Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
I was working on a post about another topic when I saw a link to this long-read article from Vox, which is terrifying. I’m still in the process of reading it and may be a while at it since I have to stop very often to wince, cover my eyes, and pace nervously around the room.
We’ve got a real nuclear threat in the world, and it ain’t Iran.
Should the warnings prove right, and a major war break out in Europe between Russia and the West, then the story of that war, if anyone is still around to tell it, will begin with Russian President Vladimir Putin trying to solve a problem.
That problem is this: Putin’s Russia is weak. It can no longer stand toe to toe with the US. It no longer has Europe divided in a stalemate; rather, it sees the continent as dominated by an ever-encroaching anti-Russian alliance. In the Russian view, the country’s weakness leaves it at imminent risk, vulnerable to a hostile West bent on subjugating or outright destroying Russia as it did to Iraq and Libya.
This is made more urgent for Putin by his political problems at home. In 2012, during his reelection, popular protests and accusations of fraud weakened his sense of political legitimacy. The problem worsened with Russia’s 2014 economic collapse; Putin’s implicit bargain with the Russian people had been that he would deliver economic growth and they would let him erode basic rights. Without the economy, what did he have to offer them?
And that’s just a little background on Putin’s toxic masculinity. Read the whole thing. Dude is basically George W. Bush without the military might of the U.S. but with just enough of his own. The American Right may want to consider dialing back the swooning they’ve been doing the past few years over their shirtless hero.