Rethinking America

US Republicans: Putin’s Party?

In 2020, the Republicans are in the process of transforming themselves into the U.S. equivalent of Putin’s United Russia Party.

Credit: Vladimir Wrangel Shutterstock.com

Takeaways


  • Russia’s President did not just get his man into the White House but, in his four years in office, Trump managed to steadily turn the US into a kind of Russia.
  • In 2020, the Republicans are in the process of transforming themselves into the US equivalent of Putin’s United Russia Party.
  • As one of United Russia’s leaders put it: “Russia will exist as long as Putin exists. If he ceased to exist, Russia would disappear.” That’s how Trump also wants it for himself.
  • Total identity between the leader and the nation is how the US figures not just in Trump’s mind, but apparently also in the minds of many millions of his followers.
  • The Republicans are falling in with Trump without any reservations because, as is the case with Putin and Russian parliamentarians, he is their meal ticket.
  • The US system of checks and balances has a big prerequisite – people bold and principled enough to fight for democracy. Today’s Republican leaders are clearly neither bold nor principled.
  • Rather than getting out from under Trump’s yoke, the Republican Party might be inclined to get rid of the few remaining members with a backbone, guts and conscience.

When Vladimir Putin set out his plans to get Donald Trump elected U.S. president in 2016, he probably had no idea how well he was going to succeed.

After all, Russia’s President did not just get his man into the White House, but, in his four years in office, Donald Trump managed to steadily turn the United States into a kind of Russia.

Selling out to Putin

That is certainly true as far as one of the two major U.S. political parties is concerned. The days when the Republican Party prided itself on its principled, consistent and uncompromising ideology are long gone.

In particular, Moscow used to be seen as the antidote to everything Republicans stood for. No longer.

Gravely worried about losing the White House to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Republicans were only too pleased with Russian interference in the U.S. elections, which Donald Trump not just trumpeted openly — but encouraged.

Little wonder then that, in the run-up to the 2016 election, the Republicans allowed Donald Trump to water down the Republican Party’s election platform which had specifically provided strong support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression.

“Massaging” or stealing election results

In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump and his slavishly obedient Republican troops in the U.S. Congress and throughout the land refused to raise their voice in support of U.S. democracy.

Now that Trump has been trying to steal the election ex post facto, albeit on the basis not just of groundless — but of ludicrous charges — the Republicans are coming full circle: They are in the process of transforming themselves into the U.S. equivalent of Putin’s United Russia Party.

United Russia is the ruling party with a 54% supermajority in the Russian Duma, or parliament. It is unquestionably Putin’s party.

Political parties as personal fiefdoms

He was its leader in 2008-11, when he let his buddy Dmitry Medvedev keep the presidential throne warm for him for a period of four years. Since Putin returned to the Russian presidency in 2012, Medvedev has replaced him as party chairman.

It is not enough that the party rubber stamps all of Putin’s initiatives. Vechyaslav Volodin, currently the Chairman of the Duma and a leading member of the Party, puts it clearly: “Russia will exist as long as Putin exists. If he ceased to exist, Russia would disappear.”

That kind of identity between the leader and the nation is precisely how the United States figures not just in Donald Trump’s mind, but apparently also in the minds of many millions of his followers.

Self-enrichment and political loyalty

Putin’s entourage — including United Russia parliamentarians — have all done extremely well materially due to their personal sycophancy.

As cynics interested only in plundering Russia’s resources for their personal benefit, they don’t have any ideology. They use power as a means of preserving their own personal wealth.

This is why their support for Putin is so sincere and heart-felt. Indeed, if Putin ceased to exist, in the resultant power struggle many of them would lose their wealth — if not their freedom and lives.

As goes Putin’s party, so do U.S. Republicans

In the United States, it seems that the Republicans are falling in with Trump without any reservations because, as is the case with Putin and Russian parliamentarians, he is their meal ticket.

The famous U.S. system of checks and balances has a big prerequisite — it relies entirely on the decency of men and women bold enough to fight for democracy. Today’s Republican leaders are clearly not decent men and women.

It is therefore not at all surprising that, when Robert Mueller presented his report on Russian collusion by the Trump campaign, the Republican leadership shrugged it off.

Having become so much like United Russia, Republicans see no harm done if Putin meddled in U.S. elections to help them stay in power.

Conclusion

It remains to be seen, now that Joe Biden has been affirmed by the Electoral College, to what extent Republicans will at least gradually come out from under the yoke of Donald Trump. It is high time for them to drop being the U.S. equivalent of Putin’s United Russia Party.

But the GOP could also become even more the Trump party. While even Vladimir Putin has now congratulated Joe Biden, acknowledging his victory, quite a few elected “United America” (formerly known as GOP) officials in the U.S. Congress and at state level have not done so.

Thus, rather than getting out from under Donald Trump’s yoke, the Republican Party might be inclined to get rid of the few remaining members with a backbone, guts and conscience.

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About Alexei Bayer

Alexei Bayer is a Senior Editor at The Globalist, based in New York. [United States]

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