There Is a Reason the American Right Likes Russia
It's who they want to be.
The Bulwark is coming to my hometown, New York City, for a night of awesome, on Thursday, May 18.
As a longtime resident of the Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps, the City of Dreams, I’m excited to host you all. Perhaps after the show we’ll take Sixth Avenue down to my favorite pizza joint—it’s this little place in Times Square called Sbarro and it’s the best slice in the five boroughs.1
Anyway, I hope you’ll come. It’s going to be a crazy amount of fun. My buddy Molly Jong Fast is going to join Charlie, Tim, Sarah and me on stage. Only question is whether I wear a game-used Yankees or Mets jersey to the show. There’s a poll on it down below.
1. Enemies of the People
Here are two facts about the current American right:
(1) They hate the media.
This has been true for as long as I’ve been in journalism, but has become more true in the Trump years. We went from conservatives building media “watchdog” organizations, to creating their own media ecosystem, to using attacks on the media to power Newt Gingrich’s entire presidential campaign, to having Donald Trump call the press “the enemy of the people.”
Many conservatives have gone past “I don’t like the MSM” to a place which views “the media” (whatever that means) as literal traitors to America.2
(2) They like Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Many prominent conservatives have been “rooting” for Russia since the start of the war. Others have long viewed Putin as, along with Hungary, one of the great hopes for a Christian nationalism that uses the power of the state to crush gays, and the trans movement, and George Soros, and generally anything associated with American political liberalism. No, really, lots of conservatives think exactly this:
Dinesh D’Souza said, in a series of tweets, that he “respects Putin because he tenaciously defends his country’s interests and understands the use of power,” that the news media were lying about Ukraine, and that Putin was a “lesser evil” to Democrats.
Just last week Trump talked about how Putin was “very smart” and totally winning the war in Ukraine.
Now these are just two stars in the constellation that is the conservative belief system. But they’re not unrelated, are they?