• Sona Chaturvedi

The World According to Putin


Photo credit: Reuters.

Everyone in the United States and around the globe is asking the same question: What does Vladimir Putin really want? Here, in America, we want to know what he wants with us. How do we fit into his plan? What role does America play in his vision of a new world order? The simple answer is not much. He wants a world in which we play no role.  No role except to lift sanctions on Russia, so his regime can be free to pursue his ultimate goal: Power. He wants his place in history, and he’ll stop at nothing to get it. His objective is to stay in power as long as possible and become an historical figure. To accomplish this, he needs to make sure that the Russian population and the American government don’t stand up to his regime, which has failed to deliver living standards above those of a developing country. At home, he wants to avoid a Russian Revolution-style uprising in which the workers overthrow the ruling class. Abroad, he wants America to be so preoccupied with its internal issues that it leaves Eastern Europe, parts of the Middle East and Asia open to intrusion without any pushback. He just wants us out of the way. Taking over America, well, that’s just a bonus. It didn’t take long for the Kremlin to realize it didn’t have to do much to topple America, as we have been tearing ourselves apart for the better part of three decades. America is at war with itself, thanks in large part to a Republican party that has chosen to pursue the politics of division so it can stay in power. Pragmatically speaking, Russia doesn't have much to offer the West in economic terms. Putin only holds negative leverage. He causes enormous harm in several parts of the world, so the only real thing he can offer is to stop wreaking havoc. Putin just wants America to have a passive response to his obvious power grabs.

And that’s exactly what Donald Trump and the GOP are offering. It hasn't always been this way. For decades, the Republican Party viewed Russia as this nation's biggest threat, and they tried to take all the credit when the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980s. Mitt Romney was even mocked and ridiculed by Barack Obama for suggesting that Russia was still our biggest geopolitical foe during the 2012 presidential campaign.  Romney doesn't look so stupid now. Just four years later, Russia interfered in our presidential election and installed a puppet to be our president. Donald Trump and the GOP are compromised. Putin owns Donald Trump AND the GOP. The irony is that Putin doesn't really care about the United States and our problems. We aren’t special. There is nothing unique about us in Putin’s eyes. We just happen to be in his way. He will leave us broken if we let Donald Trump and the GOP sell us for rubles. As Putin calls any of his targets, we are useful idiots. That is, until we outlive our usefulness, and then we are nothing. Joe Biden once said to Putin: “Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul.” Putin looked back at Biden, smiled, and said, ‘We understand one another.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a useful idiot, a relic left on the side of history, a sad footnote of a country that used to be great. NO, we don’t have to become a failed state or a fallen Empire. So, let’s change the narrative. A vote for Biden, and flipping the Senate blue, will wipe that smirk off Putin’s smug face for all the world to see.

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