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Opinion | Why MAGA Loves Russia and Hates Ukraine

Opinion | Why MAGA Loves Russia and Hates Ukraine


In a 2017 speech at Hillsdale College, the Claremont Institute’s Christopher Caldwell declared that if “we have been to make use of conventional measures for understanding leaders, which contain the protection of borders and nationwide flourishing, Putin would depend because the pre-eminent statesman of our time.” In Caldwell’s phrases, Putin “isn’t the president of a feminist NGO. He isn’t a transgender-rights activist. He isn’t an ombudsman appointed by the United Nations to make and ship slide reveals about inexperienced power.”

In 2021, The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher praised a Putin speech condemning the West and stated that Putin and Hungary’s Viktor Orban have been “fully clear and fully right on the society-destroying nature of wokeness and postliberal leftism.” (It ought to be famous that Dreher has nonetheless unequivocally condemned Putin’s invasion.) A 2022 trade between Steve Bannon and Erik Prince, the founder of personal navy contractor Blackwater, was much more illustrative. Bannon hosted Prince on his podcast shortly after Putin’s invasion and proclaimed Putin “anti-woke.” Prince replied supportively that the folks of Russia “nonetheless know which rest room to make use of.” And Bannon stored the thought alive, asking, “How many genders are there in Russia?”

Jordan Peterson, in the meantime, went as far as to suggest that Russia’s aggressive assault might have been merely self-defense in opposition to the specter of Western cultural decadence. The tradition struggle, he mused, could also be “severe sufficient to extend the likelihood that Russia, say, will probably be motivated to invade and probably incapacitate Ukraine merely to maintain the pathological West out of that nation, which is a key a part of the traditionally Russian sphere of affect.”

There is an outdated saying: The enemy of my enemy is my good friend. Ideally, the phrase signifies that Americans put aside their home variations to deal with overseas threats to the nation. But on this hyper-polarized period, the far proper will get this equation exactly backward. They are aiding Vladimir Putin as a result of they see him, too, versus their home enemies.

Before the struggle, MAGA’s mixture of hostility towards Ukraine and admiration of Putin created a really specific narrative: Rugged, manly, conventional Russia was bodily and spiritually stronger than the liberalizing West, and it will roll over Ukraine with solely token resistance. Indeed, earlier than the struggle, Ted Cruz shared a tweet by which he contrasted Russian and American navy adverts. The U.S. advert, he claimed, confirmed our navy to be “woke” and “emasculated.” But the Russian advert reeked of masculine aggression. How may the West — not to mention tiny Ukraine — stand in opposition to such manly males?



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