Vladimir Putin Wants To Live In The Past; So Does Every Single Republican

Regardless of whatever political system he grew up in, Vladimir Putin is the poster boy for conservatism. Communism may fit on the left side of the political spectrum but its execution never smacks of progressive values. I betcha that never in his life did Vlad Putin ever embrace communism like a faith. The only thing he ever embraced as a faith – other than his religious faith (which he embraces) – is the spying game. The world of intelligence gathering, kompromat and subterfuge. Putin’s a cold warrior first and foremost, not a “warrior” warrior. It’s not the “Soviet-ness” from the past that he’s trying to recreate by forcing Ukraine back into Russia’s sphere of influence, it’s what Putin thinks of as the “Russian-ness” of the past. Putin dreams of a Russia that never really was – except in his own mind.

That’s too bad for us – because Putin intends for us to live in that past right along with him.

Pick a Republican – pretty much any Republican – and bore down to the America they intend to turn us into. It’s an America where Black people especially have no voice and no vote. If brown people, Asian people, LGBTQ people or anyone else wants to vote against Republican interests, their voices and votes can be just as easily “disappeared”. As the Reagan years slipped into history, the GOP found itself facing demographic obliteration. A diversifying America was going to make white people a minority far sooner than some rich white people were comfortable with. And, so, they did something about it. Conservative money – the Kochs, the Mercers et al – saw a way to keep that diversifying America from usurping white power – and eating into white wealth.

The right wing money machine understood that except for playing the Electoral College, the presidency was out of Republican hands maybe forever. In the legislative branch, the House of Representatives could never be a good bet for holding onto power as its membership has to run for office every two years; in essence, they’re always running for office. The Senate produced better possibilities to impede diversified power sharing.

The structure of the Senate is a lot like the structure of the Electoral College. It “overweights” rural voters and “underweights” urban voters – all as a means to compromise with slavery and give less-populated slave states more political clout than they deserved. As America grew, that mentality prevailed. Why are there TWO Dakotas? Because there were too many Dakotans for one Dakota? Hardly. LA County has more people in it than both Dakotas combined. The point of the exercise (just like with making Idaho, Montana and Wyoming separate states) was to add two more white, Christian, conservative Senators than there should have been.

“The Senate”, the Right Wing Money understood, was a legislative essential to holding onto power. That also explains why Washington, DC , Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands aren’t states. Their statehood would threaten conservative aspirations. That’s where Mitch McConnell and the judicial branch come in.

The Right Wing Money Machine grasped that the judiciary was their best hope for holding onto power for a long time to come – maybe even forever. It’s all about lifetime appointments to federal benches – especially the Supreme Court. And the Senate is the gateway to the judiciary.

What does the Right Wing Money Machine want? Does it want to live in a diverse future where everyone shares power equally and America finally lives UP to its actual ideals and not DOWN to the bigotry and small mindedness of the white, Christian, land-owning men who tried to imagine a modern democratic republic but failed at getting that magnificent idea one hundred percent right. Good thing that idea is fluid and therefore fixable. The right wing money – standing up for conservative values – wants that fluidity drained dry.

The America Republicans want for themselves – and therefore the rest of us too – is an America where they have all the power and all the money. By “they” I mean white, Christian men. The America they dream of is America circa 1850. The past.

Conservatism isn’t about its ideals. It’s about its goal – which its ideals are all meant to achieve. And conservatism’s goal is to resist the future as hard has humanly possible. Conservatism wants to “conserve” as much of the past as still exists in the present. If they could find the past literally trapped in amber, they’d want to find a way to go live in it. Putin would agree. If he could find a way to capture the glory days of Greater Russia frozen in time and impose its logic, its rules and regulations, its way of life upon the present, he’d do it.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is meant to drag Ukraine backward in both politics and time. The same goes for the GOP’s invasion of America’s democratic institutions. How else should we think of all the legislation Republicans have now written to prevent Americans from voting? The point is to drag America back to the past. And you just know – if Republicans could do all this with their permitted second amendment problem solvers in their hands? They’d do that, too.

That’s just one more thing Republicans admire about Putin – their poster boy for conservatism.

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