This is going to be short. I just want to discuss something that is so absurdly stupid that it almost does not call for a post. But hey, I like to write. So here we go.
Over the past few weeks I have seen more and more posts in support of the current President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. For instance, when marriage equality was passed in the Supreme Court I saw a few posts from my conservative friends about Putin warning America to not turn away from God. Earlier I saw a post about Putin giving medals to big families with Latter Day Saints praising him for “defending family values.” Every once in awhile I see posts extolling how great Putin is for cracking down on LGBTQ rights, not catering to minority opinions and stating his contempt of Islam.
Not only is a love of Putin ignorant, it is completely and unequivocally idiotic.
I understand why conservative Christians like their idealized Putin. He rules with a strong fist and refuses to bend to minority opinions. For those who feel like our (seemingly) progressive administration is allowing our country to be overrun by minorities, he is an attractive figure.
But what is behind that idealized veneer?
A dictator that is everything that conservative Christians fear.
Here are some quotes from various human rights websites. (And just to be clear, I love the Russian people. But I can not love their President.)
Conservatives get annoyed by the “liberal media” that seems to be controlled by the government? Well in Putin’s Russia:
“The government controls, directly or through state-owned companies and friendly business magnates, all of the national television networks and many radio and print outlets, as well as most of the media advertising market. These media effectively serve as venues for Kremlin propaganda, which vociferously backs Putin’s actions in Ukraine and denounces foreign and domestic opponents”
Concerned about new Supreme Court rulings being tied in too closely with our President? In Russia:
“The judiciary lacks independence from the executive branch, and career advancement is effectively tied to compliance with Kremlin preferences. In February 2014, Putin signed a law merging the Supreme Arbitration Court, which headed the system of courts handling commercial disputes, into the Supreme Court, which oversees courts of general jurisdiction and will now also supervise the arbitration courts.”
How about Putin’s family values? Well:
“Domestic violence against women continues to be a serious problem, and police are often reluctant to intervene in what they regard as internal family matters. Economic hardships contribute to widespread trafficking of women abroad for prostitution.”
If you are concerned about the freedom of speech in our country, try Putin’s government where:
“Russia’s Office of the Prosecutor General stated on June 22 that it had ordered the federal media and communications oversight agency, Roskomnadzor, to block access to the website of a Russian nongovernmental organization that published a memo for Russian tourists traveling to Crimea. The Prosecutor General’s Office said that by calling Crimea an “occupied territory” in the memo and urging tourists to abide by Ukrainian laws, the organization sought to undermine Russia’s territorial integrity in violation of anti-extremism legislation. “
As for freedom of press, you can look here at the list of journalists killed in Russia. Most under suspicious circumstances. For those Mormons who suddenly love Putin and think that he is God fearing, remember that he is only God fearing as long as you believe in Eastern Orthodox religion. Politicians following his lead tried to get the church kicked out of the country in 2012. I was there. I remember it.
Beyond that, Putin’s foreign policy has claimed the lives of nearly 6,000 Ukrainians due to his actions in Eastern Ukraine. Around 1,000,000 Ukrainians have been displaced.
We could go on for awhile, but this should be enough for now. Like I said above, I love the Russian people, but their president is a dictator in the truest sense of the word.
So stop acting like he somehow knows the true way to run a country. Stop acting like he is a better leader than our democratically elected President, even if you do not agree with him. Get your head together and move beyond a political ideology of memes and talking heads.