” He couldn’t have known at the time how prescient those words would become in 2019, as Trump has been accused of bribing the Ukrainian President.
Speaking to Thom Hartmann, Carter expounded on the problems of “unlimited money in politics” thanks to the Supreme Court and Citizens United.
So you see, America has already moved toward an oligarchy even before Trump took office. However, it’s not something any of us should be voting for. To understand why you have to take a closer look at the Russian oligarchy.
Consider if this is something that any sane patriotic person would want:
While more than 70 billionaires enjoy over two-thirds of the country’s wealth, 20 million people live below the national poverty line. (see video below) A tenth of the population lives for less than $200 per month. Meanwhile, the so-called oligarchs make themselves ever-richer, as they toe the line for Putin and keep their mouths shut to anything political.
Of course, they also do get involved with politics and even seem to get people like Mitch McConnell to lift sanctions on them and open up shop in their home states. It’s clear that top Republicans are way too comfortable with oligarchs, and may actually be oligarchs after all.
Do Republican Trump supporters really want sham elections run by Trump? Do they want to continue a corrupt oligarchy that will eventually produce a failing economy as a result? Do they believe America has “outlived its purpose?” Or that the government should heavily monitor their free speech, and yes, even their beloved semi-automatic weaponry?
If Republican Trump supporters can read this and decide they still think Putin’s Russia is the model they prefer, they should probably go ahead and move there and try it out for a while. Instead, they seem to be intent on living inside a bubble while democracy hangs in the balance thanks to their complicity with Donald Trump and his best bud, Putin.
For more on the Russian oligarchs, see the video from CNN below:
Featured image: Screenshot via Wikipedia