Its been rare in recent history for Russia to be considered a friend of the United States. This is rightly so, they are an ambitious nation with their own goals and beliefs. By and large though I believe that there is nothing wrong with Russia or the Russian people. Like us they are trying to survive as best they can with the hand they have been dealt. There is evil in our world though, and representing it are individuals who are morally corrupt, bankrupt in their hearts, and not worthy of mercy or reprieve. Circling around to the point, while I don’t believe Russians are such individuals I do think that their leader Vlad Putin is one such person.
Putin has been politically scape goated by both wings of the American Polity. He has been a bogeyman for Neocon Republicans who see Russia and China was immediate geopolitical threats. Very recently Democrats have turned him into a scheming Machiavellian genius playing four different games of chess while we struggle away at checkers. Well both these things could very well be true, and even more besides. This is because Putin is evil, he is one of the individuals that introduces rot, decay, and pain in to our world. Evidence of this is abundant and visible even after the most cursory examinations of his track record as both the new czar and before.
Mr. Putin began his career in the KGB in counter-intelligence, to put it simply he chased other spies and fed them bad information. During and after the fall of the Soviet Union he began a political career, by running elections for his party and taking time only to be accused, albeit with no lasting consequences, of plagiarism while writing a paper on economics. Following this he became part of the St. Petersberg government rising quickly until he was appointed to a prime minister position under Yeltsin. Corruption followed in his wake and swept up his associates. At this point Yeltsin would step down and he would become acting president. Things really heated up after that,
with rampant conspiracy talk during the campaign, Putin won during the fist round of voting and began cracking down on private property, free press, and everything that makes representative government functional.
During his second term, for which he won seventy something percent of the vote, we saw journalists imprisoned, ex-pats poisoned, and an ever-expanding hunger for power. He did to his credit though step down after his second term ended, just long enough for one of his closest associates to make him prime minister and amend the constitution so that he could run again and for long terms. Now we see him annexing foreign territories, propping up his fellow autocrats, and killing civilians en mass.
This is where we are at and we some how can not come to agreement on him. This should not be difficult, bu we have allowed our political squabbles and “tribalism” to shade and justify opinions of him that we should not even be considering. To my fellow conservatives trying to defend him, stop. Stop right now. His hard-line on ISIS/ISIL/The Caliphate forgives none of his previous acts. Nor does any suspected responsibility for Clinton’s email leaks. To the progressives calling for a crusade, stop. Just stop already. Meddling in each other’s affairs are what nation’s do. No, actual proof has been presented yet that he was the reason that your information got out, and even if he were there are dozens of better reasons to be upset with him.
I am not letting anyone off the hook. Putin has not earned himself any lee way and he needs to be defeated. Republicans can not fall off the script because they think he helped their Johnny-come-lately win an election. Democrats were off the script a long time ago abandoning any kind of true morality in a whirlwind of hedonism and post-modern worship of the flawed human condition. We lost our way by putting our parties ahead of the people who surround us. People, human beings matter, I am not calling for a holy war but I am saying that we can settle policy after we learn to protect each other and after we learn to know true actual evil when we are forced to look it in the face.