Rudolph Giuliani raved about Putin. Is he lurking in the background giving Trump ideas? I posted this nearly three years ago. This blog has been on top of it.
Giuliani praises Tzar Putin the Savior of Christendom. Reporters are now concluding Putin is on a Mission from God, and thus a rational solution is not possible. The Sane Secular World does not need another nation going Religious Fanatic. Add to this Zionist, Islamic and Redneck Zealots, then the future of the world looks bleak.
GIULIANI: Putin decides what he wants to do and he does it in half a day, right? He decided he had to go to their parliament. He went to their parliament. He got permission in 15 minutes.
CAVUTO: Well, that was kind of like perfunctory.
GIULIANI: But he makes a decision and he executes it, quickly. Then everybody reacts. That’s what you call a leader. President Obama, he’s got to think about it. He’s got to go over it again. He’s got to talk to more people about it.
Read more: Rudy Giuliani Putin Leadership – Rudy Giuliani’s Mancrush On Putin – Esquire
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A very frightening report prepared by the Office of the President (OoP) on the machinations behind the United States rapid retreat from using military action against Syria states that President Obama was “strongly dissuaded” from attacking this Middle Eastern nation after President Putin threatened that should America strike, “Armageddon would be unleashed.”
According to this report, Putin and Obama met last week in a private meeting during the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg wherein the Russian leader warned his American counterpart that Syrian leader Assad was “fully prepared” to destroy the Tagba Dam holding back Lake Assad on the Euphrates River which would cause the largest man-made catastrophe ever to occur in the Middle East.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Tsar was revered by large swaths of the peasant population as god-like. Any crises and hated government policies were generally attributed to evil advisers and ministers. After all, the thinking went, the Tsar himself wanted only the best for his people and surely had no idea what policies ministers maliciously implemented in his name.
Stalin built on this tradition in the 1930s. Whenever one of his policies backfired, he swiftly blamed it on overzealous followers or supposed foreign agents in the state apparatus. Most famously, Nikolai Ezhov, head of the NKVD (predecessor to the KGB) during the great purges, was tried and executed—Stalin claiming that the mass killings were entirely his doing. Many letters from the time testify that people honestly believed Stalin had no idea of the horrors underway in his name.
Today Putin is following a similar, though less blood-thirsty, pattern. And surveys show that people are buying his message. While his party is highly unpopular and generally blamed for the sluggish progress in the still impoverished country, Putin’s approval ratings remain quite high.
In most Western nations, people tend to blame their heads of government for almost everything that goes wrong, even events beyond their control. In Russia, a large part of the population does the opposite. Rather than blaming Putin for his terrible record, they prefer to believe in their strong leader and instead see his party and the bureaucracy as the problem. The explanation for this can be found in the Tsarist tradition Putin is shrewdly building on.
Putin is not only using the Tsarist tradition when constructing his public image, but also when choosing his crusades. His current term as President has been characterized by conservative policies, most notably with regard to orthodox Christianity. Russia’s anti-blasphemy laws, introduced last year, are widely popular in the country, as was the prosecution of Pussy Riot for singing an anti-religious song in a church.
Despite the undeniable impact of communist rule, the Russian population is and always has been overwhelmingly conservative and religious. The Tsars drew legitimacy in part from their official role as defenders of the orthodox faith. Under communist rule, nostalgia for the monarchy was most intense in religious circles, which felt that they had lost a champion of their faith when Tsar Nicholas II abdicated in 1917.
With his crusade against Pussy Riot and homosexuals, Putin is placing himself directly in the Tsarist tradition of defending Christianity against real or imagined adversaries. What worked a century ago seems to be working now. Putin’s religious policies have strengthened his popularity.
The Tsarist imagery of Putin’s rule was clearest at the re-inauguration of the Russian Popular Front in Moscow in June. The Front is a political movement created by Putin and evidently intended to emancipate the president from his widely unpopular party United Russia. When Putin entered the room, the crowd erupted in a well-rehearsed chant “People, Russia, Putin”—a slogan clearly derived from the Tsarist “Autocracy, Orthodoxy, Nationality”, which described the system of political legitimacy before the 1917 communist revolution.
Autocracy is now replaced with Putin, nationality with the more concrete term Russia. Clearly, Putin has every intention of leading his country toward the goal of becoming more of a nation state for Russians and less of a multinational empire.
However, the replacement of Orthodoxy with People shows the crucial difference between Putin and the Tsars. While the old rulers could claim they were annointed by God and had a right to rule with impunity, Putin’s legitimacy is still based on whether he is perceived to promote the interests of the people. His approval ratings will be high only as long as citizens’s lives seem to be improving. This is a huge problem for Putin. He has created a system that is quite successful at maintaining vertical power structures and suppressing the opposition. But fundamentally the system is corrupt, inefficient, and will never be able to deliver the progress Russians are demanding in the long term.
Putin may be trying to become Russia’s modern Tsar. But unless he somehow manages to convince Russians he is appointed by God, his rule will eventually lose its legitimacy.