How Republicans became the party of Putin

“Please help me, I’m very confused, wrote me one conservative activist-a Republican and a philanthropist. — Russian allegedly interfered in the elections of 2016, by forcing the server of the Democratic party, which was poorly protected, and some were in the basement Hillary. Hackers found emails written by members of the staff of Clinton, and published them to the American people could read these messages. People had no right to read that correspondence? Is that bad? Maybe we should thank the Russian, who made these elections more transparent?”

Ignore the factual inaccuracies of this message. (Russian presumably hacked private server not Clinton that caused such a big scandal (Donald trump obviously begged them to do it). Their hackers broke into the servers of the National Committee of the Democratic party and stole the letter from the Chairman of the headquarters Clinton John Podestà.) In this letter there is motivation a significant part of today’s Republican party. In any other era of our political leaders would come to the horror of such heinous opportunism, immoral frivolity and treacherous instincts.

But instead, the President of the United States justify appointment of his son with Russian officials who openly acted on behalf of the Kremlin. “The majority of politicians have gone to the meeting, which was conducted by don Jr. to get information about your opponent. This is politics!” — he declares. And we elected the Republicans for the most part silent or makes awkward excuses.

Anything like that in the beginning, trump Jr. said, if the theme of the meeting was adoption, not Russian proposal to pass a “top secret” damaging information on Hillary Clinton. How is this possible? First, the team trump said that he never met with the Russians, and now the President himself basically said: “Well, you were, what’s the big deal?”

This should not surprise those who followed last year’s election campaign. After all, trump, Sr. has openly called on Russia to hack into private email server Clinton. He became the most Pro-Russian presidential candidate since Henry Wallace (Henry Wallace), who in 1948 ran from the sympathetic to the Councils of the Progressive party. This is a trump at every opportunity extolled masculine virtues of Vladimir Putin. That trump brings to the campaign of moral relativism. And worst of all, voters the Grand old party does it is not punished. They voted for him and for his remarks.

Trump Jr. was not the only Republican seeking Russia aid in the fight against Clinton. In may, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Republican apparatchik from Florida received the data of analysis about voter turnout Democratic party from the hacker Guccifer 2.0, which, according to the us government, working for the Russian secret services. The newspaper also reported that Republican activist (now deceased) Peter Smith (Peter W. Smith) “conducted an independent campaign with the aim of obtaining the e-mails, which, he believed, was stolen from private servers, Hillary Clinton Russian hackers”.

Congress and law enforcement agencies carried out a series of investigations on the subject of Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016. But we still unknown, he joined the staff of the trump in active collusion with Moscow. However, we know that these people have no problem accepted help from the Kremlin. I should say that trump Jr. expressed frustration with the fact that his interlocutors from Russia has not brought the promised materials. Meanwhile, 48% of Americans believe that Donald Jr. was right in agreeing to this meeting. During the campaign, when associated with the Russian security services, the hackers dumped the stolen Internet, electronic communications, few Republicans took a principled position, as did the Senator from Florida Marco Rubio (Marco Rubio). They did not condemn the origin of the compromising information. “I’m not going to discuss any issues that have become public only thanks to WikiLeaks,” said at the time, Rubio. And he strictly warned members of his party who tried to take advantage of the misadventures Clinton: “Democrats Today, and tomorrow, perhaps, we are.”

Unfortunately, the vast majority of colleagues Rubio at the Grand old party has completely ignored his advice. Republican leaders and the conservative media, which recently demanded to be put in jail (or worse) of Julian Assange, suddenly began to extol the Australian anarchist to heaven. They were examined under the microscope and otherwise exaggerated any, even the most innocuous detail from the correspondence NCDP and Podestà.

Republican politicians and their allies in the conservative media have behaved exactly as the Kremlin wanted. The origin of the letters (they were stolen by Russian hackers) and the purpose of their publication (to sow discord in the American political establishment) these people were either ignored or presented as a striking example of Russian altruism (as did I wrote conservative activist), whose purpose — to save American democracy from the insidious clan of the Clintons.

Compare that principled position with Rubio with regards to the current Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo (Mike Pompeo). This man, though called today WikiLeaks “hostile intelligence service”, which is “all his attention focused on the United States, with support from anti-democratic countries,” but during the campaign gladly have peddled her ill-gotten information. Today, only a third of Republican voters believe the conclusions of the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the elections of 2016, which clearly contribute to the controversial statements of the President on this subject.

