I find the current anti-Russian hysteria rather childish – illustrating how shallow many people’s approach to politics is. Hillary Clinton relied on Russophobia in her attempt to divert the attention of US voters away from the Democratic Party manipulations to prevent Bernie Sanders’s nomination. She blamed the Russians, and in particular blamed Russian president Putin, for exposure of the corruption – and that saga continues today.
The fact this seems to have fooled some people, at least the more politically partisan, is worrying. I have often seen Russophobia as essentially a form of racism. It is, at least, a very unsophisticated approach to politics and it is sad to see people manipulated by its use.
The demonisation of president Putin is particularly laughable. Not only does it show a willingness to believe the most outlandish stories about the man, it also shows a complete ignorance about his place in the Russian political system. In particular, our media often resorts to quoting who they call the Russian “opposition” – people who can not even get sufficient electoral support to win Duma seats, or even organise a credible political party. These people do not represent a real threat to the current president – nor should we see them as credible alternatives to Putin.
In fact, if the Russophobes actually considered things a bit more objectively and recognised who the credible alternatives to Putin are they just might change their tune.
In Russian politics be careful what you wish for – particularly if your wishes are coming from a position of ignorance.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky – Russia’s Trump!
The video above shows a speech by a real Russian opposition leader. He does have a Duma seat. Vladimir Zhirinovsky is the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. In the 2016 Duma elections that party came third, with just slightly less support than the Duma opposition party – the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
But current polling indicates the Liberal Democrats are now in second place. More importantly, Zhirinovsky has already been nominated as a candidate for next year’s presidential elections. So far the only announced candidate!
As the Russian Communist Party is rumoured to not be standing their current leader, Zhirinovsky is surely the real and only credible presidential alternative to Valadimir Putin. That is if Putin actually stands!
Putin’s party, United Russia, has yet to announce a candidate and Putin himself has been a bit cagey – hinting that he actually sees a life beyond politics and has several non-political projects he is keen to get involved in.
I don’t think there is any doubt about Putin’s popularity in Russia. He would be sure to win the presidential elections if he stands – but what if he doesn’t? It is possible that even another United Russia candidate, may not be certian to win against Zhirinovsky.
Perhaps those people in the west currently succumbing to Russophobia, and Putinphobia, should have a think. What would a Zhirinovsky presidential administration look like?
Have a look at the video and see what you think.
Perhaps Vladimir Putin really is a responsible and careful leader after all. Someone protecting the interests of his own country – internally and internationally – but at the same time recognising that other countries also have legitimate international interests. Someone who appears always ready to unwilling to get into the childish abusive political labelling we are so familiar with in the west. I think Putin is – but I do not think Zhirinovsky is.
Be realistic – which leader would you prefer had their finger on the nuclear button in Russia?