Regarding America’s lack of response to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s forthcoming invasion of the helpless Ukraine, two largely forgotten (formerly popular) phrases come to mind: “Charity begins at home;” and, “Heal thyself.”
To be surprised or shocked by Putin’s actions makes no sense whatsoever. Vladimir Putin has never claimed to be — nor acted like anything other than — an old school, fascist dictator.
Russia was freed from the chains of collectivist Communism nearly 25 years ago. What do they have to show for it? Nothing but a brutal fascist dictatorship, now threatening its soon-to-be-satellite neighbors no different from the Soviet Union in the 1950s (or Hitler in the 1930s, for that matter.)
Putin is simply being a dictator. This is what dictators do. I’m not making light of it. Nobody could be more against dictatorship and in favor of the absolutism of individual rights than myself. But let’s be real here. America has lowered the bar on itself. America has moved away from individual and Constitutional freedoms in favor of the very sort of collectivism and centralized government control that in a more consistent, extreme form results in cultural-economic hovel states like Putin’s Russia.
As a result, dictators like Putin (China may be next) feel comfortable doing whatever the heck they please. Instead of being a strong freedom zone with the moral and economic strength to back it up, America has become kind of a pouty and waning superpower, riding on past glories more than anything viable in the present.
Yes, Obama is a pathetic and amateurish President, but he’s the symptom of a dysfunctional republic more than the cause. Putin, smarter than our own hapless President and the people who actually take him seriously as a “commander-in-chief,” senses this weakness and proceeds to do the things that all petty little dictators do … because he can.
The John McCains of the world, who call for forceful and ultimately military action against Russia, have not yet accepted what America has become. They call for a policy which amounts to going through the motions of “the old days,” as if doing so would somehow make us greater than we really are.
While nothing is inevitable, it’s fair and objectively accurate to say that the United States has not, in recent years, been an example of freedom in a world still largely hostile to the rights of man. As America slowly transforms its definition of freedom from individual liberty to relief from personal responsibility or discomfort, it becomes less a force to be reckoned with in the world. Hence the rise of glorified thugs such as Putin, something that never could have happened in a world where at least one great nation held firm to principles of freedom combined with an attitude of, “Don’t tread on me.”
The best thing America could do for the Ukraine, or any other victim of totalitarian repression, is to make the world safe for freedom, private property and individual rights. For decades now, particularly since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States has drifted towards an all-encompassing welfare-corporate-entitlement state reminiscent of the Weimar Republic which ultimately gave rise to Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
America, heal thyself. Try to stand up for your own rights and freedom against your own government, along with all the individualism and self-responsibility these things imply. Don’t be a crusader for others. Show others what freedom and liberty can do for a civilization.
Dr Michael Hurd
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