Although most, and I emphasize most, Republicans in and out of Congress do not like or trust Russia and condemn Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the MAGA wing of the GOP opposes Western (particularly American) assistance to that embattled Eastern European nation. Even as the war in Ukraine continues over a year since the autocratic Putin announced that the Kremlin was launching a “special military operation” to liberate Russia’s western neighbor from Nazis and a pro-Western government in Kyiv, loyalists to President Donald Trump, including Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are Putin’s most vocal allies.
Last June, for instance, Greene (the same member of Congress who suggested that “blue states” and “red states” should seek a “national divorce”) tweeted this about the American government’s efforts to supply Ukraine with weapons, ammunition, and spare parts to defend itself against Russian aggression: “Grinding up Ukraine to fight with Russia is disgusting, they could have been an ally.”
Green was ticked off that the Biden Administration was sending military assistance to Ukraine “against the American people’s will.”
I always find it unamusing and tone-deaf when the MAGA wing of the GOP claims that it speaks for the entirety of the American people, as if the fact that Trump lost his bid fore reelection in 2020 because over 80 million voters, including me, chose Joe Biden over the twice-impeached, much disliked former President proves that it does not.
The far-right wing of the Republican Party doesn’t even speak for the entire party, although its loud voices are magnified because Trump won the Presidency in 2016 and by so doing, became the de facto leader of the GOP. If it wasn’t for that bit of serendipity, I doubt that someone as flaky and anti-democratic as Greene would have won a seat in Congress in the first place.
Why does the Republican Party’s MAGA wing, which also includes conservative media figures such as Alex Jones, Steve Bannon, and Tucker Carlson, follow Trump’s pro-Putin, pro-Russia stance?
Because, Dear Reader, the MAGA movement is backed by a segment of the population that does not like democracy as a form of government. Democracy, from the perspective of a group that is authoritarian in spirit (especially where religion’s role in society and the place of women, ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ folks in American culture are concerned), is too messy, too chaotic, and too slow and inconvenient for the far right to push its agenda.
In Russia – a country that could have been a democracy after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 but never got a chance to – Putin gets things done because he and his party, Russia United, control everything. Communism is gone, sure, but in its place rose up what can only be labeled a kleptocracy. As the late Tom Clancy once described Putin’s Kremlin in one of his last novels, Russia is now essentially a banana republic with a nuclear arsenal.
The far right in America (and other countries in the West) admire Putin and his authoritarianism because his policies align closely with their ideal vision of society.
Putin says he wants “law and order” in Russia; the MAGA wing of the GOP says it stands for law and order in America.
Putin proclaims he is a Christian (of the Russian Orthodox Church, but still a Christian) and does not believe in the separation of church and state; most MAGA Republicans also identify as Christians (either evangelical Protestants or hardline Catholics), many of whom would love to turn the United States into a theocracy.
Putin hates gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals; many MAGA Republicans also hate anyone who is not “straight” or “cisgender.”
Putin is a fire-breathing nationalist; MAGA Republicans are also fire-breathing nationalists.
Putin believes in white supremacy; many MAGA Republicans hate racial diversity and would love it if America could be “flipped” back to the way it was in the 1950s and even before.
Hence, the affinity of folks like Greene, Bannon, Jones, et.al. for the authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin.
2 thoughts on “A Quick (or Perhaps Not-So-Quick?) Thought on the American Right’s Pro-Russia Stance”
Yes, the MAGA wing of the Republican party is the enemy of America, freedom, truth, decency, and especially our children. It is an evil phenomenon. Unfortunately, they are quite a substantial portion of the GOP. Hopefully, things will change,
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Amazing, to me at least, that the “moderate” Republicans still refuse to stand up to these MAGA creeps. As you stated, as a whole, these MAGA types don’t even really speak up for the Republican party, much less the American people. Thanks for the insight, Alex!
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