I do not support Obama’s foreign policy. I criticized him for his “reset” with Russia, a nuclear deal with Iran, rapprochement with Cuba, and even as he allowed the political conflict in Honduras. The last four years I work in a think tank “Foreign policy initiative” (Foreign Policy Initiative), which receives funding from Republican donors and regularly criticizes the Obama administration. Anyone who follows my publications knows how mad at me are liberals and Democrats. I even have the metaphorical scars to prove it.

But I did not expect that the Republican party, which once advocated stiff and didactic policy towards the outside world, and which helped to destroy the Soviet Union will become a willing minion of our geopolitical enemy No. 1 of Putin’s Russia, as rightly expressed in its previous presidential candidate from the Republicans. Today in his letter to the Grand old party I want to paraphrase the words of Barack Obama ridiculed Romney for this statement: “Called 2012. He wants his foreign policy back.”


I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve been watching how Russia is courting the American right, and started to do this long before it became a popular topic. It amazes me how strong and effective campaign to change attitudes of the conservatives in Russia. Four years ago I began writing a series of articles about how to increase sympathy for Russia among some American conservatives. At that time, in Putin’s fan club consisted of only a marginal type of Pat Buchanan (“Vladimir Putin paleoconservatism?” — he asked and answered in the affirmative), a bunch of weirdos, rallied under the banner of the Ron Paul Institute, but several opponents of gay marriages are so dissatisfied with their political defeat, they decided to enter into an Alliance with an authoritarian regime, which until recently was convicted of exporting “godless communism.”

Today these figures cannot be called marginal standing on the side of the politics of the Grand old party. A public opinion poll conducted in may companies of the Morning Consult and Politico, gave surprising results: 49% of Republicans believe that Russia is an ally. While the number of Republicans favorably relevant to hates America KGB officer Putin, over the last two years has almost tripled, and now 32% respond to it positively.

It would be wrong to attribute this shift in opinion Trump and his strange love for Moscow. Russia has aimed at the American right in 2013, and maybe sooner. Just as Putin approved the anti-gay law, and in his address to the nation, extolled “traditional values” in Russia and criticized the “genderless and infertile” liberalism of the West. In the same year, one associated with the Kremlin’s analytical centre has published a report titled “Putin — a new world conservative leader.” In 2015, Russia hosted a delegation from the National rifle Association, which is one of the most influential in America, a conservative lobby. The delegation included David Keene (David Keene), who at that time was President of the Association, as the working editor of the editorial page of the Washington Times, which regularly make their appeals to the supporters of friendly relations with Moscow. (It should be noted that Russia, which is charged with intelligence, and whose leader recently created Praetorian guard of 400 thousand people, do not really support the right to bear arms.) Recently, Politico magazine conducted a study and found out how the Russian special services with the help of the Internet and social networks affect another Bastion of American conservatism: the armed forces.

Today we should recognize that Russia in its actions has achieved tremendous success. Turn on Fox News and you will see how the most popular star of this channel Sean Hannity (Sean Hannity) quoted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, calling him a reliable source of information and Hawking sells Russian disinformation, say, the conspiracy theory that the source of last year’s leaks were not Russian hackers and killed during a robbery employee NCDP Seth rich (Seth Rich). Rising star Fox Tucker Carlson (Tucker Carlson) in his programs regularly ridicules this whole scandal with the Russian intervention, and critics of Putin is the image of bloodthirsty warmongers. On Monday night, Carlson was reached that gave the floor to the renegade leftist max Blumenthal (Max Blumenthal), who in his book compared Israel with the Third Reich, and actively supports the Assad regime in Syria. He did a good job by making his attack on the “servile press” for what she writes on the relationship of the tramp with Russia. (When Blumenthal said that this whole scandal with Russia is really just a pretext for the militarists of NATO enlargement, Carlson lightly made the assumption that his son will have to fight Russia. He already did that during the acute controversy with the Russian dissident Garry Kasparov. At the time I asked Carlson, is his son in the army. He didn’t answer.)

Meanwhile, one of the most influential Washington conservative analytical centers Heritage Foundation, formerly the Bastion of the hawks of the cold war, launched a campaign against the billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, who became for the Kremlin, one of the main scapegoats for their efforts to promote democracy and the improvement of government in the post-Soviet space.

Opinion about Russia has changed not only the conservative politicians and hacks in the media. Sympathy for Putin’s experience and some conservative intellectuals. Senior editor of the Weekly Standard Christopher Caldwell (Christopher Caldwell) also praises Putin, calling him “an outstanding statesman of our time”, and echoes the complaints of the Kremlin that Russia often “humiliated, robbed and misled.” Russia throughout its history has advanced this pitiful argument to justify its aggression.

