Putin’s Reflection – The American Conservative


It’s not paranoia when your regime is really fragile.

Whatever is wrong with Vladimir Putin other than a bad heart – psychosis, incipient insanity, some undiscovered terminal illness – the man clearly suffers from a keen awareness of his regime’s fragility that leads him to perceive dangers that do not exist and to magnify those who do. His enemies in the West have insisted for years that this represents “paranoia” on his part, evidence of a mentally ill individual who sees political systems other than the one he created as a deadly threat to the Russian nation and his own imperial project. They’re right about that – but they don’t realize that Putin’s neurotically suspicious mind is their opposite in this regard.

The United States is incomparably less fragile than Russia, but the regime that has ruled the country in this third decade of the century is indeed fragile, a fact well understood by its leaders. Commentators over the past year have noted the suddenly ubiquitous phrase “our democracy” that politicians and journalists, usually liberal ones, now regularly resort to. The two words always seem to imply that democracy in America is under threat from right-wing authoritarians who seek to destroy it and replace it with a reactionary, racist, post-constitutional system. “Our democracy” sounds natural, innocent and harmless, before one asks whose democracy “our” connotes.

The obvious answer is that “our” refers to the liberal regime that has ruled America for many decades now. It’s the regime of the Democratic Party, of academia, of the cultural establishment, of the entertainment industry. It’s definitely not the America of the Republicans, the 74,223,369 Americans who voted for President Trump in 2020, the country dwellers, the undergraduates, or the red states that make up most of any map of the United States all together at least half of the entire American population. The liberal regime is, of course, nervously aware that a potential majority in the country is opposed to its rule. As she attempts to seize control of the entire nation and impose her progressive vision across all fifty states, she reasonably anticipates resistance from Red America, remains alert to the slightest sign of it, and is determined to oppose that resistance in the moment , in which it shows up.

The head lies restless and so on. American liberals view conservatives, populists, the National Rifle Association, gun owners, countrymen, enthusiasts for Donald Trump, and similar enemies of their democracy in a way that is exactly analogous to how Putin views democratic nations and democratic societies, NATO, and the European Union . Where Putin envisions liberal-democratic imperialists around the world working relentlessly and ceaselessly to sabotage and destroy his government and country, the American liberal regime envisions “white supremacists”—those of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security as greatest existing threat to the peace and security of the United States – they hid under President Biden’s bed, planted bombs in Nancy Pelosi’s freezer, infiltrated local police departments to assassinate black citizens, and Republican politicians plotted with Federal Security in the Kremlin to they disenfranchise people of color and steal every election in america from now until kingdom come.

Hillary Clinton and her anti-deplorables campaign knew full well that Trump was not coordinating his campaign with the Russians. While the majority of Democrats and Liberals simply agreed to the lie in order to get them elected, no doubt many others actually believed it. Just as Putin is willing to assume that all the world except China is out to destroy him, so many American liberals are willing to accept that all Republicans are either traitors or potential traitors.

Unless he is genuinely mentally unbalanced, it is likely that Putin is secretly aware that the dream of restoring the Tsarist Empire is fatally unrealistic and will never materialize. I suspect the same is true of the American liberal regime: It, and its left wing in particular, recognizes that the dream of turning the United States into a progressive utopia, as outlined by Black Lives Matter theorists, is actually a spinner is one.

Chilton Williamson Jr. is the author of The end of liberalism and a novel The Last Westernerboth forthcoming from St. Augustine Press.

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