I recoil in horror from the foulness of thee
From the squalor and the filth and the misery
How we laugh up here in heaven at the prayers you offer me
That’s why I love mankind…
Randy Newman, from “God’s Song”
To nobody’s real surprise, I suppose, Vladimir Putin easily won the Russian presidential election a few days ago, and is the Russian Federation’s president for another six years. And while it couldn’t have been a real surprise to the west – we’ve just established it wasn’t really a surprise, and while the western media tried to drag out the usual round-eyed horror about ballot-box stuffing and carousel voting, you could tell its heart just wasn’t in it – the west is having a hard time concealing its disappointment. Some western leaders have made it pretty clear they would rather dry-swallow a pine cone than congratulate him on his victory, while others have sounded more like they’re announcing someone’s funeral, but there is a pretty common theme of profound unhappiness.
Why is that, do you think? I mean, there can be little doubt that his tenure as leader of the country has been good for it. The year he took over the reins, 1999, Russia recorded a record low GDP of $196 Billion. In 2016, the latest year for which accurate figures are available, it was $1.28 Trillion. That’s a…let’s see…tap, tap, tap…a sixfold increase. Russians’ per-capita GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity doubled. Did your income double since 1999? I thought not. While western columnists and reporters love to howl about the death of free speech in Russia under Putin, his critics appear to be able to say just about anything they want – he showed up at Lyudmilla Alexeeva’s home to congratulate her on her 90th birthday last summer, and she proclaimed herself to be ‘very. very grateful’ for the visit and the gifts. “To have the president congratulate me…a lot has changed. I could never imagine that”, she said emotionally. Naturally, Human Rights Watch pissed all over it, complaining that if he really cared about Alexeeeva, he would honour her by repealing the laws Russia has put in place to safeguard itself from western-funded NGO’s stirring up insurrection and astroturfing opposition movements. Of course he wasn’t sincere, snarled Deputy Director, Europe and Central Asia Division Rachel Denber. She just knows. Considering Human Rights Watch is funded by George Soros’ Open Society, and George Soros never stops hopefully forecasting bankruptcy and political collapse for Russia so long as it is led by Putin, it’s not hard to connect the dots there.
It sure would be fun to go on snickering at the discomfiture of western leaders, pundits and what passes in the west for journalists. But given the ample evidence that his arrival on the political scene was a Godsend for Russians, it’s hard to draw any other conclusion than that the west just doesn’t want Russia to succeed.
Why doesn’t the west get Putin? I mean, seriously – he has greatly enhanced the quality of life for his people. Simpletons like Stanislav Belkovsky and Gleb Pavlovsky have joined with the caterwauling west to accuse him of plundering Russia of billions upon billions for his personal use, but there has never been any sign that he lives more luxuriously than western political leaders, and no trace of the supposed stolen billions has ever been found. Embarrassingly, the most concentrated attempt to do so – the Mossack-Fonseca ‘Panama Papers’ – ended up catching far more westerners (including cosseted western pet Petro Poroshenko) than Russians, with no scent of Putin at all. In fact, the revelations made westerners so furious that the Brookings Institution speculated the Russians had actually been behind the release. That’s after people who worked on them took to Twitter the night before they were released, openly gloating that the information revealed would bring down Putin. Instead he seems to live modestly, work tirelessly for the betterment of Russians, avoid the limelight (except for a little relatively harmless no-shirt posing and the occasional spin in a racecar) and earn the approbation he receives from the electorate. Overall, the west’s attitude seems kind of selfish, given all it does is blat about how terrible Putin’s leadership has been for the west. Continue reading “Even With a Translator, The West Still Just Doesn’t Get Putin”