As the moral purity of the party of Ronald Reagan became immoral emptiness of the party of Donald trump? Russian spies are among the best in the world. I believe they had carefully studied the American political scene and understood that during the reign of Obama the conservative movement is ripe for them to manipulate. Long gone is its fundamental opposition to the “evil Empire”. There was only intellectually and morally dried up carcass is that as the worms are inhabited by swindlers, immoral types, entertainers and crooks. These people manipulate book publishers, radiomarelli, websites and television networks, the hallmark of which are not ideas, and discontent. If the employee of the political Department of the Russian Embassy in Washington, visited the zoo, which has become the annual Conference of conservative political action, he would have seen “movement”, supporting the absurd activist and performance artist Milo of Giannopoulos (Milo Yiannopoulos), and consider it a kind of intellectual heavyweight. When conservative bloggers are willing to accept from the authoritarian governments of Indonesia, hundreds of thousands of dollars on a campaign smear the leader of the democratic opposition, of which they know nothing, except they are far from having to defend the brainless heir Donald trump Jr. and his collusion with the Russians?

Watching this tragic scene, Russia could try to change things for the better of the American right, whose moral decay precedes outright promiscuity. It is this moral decay allows one of the most insinuating nravouchiteley Dennis Preydzher (Dennis Prager) shameless to say: “the News media in the West represent a much greater danger to Western civilization than Russia”. And why would “religious right” who supported boastful and immoral charlatan Donald trump, not to close eyes to the oppressive regime which ruled Russia (or even not support it, as did Franklin Graham (Franklin Graham))? The embodiment of American conservatism today has become smug and arrogant smirk Carlson. It is a living embodiment of what meant the literary critic Lionel Trilling (Lionel Trilling) when he wrote that “the conservative impulses” are characterized by “irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas.”


This whole Saga about trump and Russia tied to a deeper question, to analyze who the majority of Republicans simply do not intend to: what is it about Donald trump that so much attracted the Kremlin?

Such an attempt would be a very painful but necessary step. It would seem that the assessment of the intelligence community with the conclusion that Russians have a preference for a Republican candidate, not Hillary Clinton, was to make right a little bit to reflect and to introspect. Moments for such self-critical analysis happened much earlier, say, when trump last summer made the head of his staff a former adviser to the corrupt Pro-Russian President of Ukraine. Or when trump in December 2015 praised on TV Putin. Republicans had to think about why foreign policy under the slogan “America first”, despite promises trump to strengthen the army and to “bomb the hell out” of ISIS (banned in Russia organization — approx. lane), proved to be more attractive than the liberal internationalism of the democratic candidate, which, despite all its flaws, never questioned such fundamental elements of the transatlantic democratic Alliance as the EU and NATO. Now, when trump became President, his impulsive actions, utrativshie from the USA and their closest allies the UK and Germany, should make Republicans think about how the actions of the American President meets Russian goals.

But alas, the party of Reagan, no such calculations are not engaged. Instead, the conservatives strongly stand up for Russia, despite all the recent scandals. To divert attention from the active Russian measures and their serious consequences, they are grasping at anything here and insane attacks on the so-called “American state within a state”, and conspiracy charges, voiced in the address of the people who remained in the administration since Obama. Of course, the Republican Congress remains belligerent towards Russia, at least on paper, as evidenced by the recent vote in the Senate, where majority (98 for and 2 against) adopted additional sanctions against Moscow for its meddling in the election and other offences. But Republicans in Congress do not represent the opinion of the party the basics of the Grand old party, which the President and his allies in the media convinced that “Russian history” is just a giant fake. More recently, Republicans have sneered about the presidential candidates from the Democratic party, which allegedly received favorable comments from foreign enemies, for example, from Hamas, whose representative in 2008 said he liked Barack Obama. Today most Republicans absolutely not ashamed of what their candidate openly gives preference to such a murderous thug like Vladimir Putin.

If the country is more important for the Republican party, they want to know what the Russian did, why they did it, and how to prevent the recurrence of such acts. But naturally, this will raise questions about trump, and all those who condoned him. But most Republicans prefer that these questions remain unanswered.

James Kirchik — visiting fellow, Brookings institution and author of “the End of Europe. Dictators, demagogues and the coming age of obscurantism” (The End of Europe: Dictators, lowliest demagogues and the Coming Dark Age).