Vladimir Putin and the Falwell bloc

As a student of history, and Russia, it’s fascinating watching the new-Russia practice the same old propaganda tactics the Soviet Union employed, but now from the opposite end of the political spectrum.

Back in the day, the Soviets couldn’t be any friendlier to lefties in the West. Our socialist and communist parties in particular often had cozy ties to the Russians.

Fast forward to today, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia is practicing the same politics of wooing western surrogates, but now those surrogates are an odd collection of the far left and the far right.

The far left we saw in action during Russia’s invasion and annexation of Ukrainian Crimea. Some on the left seemed almost wounded that anyone would dare criticize Putin and defend Crimea.

But there was a far greater, and in some ways more subtle, rally for Putin among the right in America and abroad. It started with America’s Republican party, many of whose members could hardly contain themselves when gushing about their manly-man in the Kremlin.


Along the same lines, from the Independence Party in the UK to the National Front in France, far-right parties in Europe rushed to defend Putin as well.

Then there was America’s religious right. They’re still smarting from the implosion of their once grand movement. Their ancestral home, the Republican party, now treats them like a modern-day Ozymandias (long on bluster, short on substance, and cut off at the knees). Politically, the war over gay rights in America is over — while skirmishes remain, the gays have won, and the far right knows it.

That’s why America’s religionists have moved their mission abroad, mostly to Africa, but also to Europe. And now, with Vladimir Putin’s help, they’ve found a new, more powerful home in Moscow.

Liam Hoare, in a nice piece in Slate, writes of the new “gay cold war” between Moscow and the West. And in some ways, it’s the continuance of the same old cold war that was largely, but not entirely, based on human rights (our respect for them, and their lack).


The modern-day collusion between America’s Christian conservatives and Moscow isn’t without concern. You see, propaganda works. Whether for good or evil, honing your message and selling it well can work wonders for your cause.

But it’s also true that progress is an intractable and insidious foe. Freedom, be it personal or national, has a pesky way of winning out in the end — as the religious right in America found out the hard way, and their bff in the east will find out soon enough.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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