The Silent Majority – Part 2

TimeWatch Editorial
April 03, 2017

In our last Editorial entitled “The Silent Majority” we took a look at an article written by Pat Buchanan, well known Republican, as he expressed his admiration for Vladimir Putin. We pondered whether his opinion might be shared by many more individuals, even though they might not have expressed it out loud. Ed Kilgore, in his article in the New York Magazine dated December 13, 2016 reveals an expanded group of individuals who share Buchanan’s admiration. The name of his article was “Why the Christian Right Shares Trump’s Affection for Putin.” Here is how his article begins.

“There are all sorts of theories about Donald Trump’s affinity for Vladimir Putin’s Russia, ranging from shadowy business dealings with Putin or pro-Putin entities, to Russia’s alleged material aid in promoting Trump’s presidential candidacy, to the personal affinity between two men who yearn for recognition as world-historical figures. A related question is why so many Republicans — who four years ago were cheering Mitt Romney’s prophecies of a new Cold War struggle with Russia — have accepted Trump’s Russophilia. But as Peter Beinart points out at The Atlantic, there is actually a strain of conservatism in which a fondness for post-communist Russia and its leader are not at all out of place:” Ed Kilgore, “Why the Christian Right Shares Trump’s Affection for Putin,” New York Magazine, December 13, 2016

So the question is, what is it that Peter Beinart points out in his Atlantic article that explains the shift in attitude where Russia is concerned? Here is what he has to say.

“Through his public statements and presidential appointments, Donald Trump is remaking Republican foreign policy in two fundamental ways. The first concerns Russia. Previous GOP leaders like Mitt Romney and John McCain described Moscow as an adversary. Trump describes it as a partner. The second concerns Islam. Previous GOP leaders—most notably George W. Bush—insisted that the U.S. had no beef with Islam, or with the vast majority of Muslims worldwide. Trump and his top advisors disagree. They often describe Islam itself as a hostile force, and view ordinary Muslims as guilty of jihadist sympathies until proven innocent.” Peter Beinart, “Why Trump’s Republican Party is Embracing Russia,” The Atlantic Magazine, December 12, 2016

So Ed Kilgore, in his New York Magazine article is quite clear about the large group of individuals that share the admiration that Trump has for Vladimir Putin.  The subtle change that has taken place in this country is almost as amazing as the fact that very few individuals are aware of the change. Listen to Kilgore as he continues his article.

“That’s right, Donald Trump and his alt-right fan base are hardly the only Americans who deeply admire Vladimir Putin: He has a fairly large fan club among politically active U.S. Christian conservatives. It includes some pretty big names, like conservative Evangelical leader Franklin Graham, National Organization for Marriage leader Brian Brown, and American Family Association spokesperson Bryan Fischer. In almost every case it has been his distinctive combination of homophobia and Islamophobia that has made Putin one of the Christian right’s favorite international figures. The cultural conservative preference for authoritarian Christian Slavs who are fighting Muslims has, as Beinart notes, carried over from the Serbs to their traditional sponsors in Moscow, and most especially to the former KGB officer who has revived Russia’s pre-communist tradition of militantly traditionalist Christianity.” Ed Kilgore, “Why the Christian Right Shares Trump’s Affection for Putin,” New York Magazine, December 13, 2016

The silent majority that shares the admiration of Mr. Putin is that same silent majority who quietly voted the President into to office to the amazement of the pollsters and those who have spent many years in election analysis. In the year 2014, the admiration was already on the way. Adam Federman, writing in the Nation on January 7, 2014, records an impressive act by Putin.

“This past June, the Russian Parliament passed an anti-gay law that came as a surprise to much of the rest of the world. The statute, an amendment to the country’s Code of Administrative Offenses, bans “propaganda” regarding “nontraditional sexual relations among minors.” (In earlier versions of the bill, it was simply referred to as “homosexual propaganda.”) The bill’s language is so vague that it could include just about any kind of gay rights advocacy, from newspaper editorials and advertisements to public information campaigns and demonstrations. Among the penalties: fines of up to 5,000 rubles for an individual and 1 million rubles for a media organization or other legal entity. (A few days later, a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples in countries that recognize gay marriage was also passed.) In November, the editor of a newspaper in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk was charged under the new law after quoting an LGBT activist saying, “My entire existence is credible proof of the normality of homosexuality.” Adam Federman, “How U.S. Evangelicals Fueled the Rise of Russia’s Pro Family Right,” The Nation, January 7, 2014

What is incredibly amazing is the fact that Revelation 13 describes the Second Beast as causing the earth to worship the First Beast. We have also been informed that Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power. What is indeed astounding is that within the context of these signs that have been given, we see in Adam Federman’s article the following.

“The Russian Orthodox Church’s close ties with American evangelicals reflect a shift in policy. For much of the post-Soviet period, the Russian Orthodox Church held evangelical denominations at arm’s length, fearing that they would compete for influence within Russia. But as the church has consolidated its power, it has come to view the evangelical community as a partner. “The Russian Orthodox Church realizes that the evangelical denominations are not their opponents but rather their allies in the relations between the church and the secular population,” says Olga Kazmina, a professor of ethnology at Moscow State University.  “We want to promote the idea of the unity between the West and Russia on the basis of common Christian roots,” Sevastianov told Inside the Vatican magazine in 2009. “We believe in this alliance among traditional Christian countries…and we believe that, with a united voice, we can be a strong force against the radical secular world which has become dominant in our societies.” Adam Federman, “How U.S. Evangelicals Fueled the Rise of Russia’s Pro Family Right,” The Nation, January 7, 2014

So here we are. The silent majority surely has registered their allegiance.

Cameron A. Bowen

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