Every movement, especially political movements, seeks a leader that champions its cause as a prototype that all members of the movement can point to as the ideal on which they are based and is regarded as the model or perfect first form. Because Republicans, as a political party, are fractured into different groups with relatively disparate goals, they have had a high degree of difficulty finding an archetype to represent both theocrats seeking to install the Christian bible as law of the land and neo-cons driven to dominate the world through military conquest. One might mistakenly assume that Republicans yearn for another Ronald Reagan as their archetype, but his record of cowardice in the face of terrorism, belief in the separation of church and state, and taxing and spending like a madman, his liberal record disqualifies any reiteration of him as the prototypical Republican champion. In fact, over the past twenty years, although Republicans cite Reagan as their idealized leader, they have never found a candidate in his image because even their man-god Reagan was not a prototypical conservative.
Now it is becoming clear that Republicans are on the verge of finally, at long last, finding an archetype of everything disparate 21st Century conservatives stand for who is part George W. Bush, part evangelical freak Mike Huckabee, and part neo-con Dick Cheney rejecting the rule of law. There is some division among Republicans who cannot quite decide if they want to fight Vladimir Putin or fornicate with the Russian, but one thing is clear; conservatives think he is a “real leader” and lust for a Republican president like Putin.
Republicans, conservative pundits, and evangelical fanatics have lined up behind their prototypical conservative Putin, and contrary to what some may think, it is not solely because they hate President Obama they have spent no small amount of time comparing to the Russian president. This past week Fox News strategic analyst Ralph Peters was effusive in praising Russia he asserted “has a real leader, while our President is incapable and unwilling to lead.” Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani could barely contain his enthusiasm for Putin and said “Putin decides what he wants to do and does it in half a day. He makes a decision and executes it quickly and everybody reacts. That’s what you call a real leader.”
Another conservative pundit praised Putin because “he likes to hang out with his shirt off and tells the West if you mess with me I’ll kill you all.” Even half-term, half-wit Sarah Palin compared the conservative’s hero with President Obama and said, ”people look at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil, and our President wears mom jeans and equivocates.” Another Fox analyst said, “In Putin, you’ve got a big strong guy, muscular and shirtless on a horse who wrestles tigers, while the President wears mom jeans.” It is unclear why conservatives are obsessed with mom jeans, whatever they are, but it is likely to compare President Obama’s diplomacy first foreign policy with a big shirtless leader who subscribes to the George W. Bush foreign policy of pre-emptively invading sovereign nations; the conservative’s idea of a “real leader.”
However, as much as Republicans are enamored with Putin’s rapid decision to invade Ukraine without going to the United Nations or a reason other than he wanted to, it is the religious right that would install Putin as America’s theocratic dictator tomorrow if they could convince Americans to amend the Constitution to allow a Christian foreigner to rule America. The religious right regards Putin as their archetypical leader because he made it Russian policy to do what Christian fanatics yearn for in America; crackdown on gays and make Christianity the state religion. In fact, Christians anointed Putin the “defender of the Christian civilization” or as Christian zealot Bryan Fischer asserted, Putin is “the lion of Christianity, the defender of Christian values, the president that’s calling his nation back to embracing its identity as a nation founded on Christian values. To ever think we would get to the day that Russia would be more advanced spiritually than the United States. I mean, it’s just staggering to see what is happening to this country.”
Fischer, like nearly all evangelical Christians heaped praise on Putin for signing a ban on gay propaganda and gushed that “this is public policy that we’ve been advocating and here is a nation in the world that is actually putting it into practice.” It was reported here yesterday that the World Congress of Families (WFC) summit meeting (Pro-Life Olympics) is still being held in Moscow despite Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. As noted in the article, the communications director of the WCF “justified, exonerated, and extolled Putin’s behavior because Putin is behaving a lot like George W Bush” by pre-emptively invading a sovereign nation. Although Bush never claimed he was defending Christian civilization by hunting down gays, banning abortion advertising, and likely ban abortion, there is little doubt he would have if he had the authority. As an aside, abortion is the top birth control method in Russia because contraception is prohibitively expensive; something Christians yearn for in America as evidence by their rabid opposition to contraception coverage in healthcare prescription plans.
Americans should not be deluded that if they had the opportunity, Republicans would install a Putin-like character as president in a heartbeat. Their praise of Putin’s decisive leadership in invading a sovereign nation like George W. Bush, and staunch support for a state-mandated Christian religion authorizing the hunting down and brutalizing of gays signals their intent for America if they were left unchecked. The argument that conservatives and Republicans love Putin because he is the polar opposite of President Obama has some merit but misses the bigger point entirely. It is true that Republicans hate that President Obama defends and supports the Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights for all Americans, and they cannot tolerate the President’s “diplomacy first” foreign policy, but what they want in a president is a Christian dictator who, like Putin and George W. Bush, invades sovereign nations on a whim, and forces Christianity down the throats of every American under threat of death. It is true that Republicans have found their archetype to rule over America, but since Vladimir Putin cannot run for the presidency, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Paul Ryan, and Rick Santorum all have presidential aspirations and a prototype in Russian president Putin to model themselves when the 2016 Republican primaries begin.